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November 13, 2019      9:18 AM

In race to lead the Texas GOP, Chairman Dickey promotes building party infrastructure while challenger West focuses on life story

Meantime, TLR Chairman Dick Weekley begins public speaking tour aimed at informing Republican grassroots activists of the threat of a Democratic takeover of the Texas House

SAN ANTONIO – With warmup acts including Texans for Lawsuit Reform Chairman Dick Weekley, Betty Cardenas of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly and others, the candidates to lead the Republican Party of Texas this holiday weekend sparred in the Alamo City over which of them is best qualified to lead the state’s majority party.

It should not have been lost on anyone in attendance that the race could prove critical heading into an election year that may see Texas Democrats as competitive as they’ve been in a generation. The hour-long debate at The Restoring Church, which just happens to be in Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer’s district, between RPT Chairman James Dickey and his challenger Lt. Col. (Ret.) Allen West was respectful and lighthearted at times. In fact, a Mariachi band played as the two walked onstage. It was an appropriate introduction at a time when Hispanic outreach is thought of as key for the GOP to retain its firm grip on control in Austin.

Though they’re playing nice for now, longtime observers of Republican politics say the race between Dickey and West is likely to become a nasty fight culminating in a vote by the delegates at the party’s convention in Houston in May. Meanwhile the Democrats, those observers noted, will be looking to build on their momentum following historic gains in legislative races coupled with the closest statewide election results in decades.

Dickey, the former Travis County GOP Chairman first selected in 2017 by the State Republican Executive Committee to succeed former RPT Chairman Tom Mechler when he stepped aside, said the total political spend in Texas will be around $1 billion spread across races in 2020.

By Scott Braddock

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