Posted: 6:19 p.m. Monday, June 05, 2017
Ousted local party chairman Robert Morrow says he is back in the running for Travis County GOP chair.
Former Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman says the GOP should focus on winning voter referenda.
Local political strategist Matt Mackowiak said he is looking to keep the party on course.
Precinct chairs will elect the next chair at their June 13 meeting.
What should have been a quiet election for chair of the Travis County Republican Party grew many new avenues of intrigue on Monday with candidates now including a lewd conspiracy theorist, an outspoken former Austin City Council member and a local party insider.
Ousted chairman Robert Morrow, whose dark horse win in the 2016 Republican primary thrust the local party into discombobulation after many became aware of his crude social media presence and conspiracy theories, confirmed to the American-Statesman via Twitter that he’s running again for the post.
“You should not even have to ask that brother!” posted Morrow, who was removed from the chairman’s post last fall when he filed as a write-in candidate for president. “I am running for (party) chair with a platform to impeach Trump and stop the Bush crime family.”
That came after former Austin City Council member Don Zimmerman (who once nearly tricked the council into adopting a portion of a Satanic website into a resolution to make a rhetorical point) announced he is in race.
Also running is Matt Mackowiak, who has served as a precinct chair and was appointed vice chair of the party. Mackowiak, whose guest commentaries occasionally appear in the American-Statesman, said he was not expecting to run.
Each candidate will have about a week to make his case. Precinct chairs will decide between the contenders at their next meeting on June 13. The election to run the Travis County Republican Party comes after James Dickey resigned upon winning election to chair of the state GOP on Saturday.
Mackowiak said he would continue the course of the local party, which has been rebuilding since Morrow’s brief and tumultuous chairmanship last year.
“My vision for the Travis County GOP is to raise money so we can be organizationally strong, all while recruiting candidates and volunteers, helping our local campaigns, weighing in on legislation at the Capitol, and defending and promoting our platform,” Mackowiak said.
Zimmerman, who lost reelection in November to Council Member Jimmy Flannigan, said he would focus on ballot referenda as a way to energize the party and build a “farm team” of candidates. He pointed to the recent defeat of a Round Rock school district bond package, which he campaigned against.
“I have a lifetime of consistent support for constitutionally limited government, as defined by the Republican Party platform, and would like to apply my extensive experience locally in Travis County,” Zimmerman said.