Terri Leo has been involved in Texas GOP politics for nearly 40 years. She is now running for the State Republican Executive Committee to represent Senatorial District 7 in Harris County. The election will be held at the state party convention in San Antonio that begins on July 14.
For Leo, her political activism started as a prayer and action leader for Concerned Women for America in her living room that was soon out grown. Her current poltical pinnacle was in 1996 and her run for State Board of Education (SBOE). Leo successfully served for 10 years also having held the Vice Chair position.
Leo points to her deep resume when speaking about her qualities to hold the SREC committee woman position. “I feel like I’m very uniquely suited for the SREC in that I’ve had a lot of committee experience – bringing people that are in disagreement together, while at the same time holding very strong to my values. But, also being able to go out to lunch with people after the vote is said and done. And, work together on those things that we can. I think that’s a very important quality to have as an SREC member, to have the temperament to do so.”
What triggered her to run for the SREC was a Facebook post by her election opponent. In her RERvideo interview, Leo read the post that encourages Republican voters to under vote certain races in November to spite GOP nominees that were victorious in the 2018 primary election. Although they were the election winners, Leo’s opponent calls them “losers” in the Facebook post.
Leo makes the point that she supports every GOP candidate that advances from the primary election to the general election regardless of whether she previously supported them, or not. Leo claims that once she called her opponent out, she changed her position to advocate for GOP straight-ticket voting.
Leo believes that her conservative credentials are bolstered by the candidates she has helped to recruit for the SBOE. The list includes conservative board members Donna Bahorich, Barbara Cargill, and Cynthia Dunbar.
When it comes to challenges facing the Texas GOP, Leo addressed the lack of diversity in the voting base. “I think we’re turning off a lot of younger voters as well as voters of color. I think that those are two huge groups that if we don’t do a better job in recruiting, in fostering, and speaking to, in going to some of their clubs, helping to support some of their ideas, I think we’re going to see the Democrats take over.”
During the interview, Leo took a hard stance against GOP officeholders that haven’t supported the party’s platforms. When it was suggested that legislators and executives have neglected the platform and legislative priorities, Leo said, “I would go even further to say not that they were neglected (the platforms and priorities), but there were bills that were oppositional – that we had Republicans behind that were oppositional to our platform.
“You can use the bully pulpit of office as an SREC member to go lobby when the legislature is in session, and bring that information back to the voters, to clearly spell out for elected officials ‘this is what we’ve elected you to do, this is what you’ve promised to do’.”
Leo also believes that the SREC should have a strong influence with the party chair on which incumbents are going to receive financial support from the party.
When it comes to some of the more recent convention controversies, Leo was somewhat lenient on allowing neo-morality advocates to participate in the state party convention by securing vending booths. But, she was firm against abortion advocates being allowed to participate.
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