Collin County GOP elected chairman Fred Moses, the first African-American in his post, credits hard-working candidates and volunteers for winning recent local and state elections.
Moses led the local Republicans to a high percentage of straight ticket voters during a presidential election. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans cast straight-ticket ballots. That's up from 66 percent in 2008, but still down from 73 percent in the tea party-inspired 2010 elections.
The primary races in Collin County also had spirited local races, especially for the state representative and judicial posts.
Moses, who occassionally catches heat for being a Republican, told the diverse Collin County Lincoln Society that he has been fighting for GOP candidates since he was a teenager.
"I take it as a compliment," Moses said, adding his job is to go after all voters, not just the ones who have voted Republican in previous elections.
Moses does not see talk of secession as leading anyone to the promised land.
"I am a traditionalist," Moses said. "This is a great country. This is about the United States. This is a melting pot. We all have a vested interest in the good of America. We don't need to be running around talking about secession. I know people can get frustrated, but we are better than that. We can't take all of our marbles and go home. That is not who we are."
Moses said that America still has a great future.
"People will do anything, and are doing anything, to come to America," Moses said. "This is the land of the free. Texas is the shining star. We need to be a part of America. People are moving from all over America to Texas. We need to be part of the land of the free, and be a leader. We need to be a part of America."
Moses said Republicans voted a straight ticket in larger numbers across Collin County than in 2008.
Collin County and North Texas saw an increase in the number of votes for Democrats in 2012. Moses said as Collin County goes from a population of around 800,000 to two million by 2020, Republicans will have to work harder than ever for votes.
"There will be more Republicans moving in, and there will be more Democrats moving in, too," he said. "Our problem is we still have a lot of people not voting. We didn't get out our vote nationally like we needed to this time.
"We think Collin County is always going to be Red [and voting for Republican conservative candidates]," Moses said. "WRONG! That trend is changing. The train is coming. If we are not ready, the train will run us over."
Shawn Stevens, chairman of the Democratic Party of Collin County, said, "Democrats have received over 100,000 votes in the last two Presidential elections, and in this most recent election, a record number of voters chose to vote a straight Democratic Party ticket, as our straight Democratic ticket totals climbed here in Collin County, in contrast to Dallas County, where the number of straight Democratic Party votes declined. We are encouraged by the fact that the 5th Court of Appeals races were within 6 points of being won by Democrats again this year, and we expect that more attention will be focused on those winnable regional races in the next election."
Moses said the minority population is rising quickly in Collin County.
"The numbers are real," Moses said. "We are the third fastest growing county for Democrats in the state."
The GOP chair said 14 of 202 counties voted in the majority for Democrats in Collin County in 2012. That's up from 2008.
Democrat Lynn Windle sees her party emerging.
"Four years ago, I thought that Collin County was turning purple, but nobody believed me," Windle said. "Democrats were still hiding in the closet then. We were afraid to make our affiliation known, afraid to put signs in the yard. Afraid of reprisal from friends and neighbors.
"The last four years changed that," she said. "I realized that if I didn't speak up for my rights and beliefs, nobody would. Other Collin County Democrats felt that way too. Through social media, we were able to connect and discover that there are more of us than we realized. And more Independents who agreed with us, too. That connection is giving a new, stronger voice to the Democrat Party here. Collin County Democrats are finally coming out of the closet."
Moses said another 40 to 45 precincts are now close races, judging from the presidential voting in Collin County. He said about 42 percent of the precincts are minority voters.
"We will need to be aggressive in the coming elections," Moses said. "We we are not out there going after every vote, we could lose a local race one day. We have to vote all the way down our ballots, and we need even more voting a straight ticket. This is particularly important down the ballot in the judges races."
Because Collin County has traditionally voted for more conservative candidates, voters in this county save Republicans in judicial races that cross county lines into in the more liberal Dallas districts that now lean toward Democrats.
Stevens, the local Democrat leader, said, "We fully expect that some Collin County candidates will step forward for the multi-county 5th Court of Appeals for the next election, as well as for other offices, though due to Republicans gerrymandering the redistricting process at both the state and county level, the State Representative, State Senate, County Commissioner, and Justice of the Peace and Constable positions were drawn to heavily favor Republicans, and it is difficult to recruit candidates for those districts."
CAN REPUBLICANS WIN THE PRESIDENCY AGAIN?
Moses said some times you have to learn from your mistakes.
"We didn't get it in four years, so He gives us four more years," Moses said. "We need to learn somehow that we don't need government interfering in our lives every day. In America, we are all a committee of one."
Moses said America works best when government works for her people, not the other way around.
"We have to get better," Moses said. "We have to get better at telling America who we are. We have to get better at getting our message out. We all have to work harder and keep inviting new people to join us and join our clubs. We have a lot of work to do. We can't rest. We have to go after every vote."
The GOP chair said that Congress is spending too much money and not getting the job done.
"This is just like what happened in our home when our kitchen faucett just kept leaking," Moses said. "I tried a couple of plumbers, and it kept leaking. I got busy like we all get busy, and it kept leaking. Finally, I just had to fix it, and I tried to fix it myself, but that didn't work, and we had water all over the place. I finally called that plumber's number my neighbor gave me. In two tripes, they got it fixed.
"We have the same thing happening in our country," Moses said. "We have to fix it. If we don't fix it, where are we going to go. This is the land of the free. The land of milk and honey. You can't find another country like this one. We all have to pray about it, and we have to fix it."
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who made a trip to speak at Adriatica early last spring, will be returning to North Texas to give the keynote address at the Lincoln Day Dinner will be on Feb. 16, 2013 at the Plano Centre. Santorum is a former Pennsylvania senator. For tickets: http://www.collincountygop.com/
DEMOCRATS CELEBRATING OBAMA VICTORY
Local Democrats plan to increase their higher-than-ever 100,000 votes cast in the 2012 election in Collin County.
Stevens said, "As the local party, we are having multiple upcoming social events, such as a Presidential Inauguration Party on January 21st, to help keep the local volunteers connected. In addition, we will use the 10-station phone bank in our party office to help support the President's legislative efforts in Congress, just as we made phone calls to help ensure passage of the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, with the new session of the Texas Legislature starting in January, we will work to hold Republican state legislators from Collin County accountable, and advocate restoration of the funding to public education and other critical governmental functions that was slashed in 2011."