February marked the last full month of my tenure as State Chairman, thus it was fitting that my last full month as Chairman was similar to my first few months. I spent most of the month traveling, in part as a result of local Republican clubs trying to schedule me to speak at their meetings one last time.

During the first week of February, I spoke to the Memorial West Republican Women’s Club in Houston and then returned to Austin that night to be a guest on Capitol Tonight. The following day we had a comprehensive review of polling data from the last election. At the end of the week I traveled to Odessa to speak at the Ector County Lincoln Day Dinner. The keynote speaker was former Governor, and presumptive presidential candidate,Mike Huckabee. Chairman’s Circle member and longtime Texas GOP supporter Dick Saulsbury hosted me for most of the visit. Ector County Chairwoman Tisha Crow organized a great event that attracted several hundred attendees. I also had the opportunity to visit with SREC Member Rhonda Lacy while in town.

That weekend I traveled to Galveston to attend the Galveston County Lincoln Day Dinner. This was the 6th consecutive Galveston Lincoln Day Dinner I have attended. Chairwoman Barbara Meeks put together another great event with a huge turnout. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick keynoted the event with a rousing speech which touched on his conservative legislative priorities for the session and reported on the good news about his success in reducing the number of votes required to bring up a vote in the Texas Senate from 21 to 19.

The following week I traveled to Frisco to speak to the North Collin County Republican Women’s Club. I then traveled to Waxahachie to be the keynote speaker at the Ellis County Lincoln Day Dinner. County Chairman Jim Parker put together a great event. Then after a brief 36 hour trip to Washington DC for some political meetings, I returned at the end of the week in time to be the keynote speaker at the Polk County annual BBQ organized by Polk County Chairman Fred Grube.

I concluded the week by traveling to El Paso to keynote the El Paso County Lincoln Day Dinner. County Chair Tom Holmsley and his wife Mary, who is also an SREC member, provided me an unbelievably warm welcome. They had a “Thank You Steve” theme and presented me with lovely gifts in appreciation for me serving as State Chairman these last 5 years.

The following week I spoke at the Texas Republican County Chairs Association (TRCCA) training event as their luncheon speaker. Chairman Carl Tepper put together an excellent day of training for our county chairs. Assisting him was former RPT Organization Director Jenny Sykes Griffin who did a wonderful job for me while at the Party. That evening I also spoke briefly at the TRCCA legislative reception.

The next day I was on to Georgetown to speak to the Georgetown Area Republican Women. From there I headed to Houston to attend an RNC reception for Chairman Reince Priebus. RNC CommitteewomanToni Anne Dashiell was also in attendance. Then it was back to Austin the next morning for another fundraising reception for Chairman Priebus. I then traveled to San Antonio to attend the Bexar County Lincoln Day Dinner. Governor Abbott was the keynote speaker and made a special point of expressing appreciation for Bexar County Chairman Robert Stovall for doing such a great job of organizing Bexar County last cycle. I ended the week by traveling to Burnet County to speak to the Burnet County Republicans.

The last week of February was important as we held our annual fundraiser, featuring almost our entire statewide elected slate and approximate 90 State Senators and Representatives. Approximately 300 people attended the event and we expect the final gross take to be around $250,000. I concluded the month by attending the Conservative Political Action Committee Conference (CPAC) at which many potential future Republican presidential candidates made their pitches. It is apparent we are going to have many fine candidates to pick from and we may have an unprecedentedly large field of top tier candidates.

In between speeches I spent my time working with staff to ensure the smoothest transition possible when I step down next week. We put together a packet of building relocation options for the next Chairman, and finished out some banking and fundraising loose ends. It was also a goal of mine when I was elected to refill all the county chairmanships. When I took over in 2010 there were 21 vacancies, and my staff did a great job of recruiting people in all 254 counties a couple years ago. However, after the 2014 election cycle we lost 17 of our County Chairs. Our staff been working hard to get these spots filled and I am pleased to report that under the leadership of RPT Organization Director, Cassie Daniel, we have filled the majority of these seats and we currently only have four left to fill. We are confident one of these spots will be filled shortly and we have prospects in the remaining counties. If you or anyone you know in Dawson, Dickens, Blanco or Zapata county want to volunteer to serve as county chair, please contact our office. Without your help, Republican voters in those counties won’t be able to cast a ballot in the Presidential primary.

On the financial front we ended the month with over $900,000 in our account. My goal over the next week is to tie up any addition loose ends that may come up and it is my goal to leave the next Chairman with 0 liabilities and a very healthy bank account.

This will be the last monthly report that I publish. Prior to my being Chairman there was not a monthly update for the grassroots activists and I hope that you have found them useful. I will put out one final report just prior to my turning over the Chairmanship that will review the progress we have made over the last 5 years.

One week from today, I will be stepping down and a new Chairman will be elected. The election will even be livestreamed for those that wish to watch. There will also be a livestream of Friday’s candidate forum between the four announced candidates. We will send out an email with the details of the livestream early next week.

I am very optimistic that the SREC will use good judgement and pick a qualified and competent Chairman. I hope all of you will support the new Chairman and continue to support the party long after my stepping down, our country’s future is too important not to. Thank you for allowing me the honor and privilege of being your Chairman.


Stephen Munisteri, Chairman