Sunday, January 11, 2009


It's been documented by Kathy Haigler, Secretary of the Republican Party of Texas, that Harris County has a precinct Chair vacancy problem. You can read the numbers here if you're interested, but even the summation will stun:

Countywide, the GOP has a precinct chair vacancy rate of almost 50%.
Countywide the Democrats have a precinct chair vacancy rate of around 26%.

And that was before the county shifted blue. And also probably a good measure of WHY it shifted.

So what's to be done? I can tell you what I'm doing.

While working on a campaign last spring, I got a copy of all Republican primary voters who voted in March. I forgot I had it saved on the computer until last night. In a matter of minutes I had the list sorted by Senate District and precinct. Once I compared it to the list of vacant precincts from the local party, I removed all voters from the precincts that had chairs. Whoever was left was placed on a list to give to activists who are recruiting.

Now the activists will have a list of everyone:

* who cared enough to come out for the primary in March
* who cared enough to vote Republican in an area where Republicans are often scarce
* who voted in a primary that did NOT feature Obama as a choice.

If a precinct has 25 Republican primary voters, it's just a matter of contacting them, getting them together to form a grassroots team, and finding one who agrees to be the party representative by running for precinct chair.

The hard work will be done by the people on the ground doing the recruiting, but hopefully I put a tool in their hands that will get some teams in place before summer.

You learn quickly that there is always something a person can do.

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