President’s Message – November 2018
Do you remember talking about how shameful it was that Texas was 47th in voter turnout? We really wanted Texans to participate in the voting process this election cycle, and boy did we get it; only in some counties across the state, it did not quite play out as expected.
This election cycle seemed to be all over the place, I would not know where to begin. My take on the election is that there are as many reasons Republicans did not fare well as there are voters. Just this past weekend I was with some girlfriends, who tend to vote Republican, but not straight ticket. They told me they voted for every Republican except one or two, and their one or two were varied. The reasons for not voting straight ticket was that they did not ‘like’ the candidate. Personally, I vote on issues not whether or not I want to grab a pizza and beer with a candidate. I vote with my head not my heart. But here’s the thing, we cannot trivialize why these voters, many the (average suburban female) voted the way they did. These women are sending us a clear message, and that message may be that they do not like the status quo; the members of the Texas Federation of Republican women need to listen and respond.
How we respond to the 2018 Midterm Elections is important. Do we respond by wearing silly hats and protesting at the Capitol? Maybe ask for a recount in all the judicial races we lost? No, we are Republican Women and that’s not how we roll, we look inward, figure out what we did wrong, roll up our sleeves and get to work. If I were to blame the TFRW for this election results, I would say we did not have strong membership numbers, we did not train enough women to run for office, and we need to be more visible.
We need to increase membership. If we do not increase our numbers we will have less workers to deploy to campaigns. We need to take membership far more seriously, and we need our elected officials to plug TFRW every time they are at an event. Every woman who attends a Republican event should be a member of TFRW, it’s that simple.
Second, we need more women to run for office. Clarisa Dvorak is our new Candidate Development Chairperson, and she has a plan, more to come on that in the newsletter. One woman I spoke with said in the down ballots if she did not know either candidate she voted for the woman. Yikes, but true for a lot of women this go round.
Third, the Texas Federation of Republican Women needs to be more vocal and more visible this legislative season. We need to be out there more, and this starts in our clubs, I am amazed at how many of our own members still do not know who and what the TFRW is and how they fit into the puzzle. We need more self-promotion.
I am already focused on 2020 and making sure that our organization is at its best, so we can give Republicans our best.
Karen C. Newton, President