County chairman election info

Posted on Jun 10, 2017 in Blog with comments
Below is the pertinent information from an email sent to Precinct Chairmen from Michael Morris, Travis GOP Secretary, concerning the process by which we will elect a new County Chairman. Only minor edits were made.

Meeting Call for a Special Meeting to Elect a New County Chair and Executive Committee Meetings on June 13

My fellow Precinct Chairs and Travis County Republicans,

If you have not heard already James Dickey was elected as the State Chair of the Republican Party of Texas on Saturday, June 3. Due to the time commitments of that position he has decided to resign as the County Chair of the Travis County Republican Party.

Please excuse the length of this email. I felt it was prudent to err on the side of providing more information given the important nature of the business to be conducted and the fact that this meeting call will be distributed beyond the Executive Committee.

We will be holding 3 meetings on Tuesday, June 13. The first meeting will be the regular Executive Committee Meeting for June. This meeting will be chaired by the Executive Vice Chair per the bylaws of the Travis County Republican Party. Within 5 minutes of the conclusion of the first Executive Committee meeting a second meeting will come to order.

The second meeting will be a special meeting of the Executive Committee to elect a new County Chair. As the Secretary I will chair this special meeting. The special meeting is authorized in the Texas Election Code 171.025 as is my authority to chair that meeting. After the new County Chair is elected the special meeting will be adjourned.

Within five minutes of the conclusion of the special meeting we will convene a third regular meeting of the Executive Committee. The purpose of this third and final meeting will be to fill any vacancies in the Steering Committee that resulted from the election of the County Chair. This third meeting would be run by either the new County Chair, the Executive Vice Chair, or the Secretary and the elections would follow the bylaws of the Travis County Republican Party.

Tuesday June 13 at 7 PM - (Registration will start at 6:30 PM)
Cepeda Branch of the Austin Public Library
651 N Pleasant Valley Rd

Purpose of the Meetings:
1.) Conduct the regular business of the Executive Committee.
2.) Elect a new County Chair
3.) Fill any vacancies on the Steering Committee

Here is a summary of the remaining part of this email.
1.) Why is there a vacancy in the County Chairmanship?
2.) Who is eligible to run for County Chair?
3.) Who gets to vote in the election of the new County Chair?
4.) Agenda for the Special Meeting

1.) Why is there a vacancy in the County Chairmanship?
James Dickey resigned as County Chair after being elected to be the State Chair of the Republican Party of Texas.

2.) Who is eligible to run for County Chair?
There are two requirements that must be met to run for County Chair.
1.) You have to be a registered voter in Travis County. (TEC 161.005)
2.) You must have affiliated with the Republican Party (see TEC 162.001) during the calendar year 2017. Affiliation with the Republican Party is achieved by one of two methods:
A.) Voting in either the Republican Primary or Republican Primary Runoff elections in 2016
B.) Completing an oath of affiliation with the Republican Party

Please note Texas Election Code Chapter 162.012 which is listed below:
Sec. 162.012. INELIGIBILITY TO AFFILIATE WITH ANOTHER PARTY. A person who is affiliated with a political party is ineligible to become affiliated with another political party during the same voting year.

*Note: If you plan on running please contact the Secretary, Michael Morris, so he can verify your eligibility before the meeting starts. His contact information can be found at the end of this email in 5.) Who can I contact if I have any questions?

The newly elected County Chair will serve out the remainder of the current term, which ends in Mid-June 2018.

3.) Who gets to vote in the election of the new County Chair?
The 110 current Republican Precinct Chairs vote on the new county chair. For an election to take place a majority of the Executive Committee must be present. (See TEC 171.024 (b)) Currently there are 110 members of the Executive Committee, so 56 would need to be present to hold the election. To win the election a candidate must receive a majority vote of the Executive Committee members present. (See TEC 171.024 (b)) To vote, a Precinct Chair must sign in and be present at the meeting while the vote is taking place. Precinct Chairs cannot vote by proxy, email, or other means. (See TEC 171.026) The election will be done by secret ballot.

4.) Agenda for the Special Meeting

A.) Explanation of the authority to call the special meeting

B.) Explanation of who is authorized to vote for the County Chair

C.) Adoption of the rules governing the election of the County Chair

1.) Rules for the election will be open for debate according to the Bylaws of TCRP

2.) Rules for the election will be adopted by a majority vote of the Executive Committee members present
3.) Rules Proposed by Michael Morris, Secretary TCRP:
a.) Call on the body for nominations – these must be made by a member of the Executive Committee, however the nominee does not have to be a member of the Executive Committee
b.) Determination of eligibility of nominees.
c.) Determination of speaking order by a drawing lots.
d.) Nominees will get up to 5 minutes to speak to the EC – Nominees may use all or part of this time to have one or more other people speak on their behalf.
e.) A question and answer session addressed to the full panel of nominees, this will be 5 minutes times the number of nominees - ex. 3 nominees X 5 minutes = 15 minutes of questions and answers – Each nominee will be allotted up to 1 minute to answer each question. Only current Precinct Chairs will be allowed to ask questions.
f.) Nominees will be allotted 2 minutes to make a final statement.
g.) Nominees will each select an official observer to oversee the counting of the votes.
h.) The Sargent-at-Arms will secure the room for voting.
i.) The chair shall announce the number of Precinct Chairs present and the number of votes required to win.
j.) Secret ballots will be distributed to all Precinct Chairs present.
k.) Ballots will be collected and returned to the Chair of the meeting.
l.) The ballots will be counted in full view of all official observers.
m.) The chair of the meeting will announce the results.
n.) If no nominee has a majority a runoff election will be called consisting of the top two vote getters.
o.) If necessary the runoff election will use the same procedure as the first election with no additional time for speeches.

Note: Rules cannot conflict with state law

D.) Election of the County Chair per rules adopted

E.) Adjournment