Johnson and Parker counties switched from majority of all Democratic public office holders to all Republican in recent years. Without involvement and vigilance both counties could just as easily return Democratic in the coming years, guests and members of the Johnson County Republican Women’s Club said Tuesday.
Parker County Republican Party Chairwoman and self-proclaimed grass-roots activist Zan Prince discussed the need for political involvement during Tuesday’s monthly luncheon of the JCRW.
“Don’t leave your contribution on the sidelines,” Prince said. “Don’t believe you don’t know enough to tell our story. I became an activist because I cared about issues important to my family. Get involved. Tell your story. No one else has one like yours.”
Former Johnson County Republican Party Chairman Henry Teich agreed.
“Around 1992, ’94 the Democrats controlled Johnson County but they took that control for granted, which turned out to be one of their greatest mistakes,” Teich said. “Republicans control the county now, but if we get comfortable it’s going to be ours to lose.”
Becky Cathey, an aide to U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, told attendees that Battleground Texas, a group working toward turning Texas democratic, has targeted Johnson County and other Republican strongholds.
That and other factors, Prince said, mean Republicans must work hard if they want to continue to dominate local and state politics.
“The war’s not finished,” Prince said. “We’re always in the next battle to make sure we remain in authority to affect the change our counties want.”
Prince urged residents to get involved — by serving as a precinct chair, election worker or activist or simply by discussing the candidates of your choice with fellow residents.
“A lot of people vote based on 10-second sound bites or a sign or bumper sticker they saw that day,” Prince said. “What we want is to register and educate voters then get them to turn out on election day and work toward fair elections.”
Of eligible voters in Texas about 76 percent are registered, Prince said. Of that amount about 20 percent on average tend to turn out for elections.
For those reasons, Prince said it’s important for those already politically involved and active to educate themselves on the issues and candidates so they in turn can educate others and tell them why their votes, and the issues, matter.
“Tell why their vote matters, talk about solutions and tell your story,” Prince said. “For me I’m Republican because I believe the principals adopted in the party’s platform are most close to my values, and I have no use for the other party’s platform.”
Prince said it’s important to be active not only in races fielding Republican candidates but also amendment elections and nonpartisan municipal and school board elections.
“The results of those elections are important and make a difference, too,” Prince said.