On August 16th, the RPT hosted a training workshop for County Chairs and State Republican Executive Committee members. The training has become a biennial event, following the elections of our county chairs in the Republican primary and our SREC members at State Convention. Each cycle we get helpful feedback from attendees and we are proud that we continue to build on the reviews and believe that this year’s training was the most informative and best organized to date. The one day training, coordinated by RPT Organization Director Cassie Daniel, included both general and breakout sessions for County Chairs from Rural and Urban Counties as well as SREC members.
We are so grateful to the approximately 200 party leaders who gave their time to attend, with County Chairs and SREC members coming from as far as El Paso, the Panhandle, Rio Grande Valley and North East Texas. And, including one County Chair- Tracy Noles – who drove with his wife all the way from Hudspeth County.
The event kicked off with live music from Richard Gimble and Ricky Turpin – sponsored by RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri – while attendees checked in, caffeinated themselves and found seating. Starting promptly at 9:00 AM, the Chairman welcomed the group, followed by a prayer led by RPT Treasurer Tom Mechler. Fort Bend County Chair, Mike Gibson, then led the U.S. Pledge and the National Anthem was performed by Mr. Gimble and Mr. Turpin. Jennifer Hall, Tarrant County Chair led the Texas pledge and then Cassie Daniel and Jane Cansino (SREC SD-28) led the group to sing “Texas Our Texas”.
Following the opening ceremony, attendees broke into small groups of Urban County Chairs, Rural County Chairs and SREC members. Presentations to the County Chairs included:
- Campaign Finance by Eric Opiela – RPT Assistant General Counsel
- Event Planning and Fundraising by Russell Hayter – Hays County Chair; Sue Evenwel – Titus County Chair and SREC SD 1; Christin Evans – RPT Finance Director
- Event Planning and fundraising by Dianne Edmondson – Denton County Chair; Carl Tepper – Lubbock County Chair; and Christin Evans – RPT Finance Director
- Party Structure, Bylaws and Best Practices by Janet Jackson – Bosque County Chair and SREC SD 22
- Engagement and Recruitment by Frank Steed – Navarro County Chair; Texas Moore – Atascosa County Chair; Cassie Daniel – RPT Organization Director
- Engagement and Recruitment, Bill Fairbrother – Williamson County Chair; Nancy Boston – Bell County Chair; Cassie Daniel – RPT Organization Director
The SREC members had a quick special meeting to fill the vacancies of a few county chairs. Following the official RPT business, presentations to the SREC members included:
- SREC Committees – Officials and Rules Committees from Jean McIver – SREC SD 12; Party Organization and Grassroots Club, Candy Noble – SREC SD 8; Volunteerism and Auxiliaries and Coalitions, Tina Gibson – SREC SD 17; Candidate Resource Committee; Resolutions, Vergel Cruz – SREC SD 15; Jane Cansino – SREC SD 28.
- Making Connections – Randy Samuelson – SREC SD 14
- Planning and Senate District Meeting – Becky Berger – SREC SD 18
- Finances and Reporting – Tom Mechler – RPT Treasurer and Tom Washington – RPT Assistant Treasurer
Following the morning sessions, attendees had a break before lunch to make their way upstairs to the 18thfloor of the Hilton Garden Inn to enjoy a beautiful view of Austin during our afternoon presentations. County Chairs and SREC members were seated with their counterparts from similar regions across the state and asked to share challenges and solutions.
Upon the conclusion of lunch, Carl Tepper, Lubbock County Chair and President of the Texas Republican County Chairs Association, spoke briefly about the benefits of membership in their organization. They also announced their scholarship program which paid some of the travel expenses for 10 county chairs who otherwise may not have been able to attend.
The afternoon session – which was attended by County Chairs and SREC members, provided the following training:
- State Party Update – Steve Munisteri, RPT Chairman
- Parliamentary Procedure – Butch Davis – RPT Parliamentarian
- Engagement Updates – Melissa Fwu – RPT Asian American Engagement Director; Tommy Coleman – RPT African American Engagement Director; Rachel Wilson – RPT Youth Outreach Director; David Zapata – RPT Hispanic Engagement Director
- Messaging and Media – Amy Clark – RPT Vice Chair
- Victory 2014 and GOTV Nuts and Bolts – John Jackson – RNC Texas State Victory Director; John McCord – RPT Political Director
- GOP Data Center and Bridgetree – Dan Dodds – Abbott for Governor Deputy Data Director
The reviews from the training are in with many compliments to all of our presenters, including “Very informative, well worth attending”; “Thank you”; “Excellent program. All speakers interesting and very useful information”; “This has been very motivating! I feel more prepared and ready to make a great effort!”
We echo the attendees’ sentiments with a big THANK YOU to all of our presenters. You have provided our party leadership with invaluable tools to organize their counties, to grow our party and to Keep Texas prosperous by electing Republicans in November!