Texas Top Republican Steps Down
TEXAS -- West Texan Tom Mechler resigned as Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas Saturday, citing personal reasons. The popular and effective leader of one of the nation’s strongest Republican enclaves leaves the party in good shape. State Vice-Chair Amy Clark will serve as interim chair until the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) can elect a replacement.
Tom Green County's Republican Party Chairman Jeff Betty says that Mechler’s sudden departure while unexpected, came at a good time. “This is probably the best time for Mechler to step down,” Betty said, “the Party is so strong and the transition will be very smooth.”
Houston area GOP activist Rick Figueroa tops the list of candidates seeking to replace Mechler. Travis County's GOP Chairman James Dickey is also seeking the appointment. The SREC will meet in Austin on June 2 and 3 to elect a person to fill in the chairmanship. The interim appointee, Clark, will serve until the Republican Party of Texas Convention in the summer of 2018.
Betty says the most important job of the Chairman of the Republican Party is to fundraise. “Tom did a good job,” Betty explained, "the Chairman sets policy for fundraising and the party is [currently] in great shape.”
Mechler said in his resignation letter that he wanted to spend more time with his family. “For every true Republican, the order is God, family, politics.” He continued, “Today, I’m choosing to be there for my family.”
Betty agrees, “as local chair, I can see how he feels. This is a volunteer Job and [it] takes a lot of time away from family.” Betty noted, “I just finished an election and we’re starting the next election cycle in November.”
Mechler was appointed by the SREC to replace Steve Munisteri in 2015. He was elected Chairman at the 2016 Republican Party of Texas Convention. Mechler is a resident of Amarillo, Texas.