The following convention report was submitted for publication by Terry Harman. Harman is the incumbent chairman of the Randall County Republican Party, served as a delegate to this year's state convention and was a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention.
With great anticipation Republicans across Texas gathered in San Antonio in June to convene the 2018 Texas Republican State Convention. The 8,000 plus Texas delegates hold the largest conservative convention in the United States. Delegates and alternates were elected at their respective county conventions to earn the privilege of representing their county at the biennial event. At the State Convention delegates elect state Republican officials and discuss the State Platform which outlines the principles for which Texas Republicans support. Highlights were the several speakers that motivated the crowd, including Dr. Ben Carson, Senator John Cornyn, Senator Ted Cruz, and several congressmen and Texas officials. Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick were the headliners, elaborating their plans for the State and the coming legislative session in 2019. Border security, immigration, taxes and state spending were the most stressed issues. Special emphasis on Republican turn-out at the polls in November was expressed by all speakers.
Hundreds of delegates begin committee meetings early in the week to plan presentations to the state wide delegates for their decisions on Credentials, Rules, Platform and Legislative Priorities. Anyone desiring to discuss their ideas with these committees were welcome to appear and stress their beliefs to the committee in hopes of influencing the final document presented to the convention. Especially, the platform reflects the fundamental philosophy of Republicans and receives a thorough discussion on all issues thus resulting in a true representation of delegates. With this large of a group, diversity of opinion always exists to set the stage for energized discussion. This year’s platform had 331 separate planks which were voted on individually by delegates. The final Platform can be viewed at www.texasgop.com.
Legislative Priorities passed were:
Constitutional Carry-recommended to be passed
Tax-Payer Funded Lobbying-abolish tax-payer-funded lobbying
Abortion-abolish abortion and ignore and refuse any action that would deprive an unborn child of the right to life
Property Tax-Abolish the Maintenance and Operation School Property tax and replace with a consumption tax other than an income tax
Religious Freedom and Privacy-Pass legislation prohibiting local or state law from violation of rights to exercise sincerely held religious beliefs. Pass legislation that protects the privacy and safety of women and children in multi-use facilities in Texas schools and government buildings.