At the Republican Party of Texas State Convention one of the duties of the elected delegates in attendance is to elect a male and female from each Texas State Senate district to serve on the State Republican Executive Committee which overseas and provides guidence to the Republican Party of Texas.
McLennan County Republican activist and Waco lawyer Chris DeCluitt was the current SREC committeeman for SD-22 who was running for reelection. He was challenged by McLennan County businessman Jimmie Kerr.
In politics everything is local, especially a local election decided by a couple hundred elected delegates from SD-22 to the state convention. Conventional wisdom is that DeCluitt is a part of the McLennan County Republican establishment that holds the County Chair position, other local Republican offices and that runs the McLennan County Republican Party and the local Republican club that meets in Waco. Kerr was on the outside of that establishment, allying himself with the Waco TEA Party and newly motivated activists angry at the status quo. Note that the Waco TEA Party is a non partisan organization that does not endorse candidates or political parties, of course their members can and do personally endorse and work for candidates.
Janet Jackson of Bosque County and Molly Smith of McLennan County were the two candidates running for the open SREC committeewomen seat. The story for Smith and Jackson is the same as DeCluitt vs Kerr. Jackson was pervieced as the outsider and Smith as the status quo.
Jimmie Kerr and Janet Jackson both won election to the SREC to represent SD-22.
Now how does this apply to the SD-22 Special Election happening tomorrow between former SD-22 Texas State Senator David Sibley and 9/11 Pentagon survivor Lt. Col. (Ret.) Brian Birdwell, founder of Face the Fire ministries?
It is obvious from the SREC elections that political power is shifting within SD-22 away from its historic McLennan County base and the group people who have run the McLennan County Republican Party for the past decade.
Sibley could be hurt by this because he is from McLennan County and is perceived by some as the status quo that they are upset with by being a former State Senator and by being supported by the Waco Republican establishment.
On the other hand Sibley’s strongest weak point in some people’s eyes is his strongest asset in other people’s eyes. Sibley portrays himself as the former SD-22 Senator who knows the district, its problems and people. As a former Senator and lobbyist who knows how the Capitol works he would be ready to work on day one who could protect SD-22 during the mess that redistricting is surly to bring.
Granted the elected delegates to the state convention that voted the new SREC members into office are much more attuned to the ins and out of the local political scene that the average voter does not know about and does not care to know about. Has this appetite for dare I say “change” sunk in with the general voting public in SD-22? We will find out tomorrow…watch the poll results come in from the Texas Secretary of States office here after 7:00 PM.
For previous posts covering this campaign search for “SD-22″ in the side bar on the bottom right hand side of this page.