You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Travis County GOP hires 2 leaders to chart new course


Highlights

The Travis County GOP has hired a full-time executive director and a part-time deputy executive director.

The county GOP wants to put controversial Robert Morrow’s brief stint as its chairman behind it.

Now that the dust has settled after a particularly tumultuous period under an eccentric former chairman, the Travis County Republican Party has hired two new leaders that it hopes will lead the party in a new direction.

The hiring of Executive Director Gary Teal and a deputy executive director, Tracey Carroll, announced Friday, marks the first time in recent memory that such county GOP leaders have been paid employees and symbolizes the revitalization of the party, said Travis County party Chairman James Dickey.

“That’s what makes this even more exciting: to see us go from what was undoubtedly seen as a pretty low, negative point to being far ahead of any point we’ve been in the past,” Dickey said.

That low point came when Robert Morrow, notorious for being vulgar and spouting conspiracy theories, won the party chairman position in a March 2016 GOP primary upset. The issue resolved itself, however, when Morrow’s write-in presidential candidacy disqualified him from continuing to hold the post. Dickey, who had lost to Morrow, reclaimed the seat in a special election last fall.

The five-member steering committee originally intended to hire just one executive director, but because of the strength of the candidates and their complementary skill sets, Dickey said the committee decided to hire both. Teal will be full-time, and Carroll will be part-time.

Teal, a graduate of Texas Christian University and an Abilene native, has spent the last several years in Washington, D.C., as vice chairman of the D.C. Republican Party. He has also held roles as an information technology manager and as a campaign consultant.

Long involved in politics, Teal worked on the campaigns of former President Gerald Ford and Gov. Bill Clements.

“Austin is the place to be if you have that kind of enthusiasm for politics and you’re a Texan,” Teal said. “And I’m a Texan and I’d always hoped I’d find a way to spend some time here.”

Teal said he looked forward to tackling “the challenge of making certain that even if Republicans are a minority for the next few years (in Travis County), they have a voice in government.”

The party is now rebuilding and putting its rocky year behind it by returning its focus to energizing and building up the local Republican base, Teal said.

“It was something that happened that really had nothing to do with the ongoing view of the party,” Teal said of Morrow’s election. “It was an electoral fluke, and I am looking forward to repairing the damage that was done.”

For Carroll, whose expertise lies in marketing and management, the new role is her first extensive foray into politics. Carroll has held executive positions in the technology, retail and travel industries for the past 18 years. She’d volunteered with the Travis County party before as well as with the Dallas County Republican Party.

“I worked with a lot of small businesses, and I saw the importance of overregulation, and that’s what really drew me to party politics,” Carroll said. “I felt I could bring some of my skills and perspective and help stabilize and expand the party’s influence and conservative principles here.”

Both Teal and Carroll were optimistic about the party’s prospects for the next year in the county, especially during a heyday for the GOP on a national level. They hope to drum up local support at the party’s annual Ronald Reagan Gala fundraising effort on Friday at the Austin Club.

“There’s no doubt that the people committed to the Republican Party in Travis County are serious about Republican principles and fighting for the policies that we know are best for all,” Dickey said. “No one joins the Republican Party in Travis County to improve their social profile.”

Correction: This article has been updated to show that only Gary Teal will be full-time, not both new hires. Tracey Caroll will be part-time.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

15% of UT women report being raped, Capitol hearing reveals
15% of UT women report being raped, Capitol hearing reveals

A survey of University of Texas undergraduates found that 15 percent of women reported being raped while enrolled at the Austin campus. The survey result, revealed Thursday during a Capitol hearing on four bills to address what was described as an “epidemic” of sexual assaults on college campuses, jolted several senators and brought promises...
Man whose parents locked him away for 2 years wants them to stay in prison
Man whose parents locked him away for 2 years wants them to stay in prison

For two years, Mitch Comer’s mother and stepfather, Sheila Comer and Paul Comer, kept him locked inside a bedroom in his family’s rental home in Georgia. He was shut off from the outside world and even his two younger sisters until September 2012. By then, Comer, who was 18 at the time, was loaded on a bus and sent to Los Angeles with...
UT groups promote sex assault prevention ahead of annual ‘Round Up’ weekend
UT groups promote sex assault prevention ahead of annual ‘Round Up’ weekend

The University of Texas is gearing up for  the 87th annual “Round Up” weekend, an annual philanthropy event hosted by the Interfraternity Council at Texas, but some students and organizations are taking precautions to prevent sexual assault. From Thursday night through Saturday, members of the IFC – which governs 27 Greek...
Inmate accused of plotting murders of sexual assault victims
Inmate accused of plotting murders of sexual assault victims

An inmate in a Pennsylvania jail the Allegheny County Jail is accused of plotting the murders of five juveniles who accused him of sexual assault. Michael Scherbanic, 29, a prisoner in the Allegheny County Jail and is now charged with 27 new criminal counts, including solicitation to commit criminal homicide.  >> Read more trending news...
Court asked to block Texas congressional map for 2018 election

Texas should be blocked from using a map of congressional districts that was found to have been drawn in violation of the U.S. Voting Rights Act, a federal court was told Thursday. The motion, filed with a three-judge panel in U.S. District Court in San Antonio, follows a March 10 ruling that invalidated three districts, including one in Travis County...
More Stories