Although she was born in Weston, Virginia, and spent most of her childhood in Akron, Ohio, Rene Poe often says, “I got to Texas as fast as I could about 55 years ago.”
Fortunately, Poe is not like many of the transplants Texas is currently experiencing. Rather than try to make Texas more like the rest of the nation, Poe loves everything about the Lone Star State. As vice president of the Hood County Tea Party in Granbury, she has been highly active in matters of importance across all levels of government.
Like many other activists, she wasn’t always involved, but slowly began to pay much closer attention to the issues.
“For many years I was someone who just showed up at the polls to vote in the presidential elections, and most of the time was totally uninformed.” Poe says. “When Obama got elected the first time, I began to study the issues a little more, and said, ‘I’m not going to just sit here on the couch, wringing my hands, and complain about how awfully things were going.’”
Shortly after that, Poe was called to head up a volunteer group in Hood County for a congressional race. After becoming more involved in the grassroots, she quickly discovered that the Republican label wasn’t always appropriately applied.
“I found that my leanings were a bit more conservative than some of my friends in this group. In 2009, when the Tea Party movement began, my husband and I were asked if we’d start a Tea Party here in Granbury—the rest is history.”
The Hood County Tea Party is a case study in leadership. Ballooning in membership since its advent, the group is now nearly thirty times larger than when it started.
“We have gone from seven people chipping in $20 each to get it started to a membership of over 200,” said Poe.
The group has been a formidable force in local and state politics as well. Though they meet once a month, they cover the gamut of local and state issues. They also encourage their members to put their money where their mouth is—by getting involved in local races.
On their goals, Poe says, “We try to keep our members informed on what is happening locally, in our state, and in Washington, D.C. Our goal for 2015 is to get our members certified to register people to vote, and encourage members to set aside $25 a month for the purpose of funding a good conservative candidate.”
As a wife, mother, grandmother, and even a great grandmother, Poe says she sometimes gets weary of the never-ending fight inherent in politics. When, inevitably, that exhaustion sets in she reminds herself, “Our country needs everyone doing something. I do what I do because I have seen America at its best, and I want to help revive that for my family. I love our state, and want to do my part at keeping it the best state in the U.S.A.”