The race most residents never hear about is actually one of the most important elections that take place during the Primary. The Republican Chairman of any county has the responsibility to guide and grow the Party, and most importantly, seek out viable candidates to run for office.
This election cycle, in McLennan County, the Incumbent Chairman, Joe B. Hinton, (pictured left) is being challenged by Ralph Patterson, a software development business owner and Lorena resident. Many Republicans in McLennan County are disgruntled with the current leadership, which has been labeled “exclusive” and “out-of-touch.” They feel Joe Hinton is inaccessible and not willing to talk to Republicans who don’t see things as he does.
At our recent Republican County Convention, during roll call, it became evident as to just how “exclusive” the local Party is. Nearly half of the Precincts in McLennan County were absent from the convention. Not present, unaccounted for. During the silence after those empty precincts were called, I thought to myself, “This is ridiculous. How can our current Chairman tout a successful term, when half of his county precincts are not represented? “ Truth is, we barely had enough Republicans at the convention to fill our Delegate slate.
With the most important Presidential election in history just around the corner, one might think we Republicans would be stirred into a frenzy, ready to do anything to get Obama out of office. But based on the attendance at our county convention, you wouldn’t have thought that. Based on the attendance, one might have assumed we were not enthused at all. But they’d be wrong.
It’s not the people who are to blame for a lack of enthusiasm. It’s the leadership, and I’ll give you just one of many examples of why the time has come for McLennan County Republicans to vote for a new era of Republicanism.
- After our county convention, I wrote an email to the McLennan GOP. I asked, in a cordial tone, for a list of the empty precincts, so our group could help by making calls, and find Republicans in those precincts to step up and get involved in the Party. I never heard back from the Party.
- After several days, I called the McLennan County Republican Party H.Q. and spoke with Gail Hinton, the office manager. I explained what I was looking for, and she assured me that my email would be forwarded to the appropriate person. Again, I never heard back from anyone.
- Over a week later, I sent a follow up email, again asking for help regarding the empty precinct list. Still no response.
Here I am, a Hispanic Republican, asking to help fill empty precinct chairmen seats, and the McLennan County Chairman does not see the value in helping me. He disrespects me by not replying to my emails and phone calls, and damages the Party because of his closed-mindedness. He isn’t concerned with filling those seats because he knows where they lay… in economically depressed regions of the county.
As former Chairman, M.A. Taylor told me, “You’re not going to find any Hispanics willing to raise the Republican flag.” You see, this is the problem with the Republican Party. There are too many people like Joe B. Hinton and M.A. Taylor still running things. They do not see us as equals, and probably think we’re diluting the Party. If we want to build the Republican Party and bring Conservative Hispanics and Blacks to the Party, then Chairmen like Joe B. Hinton are doing everything they can to set up road blocks and make it difficult.
If they’re not responding to a simple request from the Director of a Republican Party of Texas Auxiliary (GOPisForMe),what makes you think they’ll respond to your average Republican? They don’t. For some reason, they feel they don’t have to. It’s the “I’m better than you…” attitude, and more and more Republicans in McLennan County are sick of it.
People like Joe B. Hinton are driving good Conservatives away from the Party. If I wasn’t so involved in other counties, where I’ve had the pleasure of working with County Chairmen who “get it,” I would seriously think the Republican Party was against me. I would feel like they didn’t want me around, and that my voice was irrelevant.
This is the reality in McLennan County, and it makes me wonder, “Why do I work so hard trying to build our Party, when in my own town, I can’t even get a response from our Chairman?” It’s a shame Republicans have allowed it to continue as long as it has. My hope in this election, is that we make the decision to move forward and say goodbye to this regime. Elect Ralph Patterson. He “gets it!”