Republican Party of Texas
|Republican Party of Texas|
|Senate leader||David Dewhurst|
|House leader||Joe Straus|
|Headquarters||1108 Lavaca, Suite 500
Austin, Texas 78701
|National affiliation||Republican Party|
|Seats in State Upper Houses|
|Seats in State Lower Houses|
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
The Republican Party of Texas (RPT) is one of the two major political parties in the U.S. State of Texas. It is affiliated with the United States Republican Party. The State Chairman is Steve Munisteri, a retired attorney and businessman from Houston, and the Vice-Chair is Melinda Fredricks of Conroe. The RPT is headquartered in Downtown Austin. The RPT's mission is to promote a conservative philosophy of government by promoting conservative principles and by providing the infrastructure through which those who share our conservative principles can get involved in the political process, run for and be elected to public office, and govern according to our principles when elected. The RPT is legally classified as a political action committee whose structure is determined by state law & by party rules not in conflict with state law.
Since the days of Reconstruction, the Republican Party of Texas went through over 100 years of being a minority party in the state. In 1870, Edmund Davis was elected Governor, but was soundly defeated in 1874. In the year 1876, Republicans had made gradual gains in Texas, earning nearly one-third of the statewide vote and electing a small number of candidates to the State Legislature (including several African-Americans). However, by the turn of the century, the Republican Party all but disappeared from Texas with the passage of poll taxes that many poor Texans could not afford to pay. The first Republican statewide primary was held in 1926, but drew only 15,239 voters. By contrast, the Democrat primary in the same year drew 821,234 voters. Only two more Republican primaries would be attempted in the next thirty-four years.
The first signs of life in the modern Republican Party of Texas occurred after U.S. Senator Lyndon B. Johnson was elected Vice-President in 1960, when Texas Republicans claimed their first U.S. Senate victory with the election of John Tower in a special election held in May 1961. Tower would serve in this position until his retirement in 1985. In 1966, two Republicans were elected to the US House of Representatives, including future President George H.W. Bush for the first time since Reconstruction, three Republicans were elected to the Texas House of Representatives and one Republican was elected to the Texas Senate. By 1972, Texas Republicans had made gains to 17 members of the Texas Legislature and 3 members of the Texas Senate.
The true turning point for Texas Republicans occurred in the May 1976 primary, when Ronald Reagan defeated Gerald Ford by a two to one margin in the state's presidential primary. According to former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, due to Reagan's victory in the Texas primary, "the whole shape and nature of the state changed."
104 years after the last Republican governor, Bill Clements eked out a narrow victory in November 1978. Together, Clements and Tower combined their organizational skills to continue building the RPT and started laying the groundwork for future growth. In 1984, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Phil Gramm led a GOP ticket that heavily relied upon the RPT to provide a centralized network of communications. Throughout the rest of the decade, the total Republican vote continued to increase and the party made large gains in both the state legislature and in local races.
Since 1994, every statewide elected office has been held by a Republican. Furthermore, both houses of the Texas Legislature feature Republican majorities. In the State House, Republicans hold a supermajority of 101 Republican representatives in the 150-member body, and in the Texas Senate, Republicans hold 19 of 31 seats. Both houses are officially organized on a bipartisan basis, with both Republicans and Democrats holding committee chairs.
At the federal level, the Texas Congressional delegation is currently composed of 23 Republicans and 9 Democrats and both of its US Senators are Republican. The last time Texas was carried by a Democratic presidential candidate was in 1976.
In its 2012 platform, the Republican Party of Texas rejected the teaching of "Higher Order Thinking Skills... critical thinking skills and similar programs," giving as a reason that this sort of teaching has "the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority." Media ridicule led to a response from RPT Communications Director Chris Elam that the inclusion of the term "critical thinking skills" was an oversight which cannot be corrected until 2014, when the next state convention will occur.
Current elected officials
The Republican Party of Texas controls all elected statewide offices, holds a 19-12 majority in the Texas Senate, and a 95-55 majority in the Texas House of Representatives. Republicans also hold both of the state's U.S. Senate seats and 24 of the state's 36 U.S. House seats.
Members of Congress
U.S. House of Representatives (listed by district number)
- TX-01: Louie Gohmert
- TX-02: Ted Poe
- TX-03: Sam Johnson
- TX-04: Ralph Hall
- TX-05: Jeb Hensarling
- TX-06: Joe Barton
- TX-07: John Culberson
- TX-08: Kevin Brady
- TX-10: Michael McCaul
- TX-11: Mike Conaway
- TX-12: Kay Granger
- TX-13: Mac Thornberry
- TX-14: Randy Weber
- TX-17: Bill Flores
- TX-19: Randy Neugebauer
- TX-21: Lamar S. Smith
- TX-22: Pete Olson
- TX-24: Kenny Marchant
- TX-25: Roger Williams
- TX-26: Michael C. Burgess
- TX-27: Blake Farenthold
- TX-31: John Carter
- TX-32: Pete Sessions
- TX-36: Steve Stockman
- Governor: Rick Perry
- Lieutenant Governor: David Dewhurst
- Attorney General: Greg Abbott
- Comptroller of Public Accounts: Susan Combs
- State Land Commissioner: Jerry Patterson
- State Agriculture Commissioner: Todd Staples
- Railroad Commissioner Chairman: Barry Smitherman
- Railroad Commissioner: David Porter
- Railroad Commissioner: Christi Craddick
- State Chairman: Steve Munisteri
- State Vice-Chairman: Melinda Fredricks
- Secretary: Mandy Tschoepe
- Parliamentarian: Butch Davis
- Sergeant at Arms: Nelda Eppes
- Treasurer: Tom Mechler
- Assistant Treasurer: Tom Washington
- General Counsel: Patrick O'Daniel
- Assistant General Counsel: Eric Opiela
- Chaplain: Rex Johnson
State Republican Executive Committee Members
Biannually, in even-numbered years, delegates at the Texas GOP State Convention elect a man and a woman from each of the thirty-one State Senatorial districts to serve a two-year term on the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC). The State Republican Executive Committee along with the elected State Chair and State Vice Chair manage the affairs of the Republican Party of Texas between state conventions. 
List of State Party Chairmen
- State Party Chairmen since 1976
- Ray Hutchison - (1976-1977)
- Ray Barnhart - (1977-1979)
- Chet Upham - (1979-1983)
- George Strake, Jr. - (1983-1988)
- Fred Meyer (Texas politician) - (1988-1994)
- Tom Pauken - (1994-1997)
- Susan Weddington - (1997-2003)
- Tina Benkiser - (2003-2009)
- Cathie Adams - (2009-2010)
- Steve Munisteri - (2010-present)
The official college Republican Party of Texas' student wing is Texas College Republicans, which has over 35 chapters statewide.
High School Republicans of Texas is the Republican Party of Texas' Official High School Republican Auxiliary with chapters in high schools and communities across Texas. For more information, visit their website at www.hsrtx.org. 
The Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) is a volunteer women's organization that has "long-standing goals of education, training, participation in government, electing Republicans and encouraging Republican women to run for office". TFRW has 164 local clubs across Texas with over 10,000 members.
The Texas Republican County Chairmen's Association (TRCCA) is composed of the elected chairman of the county Republican party organizations in Texas and operates to support and provide networking opportunities for elected Republican county chairmen in Texas.
The Texas Young Republican Federation (TYRF) is an organization composed of Young Republican clubs across Texas which are open to registered voters who are between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. The TYRF goals are grassroots activism, leadership development, community service and club development.
The Texas Federation for Republican Outreach is committed to increasing participation and affiliation of African-American voters within the Republican Party, and to increase the number of elected Republican African-American candidates in Texas.
The Texas Republican Assembly is a grassroots volunteer organization dedicated to promoting and electing conservative Republican candidates in Texas. There are six charter clubs across Texas.
The Republican National Hispanic Assembly has a chapter in Texas, whose mission is to increase participation and affiliation of Hispanic American voters within the Republican Party, and to increase the number of elected Republican Hispanic candidates in Texas.
The Latino National Republican Coalition of Texas believes "in active civic engagement as a means to bridge the gap between the Hispanic Community and the GOP." There are five chapters throughout Texas.
- "History of the Republican Party of Texas". texasgop.org. Archived from the original on April 22, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- "Ronald Reagan: How he changed Texas Politics Forever". chron.com. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
- "And Longtime Democrat Aaron Pena Makes It 101". kwtx.com. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
- Strauss, Valerie. "Texas GOP rejects ‘critical thinking’ skills. Really." Washington Post, 9 July 2012.
- Lach, Eric. "Texas GOP's 2012 Platform Accidentally Opposes Teaching Of 'Critical Thinking Skills' TPM Muckraker, 29 June 2012.
- "Texas College Republicans - The Official Home of the Texas College Republicans". txcollegerepublicans.com. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- "TFRW Home Page". tfrw.org. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- "Texas Republican County Chairmans Association". trcca.org. Archived from the original on August 18, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- "Texas Young Republican Federation". texasyoungrepublicans.com. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- "About Us - Texas Federation for Republican Outreach". txfro.org. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- "Texas Republican Assembly - The Republican Wing of the Republican Party". texasra.org. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- "About Us - The Republican National Hispanic Assembly". rnha.org. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- "Welcome to the Latino National Republican Coalition of Texas". lnrctexas.org. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- The Republican Party of Texas website
- County Party Web Site Directory
- Texas House Republican Caucus
- Texas Federation of republican women
- Texas Ethics Commission
- Texas Young Republican Federation
- 2010 Texas Republican Party Platform