Tyler County representatives attend 2014 Republican Party of Texas State Convention

by Emily Waldrep

Ten delegates, including U.S. House of Representatives Candidate Dr. Brian Babin, Roxanne Babin, State Representative James White, Dan Hunt, Keri Hunt, Lois Henderson, Dave Henderson, Kristen Cordes, Claudia Provance and Dr. Jim Beattie, represented Tyler County at the 2014 Republican Party of Texas State Convention in Fort Worth on June 5 through 7 at Tarrant County Convention Center.

Dan Hunt led the delegation in place of Tyler County Republican Party Chairman Michael Paddie. Paddie is an administrator for Warren ISD, and was involved in graduation events over the weekend. Paddie asked Hunt, who was County Party Chairman in Johnson County from 2006 to 2008, to lead the delegation.

According to Hunt, the delegation took part in General Sessions, Senate District Caucuses, special events, and took some time during breaks to explore downtown Fort Worth. During General Sessions, the convention discussed and debated party business, party rules, and the party platform. Senate District Caucuses focused on electing State Republican Executive Committeeman and Committeewoman, and electing representatives to the Rules, Platform, Credentials and Nominations Committees. Jim Wiggins and Judy Parada, both of Montgomery County, were re-elected as the SREC man and woman. Dr. Beattie ran for Platform Committee, and Cordes ran for Rules Committee. James White and Brian Babin both addressed the Caucus.

Many elected officials and candidates addressed the General Sessions, including U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, Texas Attorney General and Governor Candidate Greg Abbott, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. The convention had a very healthy debate over various platform issues and eventually adopted a platform on Saturday afternoon.

In addition, members of the delegation attended a reception for Veterans on Friday evening. The reception was hosted by General Abbott, and was scheduled on Friday to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasions that turned the tide of World War II in Europe. In attendance was one veteran who actually participated in the D-Day invasion. Dr. Babin, James White, Dan Hunt, Dr. Jim Beattie and Dave Henderson of Tyler County are all military veterans that participated.

What is expected to be the largest Presidential straw poll for the 2016 elections was held during the convention. Senator Ted Cruz won the straw poll very convincingly, receiving 43.4 percent of the vote. Cruz was followed by Dr. Ben Carson with 12.3 percent and Rand Paul with 12.1 percent. Texas Governor Rick Perry was 4th with 11.7 percent.