Greater Houston Key to Primary Victories

Friday, February 7, 2014
posted by elizabeth @ 10:36 AM

The television stations love it.  The radio stations love it.  And the newspapers love it as well.   What do they love?  They love the fact that the greater Houston region is one of the keys to winning in the Republican primary for a statewide race.  This translates into major political advertising dollars being spent in the region during the Republican primary.  With such a large media market, it is important to spend time and resources here.

 Although the region is made up of a number of other counties, three of the most important ones, when it comes to winning votes for a statewide race in the Republican primary, are Harris, Ft. Bend and Montgomery Counties.  If you go back to what many in the Republican Party in Texas consider the John Tower Era, the early 1960s up until the early 1980s, you see the growth and strength of the Republican Party increasing in Texas, particularly in the greater Houston region.  The John Tower Era is named after the late U.S. Senator John Tower who is widely recognized as one of the Fathers of the modern Republican Party of Texas.  As a side note, I would be remiss if I did not recognize one of the woman who was a trailblazer in shaping the modern Republican Party of Texas, Mrs. Joci Straus.  Men and women like Tower and Straus were some of the leaders who helped move the Republican Party of Texas from meeting in a phone booth to a battle tested and dominant statewide political party.  As the Tower Era began to take hold, races for statewide office were becoming competitive.  As a result, those running for a statewide office in the Republican primary had to begin to look at how to maximize their time and resources.  As a result, the greater Houston region became, and still is today, a target rich environment. 

According to local attorney Robert Miller’s calculations, in 2012, 21.51% of the Republican primary votes came from the greater Houston region. With a large population, that translates into large numbers of party organizations and clubs.  Many of the Republican clubs and organizations in the Houston region are strong and powerful.  Furthermore, they are large in numbers.   The combination of these factors means that many of them are influential when it comes to winning the Republican primary in a statewide race.  When a candidate is running in a statewide race in the Republican primary, they have to come to the area to get the endorsements of the top Republican leaders in these groups as well as the groups themselves.  There are literally hundreds of Republican groups and clubs in the greater Houston region.  Candidates spend considerable time and effort in the region seeking votes, endorsements, money and support from individual members of the more influential groups.  Some of these include the King Street Patriots, C Club, Houston Realty Business Coalition, Kingwood Tea Party, Clear Lake Tea Party, Village Republican Women, Cy Fair Republican Women, San Jacinto Republican Women, Texas Tea Republican Women and Magic Circle.  There are many that I have left out, but this is a list of some of those that hold influence in the primary process.

The road to victory for candidates running in a statewide race in the Republican primary runs through the greater Houston region.  Those who do not recognize this and do not plan accordingly, will fail to win.  As the economy in the region continues to grow so will the influence the region has in the Republican primary as it relates to statewide races. 

-Andrew Biar

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