In keeping with our effort to provide Texans with the information they need to be informed voters, Texas Scorecard distributed a questionnaire to those running for the lead the Republican Party of Texas as chairman: incumbent James Dickey and challenger Cindy Asche.
We also decided for the first time ever to make a number of the same questions available to those running for the State Republican Executive Committee as well. While we won’t be issuing an endorsement in any of these races, we hope that the responses to these questions will help you decide which man and which woman will best represent your interest on the SREC.
Here are the answers from the Senate District 11 candidates who responded without edits:
Why should Republicans choose you for the SREC?
JT Edwards: I am a battle-tested and proven, Conservative Republican servant-leader for Texas Senate District 11. In the aftermath of a Republican takeover of the White House, I continue to represent Senate District 11 by placing our Conservative Principles and Values first through deeds not words. From defending our State Rights to coordinating the Disaster Response to Hurricane Harvey, his commitment to our District continues to be part of our Conservative success story for Texas. A staunch advocate for our Senate District, I proudly represent our Conservative interests first while boldly adhering to our Principles enshrouded in our Faith, our Families, and our Freedoms. I will continue to fight Democrat Influences in our Party. That means continuing to take on the Democrats point blank in defending our Senate District at the local and State level whether it is environmental issues or protecting our homes from increased Property Taxes propagated by the Democrat-owned taxing entities of municipalities, school boards, and CADs. Protecting our Unborn children, Protecting our 2nd Amendment rights, and limiting the Government in our everyday lives are my top priorities for Texas Senate District 11.
Tanya Robertson: For the last 4 years, I have focused on carrying out the will of grassroots Republicans in SD11, & Texas, along with being a vocal liaison between them & the RPT. This position isn’t about me, it’s about the grassroots Republican voters & activists. My goal is to ensure that the Republican Party of Texas remains a ‘bottom up’ organization.
Texas Republicans control every statewide office and the Texas Legislature by impressive margins. What measures must pass this upcoming session for it to be declared a success?
JT Edwards: The Legislative Priorities set by the 2018 RPT Convention delegates will be the standard by which we shall determine the success of the 86th Lege.
Tanya Robertson: The Legislative Priorities passed by the 9,000 plus Republican delegates at our state convention will be on top of that list along with the rest of our party platform as a guide.
Current party rules allow for the SREC to censure a Republican officeholder that violates the party’s core principles. Do you think we should have this rule? Why or why not?
JT Edwards: Correction: the Party rules allow for the Censure of a Republican officeholder by their local Republican party with the SREC upholding or overturning said Censure. Given the clearly defined process by the delegates of the 2016 RPT Convention, accountability starts and ends with the grassroots. Almost all organizations (especially political parties) have a means of redress in order to hold its members accountable. Being a military veteran, I support the will of my party’s body politic when it comes to the issue of discipline and order amongst our ranks.
Tanya Robertson: The censure rule was written to give county executive committees the authority to censure elected Republicans who have acted in opposition to our party’s core principles. Once passed, if the county executive committee votes to have the censure sent to the SREC for consideration, I have, and will continue to, contemplate their wishes very seriously and vote accordingly.
This process should remain ‘bottom up’ and have a high threshold to pass. (Currently 2/3rds of the body)
Yes, I believe this rule is necessary in order to hold officeholders accountable. The lack of accountability, via our government officeholders, is what drives voters to disengage by leaving them with the feeling that their vote ‘doesn’t matter’. Accountability triggers give Republican activists and voters a reason to stay involved and engaged. Since when has accountability become a bad word? I would personally expect to be held to that same, or higher, standard.
Last year, efforts to censure House Speaker Joe Straus were successful, but efforts to censure State Rep. Byron Cook and other lawmakers were not. What are some examples of actions you believe violate the party’s core principles?
JT Edwards: Not applicable. If you closely examine the process outlined plus the testimony I rendered during our deliberations, the applicable CEC laid out their legitimate processes for redress.
Tanya Robertson: Any action that would jeopardized the God given right to life of a pre-born baby Texan, any action that would jeopardize any Texan’s God given right to free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom to defend life & property, along with any action that would jeopardize our state sovereignty.
Should you be elected, what tangible metrics should Republicans use to determine if you have been successful?
JT Edwards: The role of the SREC is multi-dimensonal in many ways. Local, County, Senatorial District, and Statewide service delivery are the hallmarks. In this vein, I view these hallmarks as:
* Local, state, and national political activism
* Local and state-wide party fundraising
* Guardianship of Republican Party include arbitation, counsel, and leadership to grassroots activism, political disclipline & party order, and elected officeholder engagement & recruitment
* Building a sustainable & viable local Conservative leadership pool (The Bench)
Tanya Robertson: Recorded votes taken at the SREC meetings, communication within the district (where it’s welcomed), hosted training opportunities, and active in grassroots events along with helping Republican candidates, from Precinct Chairs up, with accessible RPT resources would be acceptable tangible metrics. I would not object to the creation of a SREC Scorecard via our recorded vote either.