RPT Chairman James Dickey Challenged by Allen West with Trite Stale Words

With the most Cash-On-Hand the partys ever had $4.4 million we have 1000s of volunteers already on record" says Dickey.

By Sonja Harris

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AUSTIN Texas (Texas Insider Report)  The 2020 Republican State Convention of Texas will be held in Houston from Monday May 11th to Saturday May 16th It isnt too far away.

The current Republican Party of Texas State Chairman James Dickey is being challenged for that position by Allen West a retired Army Lt. Col. and former Florida Congressman with only one term under his belt.

I have now heard both Mr. Dickey and Mr. West articulate their qualifications in at least two forums and have heard several interviews of each.

Information We Should All Know about James Dickey

The incumbent James Dickey moved to Fort Worth with his family in 1976 where his dad was a Hospice and terminal illness Chaplain. He considers Fort Worth his home as he went to middle and high school there.

Dickey has remained loyal to Texas conservative issues and principles.

He has been in office since Saturday June 3 2017 when he was elected by State Republican Executive Committee members after Tom Mechler resigned the chairmanship unexpectedly.

Dickey was then duly elected to the position at the 2018 Texas State Convention by the delegates.

A Little Background on Allen West

Mr. West moved to Texas from Florida in 2014 just before he became the CEO of the now-defunct National Center for Policy Analysis in January 2015. Prior to moving to Texas he served in Congress representing the 22nd Congressional District of Florida for only one term.

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He lost reelection to a Democrat even though this race had raised more money than any other race in history.

We must always be grateful for the men and women that serve to keep our country free. Nonetheless sometimes there are circumstances that should be brought out. While serving in Iraq West was embroiled in an incident that led to his retirement in 2004.

Thoughts on Dickeys & Wests Public Forum Appearances

I attended the Bienvenidos Forum in San Antonio on November 8 2019 and listened to the Tarrant County Forum via Facebook on January 4 2020. Daniel Garza of Libre Initiative served as the moderator for Bienvenidos and Kevin Carey president of the Texas Republican Assembly from Tarrant County was the moderator at the Tarrant County event. Both forums were over one hour and both were a question and answer format.

West was not able to be present at the Tarrant County Forum even though he had committed to the event. His North Carolina political engagement of moderating the Lt. Gov. debate there took precedence and did not allow for his return. He participated via Skype which provided very poor audio at times.

Not showing up to a forum after saying he would do so does not leave much of a positive impression for a leadership position.

Dickey has a long history with the Republican Party of Texas including his serving as County Chairman of the Travis County Republican Party. He has served as a delegate to County State Senatorial and National Conventions as well. He has served as both Precinct chair and Precinct captain.

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When asked why he felt he could be chairman Dickey quickly responded that he has a unique set of skills to raise money for the party" explaining that In Texas we believe in freedom so people are allowed to support all their candidates at an unlimited level. Its not like the federal level (where there are contribution limits) so we have donors who give million dollars each… to the governor for his campaign for example. So in the state party thats a unique set of skills to raise money for the party. Ive done that in Travis County of all places so I knew I could do that for the Republican Party of Texas."

Wests experience is very different and to his credit he acknowledges that fact.

When you talk about qualifications for being in any type of leadership position in the United States of America youre looking at people that have stepped up and have done that including myself. And all Im looking at is continuing to serve and the sacrifice and commitment that I made on 31 July 1982 to not just the United State of America but also to the great state of Texas."

As to the losses suffered by Texas Republicans in the 2018 election its obvious that subject drives Dickey. According to Dickey he admits that the Democrats outworked us."

Texas Republicans were complacent and the Democrats werent.

After the 2018 convention and his election as Republican Party Chairman Dickey said We moved forward" clarifying that by saying Weve done it with the legislature fundraising and with recruiting candidates."

He stated that the Republican Party of Texas field staff has more than doubled under his leadership and that there are already 10000 new Republican registered voters.

We just ended the year with the most cash on hand the party has ever had $4.4 million and we have thousands of volunteers already on record" Dickey said.

His goal is to reach 10000 volunteers registering 10 new voters each bringing in a total of 100000 newly registered voters.

West most often speaks in generalities and lacks specifics probably because he doesnt quite understand what actions are needed in Texas to win in the November General Election.

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In both the forums I observed he mentioned that Progressive-Socialist Democrats are gaining in other states as has been seen in Virginias Prince George and Fairfax Counties and noted that Texas is now considered by many to be a Battleground State.

Dickey referenced Senator Ted Cruz barely winning reelection and his loss in Tarrant County.

West is convinced that if you take the Republican message to the Hispanic and black communities and offer a clear conservative message about faith family and individual responsibility to these communities they will vote for us."

Dickeys approach is to elect more Republicans.

During Dickeys term as party chair the Republican Party has been working to recruit conservative candidates and for the first time in history theres not an unchallenged Texas Democrat Congressman running in Texas. We also have the smallest number of unchallenged Democrats in the Texas State House ever."

As an added bonus Dickey told me We have more candidates 1700 in the Republican Primary than Texas Democrats have in their Primary running for office."

When asked about the salary expectation Dickey explained that the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) acts as the board of the Republican Party of Texas and that they set policies and procedures as well as the partys budget. The current budget approved by the SREC includes a $150000 a year salary for the individual serving as chairman.

Dickey further explained that any changes would require a vote from the SREC adding that the convention delegates have a right to change that in fairly dramatic" ways if they so choose.

Dickey makes clear that the partys chairman is responsible for raising the money that goes into expanding the party.

We ended the 2019 year with $4.4 million cash on hand for the first time ever. For the record before I became chair the amount was $2 million."

West answered the salary expectation question by saying The salary that I get is the satisfaction knowing that we helped Texas knowing that we won back the seats we lost in 2018. Im not asking for any compensation Im going in there to do a job."

Mr. West often refers to the historic fundraising he did when he ran for Congress in Florida. According to an article dated December 6 2012 in Politico West spent $18 million in a losing effort against his Democrat opponent who spent $4.2 million.

Col. West is receiving a pension from the Army and is serving in the Army Reserves. He is also making a bundle from the sales of his book and receives a fee for his national speaking engagements.

My question was or is if he raised so much money for his Congressional race in Florida Why did he lose?"

Listen Delegates all that glitters is not gold. It would be insane to change horses in the middle of such a critical election as were facing in 2020.

Mr. West will most probably write a book on his adventures" as a Republican Party Chairman IF you allow him to win. Dont be so nave as to believe he is doing this job without compensation.

Oh and BTW he said hell continue to travel out of state if the opportunity arises. This will no doubt take him away from his duties as Republican Party Chairman should he win.

One last note not real sure what the important thing" is since West uses this term to describe just about everything.

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Contact your Republican County Chairman for more information if youd like to be a delegate to the Texas State Convention.

Sonja Harris of San Antonio blogs for Conservatives in Action under the name of Red Sonja. She welcomes feed back at libertyphoto@att.net

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