The last race voters will see on the Republican Primary ballot is the Hays County Republican Chairman. Despite being listed last, this race is key to determining the success of our other Republican candidates, this November and beyond.
In the State of Texas, political parties have four “tiers” of leadership:
- Each voting precinct is entitled to one precinct chairman, to be elected or appointed to a two-year term. This year only, these offices are elected on the runoff date (July 31). The filing period for these offices is open until June 1.
- Each county is entitled to a county chairman, who is also elected or appointed to a two-year term during the primary.
- Each State Senate district is entitled to two representatives on the State Republican Executive Committee, who are elected by the delegates at the State Convention
- Finally, there is a state chair and vice chair, also elected by the delegates at the State Convention.
The Precinct and County Chairman serve on the Hays County Republican Executive Committee, in a manner similar to our Commissioner’s Court (one county-wide leader and each precinct with a representative). The job of the county chairman, according to our party bylaws, is to “provide strong leadership… [and] assist Republican candidates in planning campaigns.” As the incumbent is not running for re-election, Republicans have an opportunity to elect strong leadership to this critical position.
Shawn Blakeley is one of the rising stars here in Hays County. I would say his most impressive feat is his service as Donna Campbell’s San Marcos Area Coordinator in her 2010 campaign. A number of people, including some members of our Hays County Republican Party, encouraged Shawn to ignore the race, believing Lloyd Doggett was invincible and that trying to defeat him was a distraction. Indeed, most outside news organizations billed the 25th Congressional Race as a “Safe Democratic” seat, and Donna Campbell as a sacrificial lamb against an entrenched incumbent. One only needs to talk to Mr. Blakeley for a few minutes to know he is not the type of person to bow down and buckle under pressure.
He gave everything he could and more for the Republican Party and our candidates in 2010, and his team gave Lloyd Doggett a run for his money. We already knew when the results came in on Election Night 2010 that Doggett had lost Hays County, but even the most stalwart Republicans were stunned when Donna Campbell won Hays County by over 5000 votes. While every campaign is a team effort, I have no doubt that Shawn Blakeley was a key part of that success.
Shawn has also served our community. He is a member of the San Marcos Library Advisory Board, a youth football coach with CFPO, and the Vice-President of the San Marcos Area Republican Team. Shawn has also been involved in other organizations, including Open San Marcos and the 9/12 Patriots. He recently finished teaching a class on the responsibilities of citizenship at his church, Cavalry Baptist Church in San Marcos. He is a sitting Precinct Chair, representing Precinct 336 (Northwestern San Marcos).
The Hays County Republican Party at this time cannot afford wishy-washy leadership. We must elect someone we can trust to lead from the front, by example, with unwavering resolve and unfettered passion. We need someobe who will fight for our values and our Republican Party every day, for every campaign, for every inch of Hays County. We need Shawn Blakeley as our Hays County Republican Chairman.