Fort Bend County is the most ethnically diverse county in Texasand the nation, but Republican efforts, led by Republican County Chair MikeGibson, has kept the county decisively red.
Home of Republican Tom Delay, ithas been over 20 years since a Democrat has won in the county, but the countyhas grown exponentially and the demographics have greatly shifted. Registeredvoters have grown by more than 200%, and minorities comprise 70% of thepopulation. Predictions by Democrats were optimistic prior to the election.Battleground Texas held their first meeting in the county but Republicans wonevery office, and by 15-plus point leads.
Fort Bend County is the home of Katy, Fulshear, Missouri City,Richmond, Rosenberg, Stafford, Sugar Land, and other cities. New residents areattracted to the county because of its many master planned communities, itsschools, and its employment opportunities.
Gibson said the Republican strength in the county in theNovember election was due to the Fort Bend Republican Party’s highlighting the differences between the partiesand the candidates, including the difference they had made in the community.Approximately half of the votes cast in the county during the November electionwere straight-ticket Republican. Gibson credits the tremendous improvement inquality of life and a campaign to pull the Republican lever.
Gibson has a “big-tent” attitude and his Party officersand committee chairs are as diverse as those who populate his county. TheParty’s Lincoln-Reagan dinner in January 2013 featured a video with Chinese,Hispanic, African, and Indo-Americans and a 14-year-old Jewish American girl.Gibson’s plan is to get minorities in the Party engaged in community activitiesand engage them in the local Party.
The Fort Bend Republican Party opened its new headquarters inthe spring of 2014 in Sugar Land. It opened its first field office in Katy inAugust in cooperation with the Harris County Republican Party.
The County has four active Republican Women’s groups and a newRepublican Women’s Club was started this year in Katy. During this pastelection cycle, they all held meetings featuring the newly-elected officeholders. The Katy club hosted a luncheon with George P. Bush and there wereover 125 in attendance.
A not-so-secret weapon is Mike’s wife, Tina Gibson. The couple, who can be seen in the above photo, have lived in Fort Bend County for 31 yearsand have raised two daughters there. Tina has served as the SREC SD 17Committeewoman since 2010 and is chairman of the state party’s communityengagement committee. They have been invited to meetings with the GeneralCouncil of several nations.
Gibson told Breitbart Texas that his plans for 2016 includedoing more work with all communities in Fort Bend, and placing an emphasis onthe Young Republicans.
The County also has three very active tea party groups -the Greater Fort Bend County Tea Party (GFBTP), the SugarLand Tea Party and the Katy Libertea tea party groups. They each held a candidate forumin November to allow the candidates in the Texas Senate District 18 race tospeak to voters. The Republican candidates who attended, Lois Kolkhorst, GaryGates, and Charles Gregory, are vying to replace Senator Glenn Hegar whoresigned after he won his race for Texas Comptroller. A special election hasbeen called for Saturday, December 6th.
EvelynMontalvo of the Sugar Land Tea Party told Breitbart Texas that members havebeen working at the Fort Bend County GOP headquarters. They have also been block-walking. One of their members, Jean Scott,spearheaded the poll watcher effort for the November election.
The President of Katy Libertea, Cyndi Lawrence, told Breitbart Texas that the goal of the group is toengage people in local politics, and only about 30% of the county’s residentsknow who their state representative is. Her goal — “We may not be able tochange it federally, but we can change it right here in our own backyard.”Lawrence said that although her tea party group consists of Republicans, it also
This Tea Party activist has found that minorities, especiallyminority business owners, have much in common with those in her group. “To meit was not a big surprise because the majority of minority business owners are fiscallyconservative. They have been duped by the Democrats and ignored by theRepublicans and the Venezuelans have seen the progression from freedom tosocialism. They have heard about taking care of everyone and have seen thepersecution.” Lawrence said her conversations with minorities who haveimmigrated here legally have surprised her because “90% of them are inagreement with her on immigration.”
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst forBreitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter@LanaShadwick2