breaking news

GREG KELLEY CASE: Texas Ranger affidavit contradicts Kelley statements

Matt Mackowiak beats Don Zimmerman in race to lead Travis County GOP


The Travis County GOP picked political strategist Matt Mackowiak to be its new chairman.

Mackowiak narrowly beat former Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman on a 46-38 vote.

Matt Mackowiak, a political strategist who vowed to reinvigorate the Travis County Republican Party, narrowly edged out former Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman in the race for chair of the county party.

Mackowiak, who had been serving as the party’s executive vice chair, won Tuesday night on a 46-38 vote over Zimmerman. Zimmerman had played up his experience in local politics, including his two years on the council.

Mackowiak succeeds James Dickey, the departing chair who stepped down this month after winning an election to chair the state GOP. Mackowiak told members Tuesday that he planned to help raise more money, elect more Republican candidates and advance the conservative agenda.

“For a kid that grew up in Austin in the ’80s, I assure you I never thought I’d be chairman of the Republican Party of Travis County,” Mackowiak said after his victory. “Honestly, it’s humbling. It’s very humbling. … I want to follow the great work that our Chairman James Dickey did.”

Ousted party chairman Robert Morrow, whose unexpected win in the 2016 Republican primary tossed the local party into a state of discombobulation after many became aware of his controversial tweets and conspiracy theories, had planned to run. But Morrow, who was forced out of the post last fall after filing to run as a write-in candidate for U.S. president, failed on Tuesday to garner a nomination for the party chairman seat.

Zimmerman, who lost his council re-election bid in November to Council Member Jimmy Flannigan, said after the meeting that he planned to continue campaigning against tax increases through the Travis County Taxpayers Union and serving in his role as a member of the Travis County Republican Party’s steering committee.

“They had two good choices,” Zimmerman said. “I wasn’t running against Matt Mackowiak; I was running for the grass roots and the local party.”

Only precinct chairs can nominate the chair candidates and vote in the election, which was held by secret ballot, according to party bylaws. On top of that, an amendment approved at the meeting — ostensibly an attempt to create another barrier to entry for Morrow — required a second to any candidate nomination from another precinct chair.

“I’m a political truth-teller. That does not always mean winning elections,” Morrow said after the election, before spouting another unfounded theory about President Donald Trump’s sexual activities.

The election for the new executive vice chair will take place at the party’s next meeting in September. Party officials said Tuesday that the position, as well as the steering committee over which he or she presides, was created during Morrow’s tenure to “safeguard resources and build trust in the party’s continued viability.”

Spokesman Andy Hogue said there are no plans to dissolve the executive vice chairman position or the steering committee at this time.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

Zuckerberg vows to remove violent threats from Facebook 
Zuckerberg vows to remove violent threats from Facebook 

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg took to his social network Wednesday to condemn white supremacists and pledged to remove violent threats and posts celebrating hate crimes.   "The last few days have been hard to process," Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday evening, days after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville...
Trump’s lack of discipline leaves new chief of staff frustrated and dismayed
Trump’s lack of discipline leaves new chief of staff frustrated and dismayed

As the new White House chief of staff, John Kelly routes all calls to and from President Donald Trump through the White House switchboard, where he can sign off on them. He stanches the flow of information reaching the president's desk. And he requires that all staff members — including Trump's relatives — go through him to reach the president...
Trump attorney jumps into racial fray
Trump attorney jumps into racial fray

President Donald Trump's lawyer on Wednesday fanned an already-incendiary racial debate by forwarding an email advocating protection of some Confederate monuments and claiming that the protest group Black Lives Matter had been infiltrated by terrorists.   Trump's lawyer John Dowd told The Washington Post he "shares a lot of things with...
Silicon Valley escalates its war on white supremacy
Silicon Valley escalates its war on white supremacy

Silicon Valley significantly escalated its war on white supremacy this week, choking off the ability of hate groups to raise money online, removing them from Internet search engines, and preventing some sites from registering at all.   The new moves go beyond censoring individual stories or posts. Tech companies such as Google, GoDaddy and...
Fox News invited a conservative and a liberal to debate Confederate statues. They both ripped Trump
Fox News invited a conservative and a liberal to debate Confederate statues. They both ripped Trump

The two guests on the Fox News program "Fox and Friends" had been invited to talk about the toppling of a North Carolina Confederate monument Wednesday morning in the way cable news often sets up: talking heads at opposite ends of the political spectrum bickering over partisan talking points.   Wendy Osefo, a policy and social justice...
More Stories