Republican Party of Texas Chairman Tom Mechler emailed a “goodbye” letter to the officials of the party on Saturday, May 20, that listed his reasons for resigning.
The letter emphasized that Mechler’s oil and gas business has suffered since his election with the need to sell off assets to stay afloat. Additionally, he said the pressures and duties of the chairman’s job had put a strain on his family life. “The job’s just too tough” seemed to be the letter’s theme and general takeaway.
Mechler’s surprising resignation has thrown drama and an immediate power struggle within the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) and its next quarterly meeting scheduled for June 2 and 3 in Austin when his successor will be elected. Mechler’s resignation comes just over a year from his election to a full term as chairman at the 2016 RPT State Convention in Dallas. That same convention saw a dramatic shift in SREC seats now held by veteran liberty movement activists as a result of elections by convention delegates in their respective senatorial district caucuses.
It’s the SREC that will elect the interim chairman with what is considered to be a 50/50 split between the SREC liberty caucus, and the “old guard” that the Mechler-supporting wing of the party are relying on to continue the party status quo.
MECHLER’S GOODBYE LETTER
Over the past two years, we’ve accomplished so much together. We successfully orchestrated one of the largest, most financially successful state conventions in recent history. We oversaw the largest primary election in Texas history, and then played a monumental role in helping elect Donald Trump as our new president. We shepherded in more Republican elected officials than we’ve ever had before in Texas, and we’ve developed our most aggressive and targeted engagement program in party history. These past two years have been some of the most rewarding of my life. I cannot tell you what a privilege it is to work alongside each of you and to fight daily for something that matters so much to people across our great state.
But these past two years have also been tough. With the fluctuations in the oil industry, my family struggled to financially stay afloat. At one point, I even had to sell off equipment just to keep my business in the black. While the financial struggles were significant, I knew that the work we were doing at the RPT was just as important. So we persisted. The work we were doing- the things we were accomplishing- made it all worth it.
However, my finances were not the only thing that took a hit. Over the past two years, I’ve spent over 80% of my time away from home. Whether in Austin or speaking to Republicans across Texas, serving as State Chairman took a considerable amount of time away from home. While we were making great strides in our party, my family was suffering. These past two years have been a whirlwind of activity and success, but they’ve also been a series of absences. A few weeks ago, my daughter called to tell me that my grandchildren missed their grandpa. And it broke my heart. I may have sacrificed time, money, and business for this position, but the people making the biggest sacrifice are my 6 children, 16 grandchildren, and my beautiful wife Becky.
Two weeks ago, my wife and I took a week-long cruise. What was intended to be a quick week away to rest and relax turned into an opportunity to have a real conversation about where our life was at.
Friends, this job is hard. The time commitment, financial commitment, stress, and overwhelming responsibility takes its toll. After a lot of prayer and reflection, I’ve decided that it is time for me to focus on my family. A few minutes ago, I submitted my resignation, effectively immediately, to our RPT secretary.
Please know this is not a decision I make lightly. It is after long conversations with my family and lots of prayer that I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the best decision for me and my family. I wanted you to be the first to know. Two years ago, the SREC elected me to serve in this important role. We’ve grown together. Though we may not always agree, I’ve come to view each of you as my “political family.” I am so grateful for the confidence you’ve placed in me, the sacrifices you’ve all made to help lead this party, and the successes we’ve had together. I am confident that each of you will continue to lead this party with conviction and intention.
When I first took on this role, it was my vision that our Party would be more united. After one of the most divisive primary elections and heated legislative sessions in recent history, our Party needs to work harder than ever to come together. A party that is fractured by anger and backbiting is a party that will not succeed. It is no secret that our party is divided into factions. It is also no secret that those factions frequently throw rocks at each other. As I prepare to leave this role, my hope is that every faction of this party will treat each other with kindness and respect. Though we may disagree on certain issues, we are all part of the same Republican, conservative family. When we work together and treat each other with respect, we are stronger.
My second goal was for our party to look more like Texas. We live in a diverse state. As the demographics continue to change, our state will soon have a majority-minority voting age population. If we do not continue to make efforts to engage in the diverse communities across Texas, our state will turn blue. This is no longer just a possibility, it is an inevitable reality if we fail to act. Over the past two years, engagement has been my biggest passion. We’ve taken unprecedented strides, and we’ve generated remarkable results. As the SREC selects who will serve as your next state chairman, I encourage them to find someone with this same passion. If we do not engage in the diverse communities across Texas, we will lose the state, then the nation, and there may be no coming back.
Serving as your State Chairman has been one of the greatest honors of my life. As we prepare for this transition, please know that I will always be here to support the great work you are doing. What makes our party special is an unwavering commitment to family values. For every true Republican, the order is God, family, politics. Today, I’m choosing to be there for my family.
Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.
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