On May 29th, the Republican Party of Texas hosted a Town Hall meeting with Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus. The meeting was attended by 252 party activists from across the state, all who traveled to Houston to learn more about the Growth and Opportunity Project.
Chairman Priebus opened the meeting with a brief overview of the project, including background on how the plan was developed – by the grassroots of the Republican Party from all across the country at meetings similar to the Outreach Summit hosted by the Republican Party of Texas in January. Click here for a recap of the Outreach Summit (first 5 paragraphs of the January Chairman's Update)
The crowd was excited to hear that as part of the Growth and Opportunity Project, the RNC will spend millions of dollars on engagement and 200 field staff nationwide, including a commitment of resources that will supply Texas with 21 new staff members plus regional Victory centers to coordinate volunteers to identify, register, and turn out Republican voters in every Texas community.
Following his opening comments, the meeting opened to an hour and half of questions and input from the audience. We are grateful to Chairman Priebus for his thoughtful answers and commitment to stay beyond his scheduled time to respond to as many attendees as possible. The questions covered a variety of topics from a diverse crowd representing rural, suburban and urban Texas, men, women, black, white, Hispanic, Asian-American old and young – all Republican leaders from across the state and all focused on a common goal – keeping Texas’s economy strong by continuing to elect Republicans to run our government, to extend these solutions to the nation by keeping the House and taking the Senate in 2014 and winning the White House in 2016. Among the ideas and questions shared with Chairman Priebus to help attain these goals included:
- Data and technology – we must improve both and Chairman Priebus reiterated the RNC commitment to do so through the data trust, which includes a comprehensive update to the voter file, available in August to all Republican parties and candidates.
- Outreach – Chairman Priebus heard from GOP Women, Youth, Hispanic, Black and Asian Republican club leaders regarding the importance of outreach and controlling the message. We are the party with policies to help advance each of these communities and the group was pleased to learn that the RNC will be investing financial resources in Texas to help us take our message to all Texas voters.
- Candidate selection – The Chairman received a few questions regarding the process for selecting Republican candidates. Chairman Priebus reminded the group that the primary voters select our nominees, not the RNC. With an earlier national convention, input from the media will be weakened and primary voters will have an even stronger voice.
Attendees declared the meeting was a success:
Connor Pfeiffer, State Chair of High School Republicans of Texas, "I am glad Chairman Priebus took the time to come to Texas and listen to feedback from the grassroots, and as State Chairman of High School Republicans of Texas, I was glad to hear Chairman Priebus and the RNC's desire to better involve and reach out to young voters and high school Republicans to continue growing our party for the future."
Naomi Narvaiz, SREC member, SD 21,“I was so glad that my plans allowed me to join our Party in Houston to hear our RNC Chairman, Reince Priebus speak. It is encouraging to know he is keeping his word to Texas about the RNC's involvement to reach our communities in our great State. I am particularly impressed that he is taking note of all our grassroots concerns. It is now up to each of us in Texas to prepare our 'troops' for the upcoming election 'battle' and keep Texas the great red state.”
Kristopher Infante, Texas Federation of College Republicans, “I was very pleased with the meeting between grassroots leaders and RNC Chairman Preibus. Texas has been leading the way in youth outreach with the expansion of their efforts to reach high school, college, and young Republicans. I'm glad to see the national party will be revamping their efforts to reach the youth of America.
Dianne Edmondson, Denton County GOP Chair, "I would say that it was exciting to be in a room with several hundred other conservative Texas Republicans and I was very encouraged that Chairman Priebus at one point acknowledged that the RNC just “needed to follow Texas” when it came to outreach!"
Bill Calhoun, Chairman, Texas Federation for Republican Outreach, "The problems facing our nation and indeed our party are great and will require a new generation of leaders willing to take them on with a belief that solutions can best be found when everyone is seated at the table. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is that type of leader and so is RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri and I am glad Steve invited Reince to Texas to meet with African American conservatives."
Artemio “Temo” Muniz, Chairman, Federation of Hispanic Republicans,"Our RNC Chairman, Reince Preibus, is bringing serious financial and mobilization firepower to Texas to assist in locking up the Hispanic community for the GOP. As Chairman of the Federation of Hispanic Republicans I am thrilled to bring our network to the fight alongside our state Chairman Munisteri and Texas outreach director David Zapata. The RNC's Opportunity and Growth project is set to flourish in Texas as the energy at this month's meeting was through the roof.”
Penny Ignazio, Volunteer Coordinator, Galveston County Republican Party, “I was very impressed with Priebus. Thought he gave a great talk and answered the questions. Hope his honesty with us and his visit is not just a one time deal. Texas makes a big difference and we need the GOP to stand behind Texas and us."
Carolyn Hodges, President, Texas Federation of Republican Women, “All Texas Republicans, especially Republican Women, are grateful to RNC Chairman Priebus for coming to Texas again and giving us a clear indication of the RNC’s recognition of the powerful importance of our state in the national election cycles and his willingness to assist in keeping this state RED by working together in a unified manner to win!”
RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri, "I would like to thank Chairman Priebus for taking the time to meet with our grassroots activists and leadership. I think it is extremely important that the party leadership not just spend time with donors but also give equal improtance to those that volunteer their time. I thought the session was extremely helpful and I am hopeful for more like it in the future."