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HPPR Government & Politics

Texas Republicans Propose Salary For Party Chairman

Leaders of the Texas Republican Party are considering a historic vote this weekend. Their decision would ultimately provide the state party chair a salary.As heard on Texas Public Radio

Currently, the position of chair for the Republican Party of Texas is a two-year volunteer job. But the Republican party's executive committee may decide to increase its annual budget, which includes establishing an annual salary of $150,000 for its leader.

James Dickey, the state party’s chair, said between a midterm election that saw Republicans losses and narrow wins, and a demand that the state party increases its overall percentage of Republican votes during the 2020 election, it seems fair that the state party chair receives financial compensation.

“There are times when a volunteer relationship is sufficient and there are times when it is not the right solution for the problem we are facing,” Dickey said.

Terry Holcomb, a North Texas member of the state Republican executive committee, is in favor of the proposal.

“It has historically been a volunteer job, and because of that it’s become a part-time job, and we have simply come into a place in Texas politics where we need that position to be a full-time position,” Holcomb said.

But Morgan Cisneros Graham, a committee member from Brownsville, worries about transparency among Texas Republicans.

“One the one hand, I understand the free-market principal behind it — that by offering a salary, we could possibly attract better candidates to run for state chairman. However, I think the biggest concern people will have is this has not been presented prior to the election itself,” Graham said.

Graham said a compromise would be to delay the vote until the next convention.

The Republican committee plans to vote on a proposal at their meeting in Austin on Saturday.

Ryan Poppe can be reached atrpoppe@tpr.orgor on Twitter@RyanPoppe1

Copyright 2018 Texas Public Radio