So, yes, former candidate for Dallas County Judge Wade Emmert is the new head of the Dallas County Republican Party, having been elected by a vote of 140-95 at last night's special election. Upon his victory, Emmert tweeted, "I'm honored to have your trust as the new Dallas Co. GOP Chairman. Now it's time to take the DCRP to the next level!" Debbie Georgatos, who also wanted to replace Jonathan Neerman, remains as his second-in-command as the party vice-chair.
And speaking of: When we posted her campaign video Sunday morning, it had been viewed, oh, maybe two dozen times -- most by me during an Old Fitz-fueled numbers-crunching Saturday night. But today I see it made Huffington Post ("Debbie Georgatos And Her Avant-Garde Political Ad"), Salon ("The weirdest campaign ad ever?") and Gawker ("Take a Journey Through Space and Time with This Dallas Candidate Lady"). Hence the more than 12,000-and-climbing look-sees -- an astonishing number for a county party campaign. Then again, as Gawker notes, all the weirdo elements contained within render it "basically Terrence Malick's new movie." I do like this Salon comment: "Who needs acid and David Lynch? I've lived in the Dallas/metroplex area for over 20 years and I am continually amazed by the greatness of local politics." But how did Gawker and Salon both confuse Metropolis with Modern Times?
Update at 3:40 p.m.: My brief interview with Emmert about his plans for the party follows.
So, what are your plans for the party going forward?
Well, we're gonna do a number of things. In an off-election year, it's all about candidate recruitment and trying to reach out to voters the Republican Party hasn't traditionally attracted. Since I'm from southern Dallas County and have some credibility in the southern sector, we're gonna make an effort to recruit African-American and Latino voters. You're gonna see a more visible Republican Party involved in those communities.
That's certainly an uphill battle ahead of you.
I think trust takes time to create. But I think having a chair from southern Dallas speaks volumes. I was the first major county candidate from southern Dallas, as county judge, and that speaks to the importance of southern Dallas. And I'm the first chair from southern Dallas. And it takes time.
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Have you begun that effort, even before the election last night?
There hasn't been much of a transition period. Neerman stepped down three weeks ago, and I won last night. But in southern Dallas, there's a Juneteenth celebration that rotates among several cities. When I was on council in Cedar Hill we would go and celebrate Juneteenth in the different cities, and so the Republican Party will have a presence there.
How will you and Debbie work together -- because, hey, she's clearly the rising star here, if Gawker, HuffPo and Salon are any indication.
I think everyone recognizes we need to be more inclusive. The question is how and who. Someone from southern Dallas is in a better positin to make those inroads. Debbie and I will visit before we make any announcements.