It’s 2019! Here’s What’s Next

“It’s 2019!  Here’s What’s Next”Douglas Sanders

First of all, on behalf of your Llano County Republican Party, I want to wish each of you a very happy and prosperous New Year.  I also want to thank you again for your financial contributions to your LCRP and your GOTV time commitment which made it possible for us to reach our “Eighty in ‘18” GOTV goal.  Well done! You made history in Llano County!

That said, no individual or organization can rest on past accomplishments and expect to achieve more success.  In our case, “success” is continuing to preserve and promote the conservative principles on which our great Country was founded and on which it has thrived — despite repeated and on-going attacks and efforts to undermine and destroy it.  We can only do this by supporting and electing dedicated Republicans to office. Those, who not only fight for our conservative principles, but who also actively support other conservatives through their steadfast active support of their County, State and National Republican Parties.

The Executive Committee of your LCRP met last week and established priorities for 2019.  You should be aware that leadership representatives from all four Llano County Conservative Organizations are part of the LCRP’s Executive Committee and that it is our goal to work “hand in glove” to accomplish these priorities.  Our priorities for 2019 are as follows:

1. Expanding Llano County’s Republican Voter Base

As you may know, Republicans won every state-wide election in 2018, but lost handily in the regional and urban races.  For example, we had 4 out of 6 Austin Court of Appeals justices on the ballot in 2018 and all 4 were defeated.  We lost these crucial positions because Travis County (Austin) Democrats turned out in overwhelming numbers and eclipsed the rural counties’ Republican votes.

How can Llano County and other rural counties avoid a repeat result in 2020?  By each rural county increasing its Republican voter base.  It has been calculated that if all of the rural counties in the Austin Court of Appeals political district had turned out 10% more Republican voters, the Republicans would have won every one of the Austin Court of Appeals races.  More Republican voter turn-out and expanding the Republican voter base is, therefore, critical for success in 2020 and is a top priority of the RPT.

Your LCRP is implementing specific strategies to reach the 20% of Llano County’s registered Republican voters who did not vote in 2018 and get them engaged in the political fight for our Country.  We are also focusing on “swing” voters who are registered, but who, for whatever reason, did not vote.  Reaching these two groups alone will significantly increase Llano County’s “political punch.”

In addition to the foregoing, every day new residents are moving into Llano County.  Your LCRP is targeting these new residents for registration with an eye to also get them politically involved—and to vote Republican.  Finally, your LCRP is working with other Counties in our region to increase our Republican outreach to our Youth and to our Minority Community.  Continue to watch for more news on that in the months ahead.

As stated above, not only the LCRP, but every one of the conservative organizations in Llano County is actively engaged in this project.  Each of these organizations, through their speaker programs and activities, enable conservatives to “stay informed and engaged” in the critical political fight for America.  Membership in one or more of these organizations is a key element for our success and is something your LCRP is striving to achieve.  So, if you have not joined Star Republican Women, Highland Lakes Republican Women, Llano County Republican Club and/or the Llano Tea Party—-please do so!  There is power in numbers and this is a fight that must be won!

2. Active Involvement in All Upcoming Elections
A. Non-Partisan Elections :

This year, we have several upcoming non-partisan elections.  In May, your Llano County Independent School District and the City of Llano have elections.  In November, the City of Horseshoe Bay has its election. Turn out in these elections has historically been very low.  That needs to change and, with your active participation, it will.  How the largest cities in Llano County are managed matters!  Similarly, how the schools in our County are managed matters! In most cases, the largest portion of your property tax bill is your School District taxes.  You should care how your money is being spent and whether our school children are getting “full bang for your buck.”  School Board Trustees make those decisions and we need to ensure that qualified, conservative Trustees oversee the schooling of our children in Llano County.  If you live in either the City of Llano or the City of Horseshoe Bay, how your elected representatives spend your tax dollars directly affects your life.  Again, having qualified, conservative representatives is crucial.

Now, these elections are “non-partisan”—meaning that a candidate does not have to formally run as a Republican, Democrat, or Independent.  It does not mean, however, that political philosophies and agendas are absent. Quite the contrary.  One of the Democrats’ key strategies is to put liberal Democrats in these important “non-partisan” positions and, once in office, for them vote to use tax dollars to implement radical “progressive” changes.

Your LCRP intends to research each candidate for these non-partisan positions to determine their Party affiliation and political philosophy.  Regardless of what a candidate says, if he or she votes Democrat, then he or she must believe in bigger government, more government spending and a liberal political agenda.  This is not what we need or want on our School Board nor on our City Councils.  If there is another qualified candidate, who is a true Republican and/or who holds a philosophy consistent with Republican conservative principles, then your LCRP intends to actively support that candidate’s election through GOTV efforts and financially, if necessary.  If there is not such a candidate who steps forward, then efforts will be made to recruit good conservative candidates to run for the position.  Stated differently, your LCRP, with its Conservative County Organization partners, will fight to prevent the Democrats from advancing their radical agenda in any of these “non-partisan” elections.  In order to succeed, however, you must do your part and vote in these crucial elections!  You rose to the occasion last year, I know you will answer the call this year as well.

B. Upcoming Partisan Elections

Partisan elections commence again in 2020.  Although that is a year away, the political ground-work for identifying and electing good conservative Republican Officeholders has already begun.  Unlike School Board elections or municipal elections, the Llano County elections in 2020 are partisan—meaning that a candidate either runs with the support of the Party as either a Democrat or Republican or runs without the Party’s support as an Independent. Our political climate today does not embrace candidates who run under the Party banner in order to secure an elected position and then do nothing to help their County, State and National Republican Parties to advance other party candidates.  Plenty of people can do the elected County jobs.  Indeed, a number of the positions were filled last time by individuals who had no prior experience in the position for which they were running.  What is needed are true conservative leaders who not only perform their job, but who are willing to commit a portion of their financial resources and a portion of their time supporting their County Republican Party (as well as the State and National Republican Party, if economically possible).  Your LCRP is committed to identifying and actively supporting such candidates for elective office in 2020.  We are also committed to informing you, the voters, of who those candidates are so that you can make an informed decision in the voting booth. As an aside, I would add that your LCRP will not be asking any Llano County Republican Officeholder to do anything that the non-paid members of the LCRP’s Executive Committee have not already done last year, this year, and will do in the years to come.

In closing, 2019 promises to be a busy year with much to do and much to accomplish.  Your LCRP, and its County Conservative Organization partners, are energized and up to the challenge.  As with our history making achievements last year, none of our goals can be accomplished without your active support.  I know you will acquit yourselves well once again!  May God bless each of you and may God bless America and keep her Strong!

Doug Sanders, Chairman—Llano County Republican Party