The biennial National Federation of Republican Assemblies Convention held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at DFWAirport from September 12 to 15 produced an enthused and fired up group of conservatives from many state Assemblies, including the Hawaii Republican Assembly. A highlight of the event was the speech by U. S. Representative Louie Gohmert from Tyler, Texas. Congressman Gohmert provided an update on Washington politics and the GOP-led effort to strip Obamacare funding from the budget resolution. At the conclusion of his speech, Rep. Gohmert was surprised when he was presented the NFRA Patriot of the Year Award.
Other speakers included Elliott Guillory, the Louisiana state senator who recently left the Democrat Party to become a Republican. Senator Guillory clearly explained why he felt the Republican Party represents the traditional values with which he was raised and how the Democrat Party has become a party of special interests and lack of personal responsibility.
Long-time President Ron Martin of Destin, Florida, stepped down as president due to expanding business responsibilities. At the Board meeting on Sunday morning, Sharon Angle of Reno, Nevada, was elected as the new NFRA President. Sharon has been the NFRA Executive VP and previously ran a hard race against Sen. Harry Reid. And she appeared at the TXRA booth at the 2012 Republican State Convention. Sharon is scheduled to give the keynote speech at the Texas Republican Assembly endorsing convention in January 2014.
James Dickey of Austin and Flower Mound was re-elected as an NFRA Regional VP.
Although the NFRA official Presidential Preference Poll is only held every four years, the NFRA ran a straw poll to indicate early support for potential presidential candidates in the 2016 election. While not an official NFRA position, the results of the poll were:
Ted Cruz – 50.0%
Rand Paul – 29.0%
Rick Perry – 6.0%
Marco Rubio – 4.0%
Scott Walker – 4.0%
Rick Santorum – 3.0%
Ben Carson (write in) – 1.5%
[To Be Determined] – 1.5%
Jeb Bush – 0.0%
Chris Christie – 0.0%
Interestingly, the Bush vote is the same that his brother George W. received at the 1999 NFRA endorsing convention in Kansas City.
At the TXRA portion of the convention, a number of suggested Bylaws changes were received from the committee chaired by James Dickey and were adopted. Dues from local chapters to the TXRA were increased because of the increase in dues assessments by the NFRA to the various state Assemblies.
Rudy Cajka of Denton (Robson Ranch) was re-elected as NFRA National Committeeman from Texas and Melba McDow of Arlington was re-elected as NFRA National Committeewoman from Texas. Steve Hollern (Fort Worth) was elected as president, a position he previously held from 1999 to 2005. Gary Crowder (Austin) was elected TXRA Vice President. Elected as senate district representatives on the TXRA Board were Mona Bailey (Fort Worth) for SD 9, David Wyman (Mansfield) for SD 10, and Bill Lawrence (Highland Village) for SD 12.
The TXRA statewide endorsing convention will be held on January 24 and 25 at the Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth. Plans are presently in process and more information on registration and the timetable will be provided soon.