Frank Hull, Navarro County Treasurer, wife, Patti, passed away Wednesday. Keep Frank and his family and friends in your prayers. Below is the obituary and funeral arrangement information for Patti:
Mrs. Patricia “Patti” Louise Montgomery Hull, 58, of Corsicana, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, after a brief illness surrounded by family at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
She was born Dec. 4, 1954, to Mike and Janet Montgomery.
She was a loving wife, mother, and “Nana” who gave endlessly to her family and cherished her friends. Patti was a woman of many quiet accomplishments that made her home, family and community a better place in which to live.
She was an avid reader and loved to sew, quilt, and decorate her home. Patti was a past member of the Corsicana Quilt Club, AT&T Pioneers, Beta Sigma Phi, Warehouse Living Arts Center Community Theater and Standing Ovation.
Antiquing and crafts were a passion and some of her favorite spots to shop were Canton, Fredericksburg, Round Top and McKinney to name a few.
She loved to travel and traveled coast to coast, north to south. Some of her favorite spots included Fredericksburg, Branson, New Orleans, New York and Colorado.
She made a wonderful home for her family, and loved to visit with family and friends over a glass of wine. She was a wonderful wife, friend, and companion who gave meaning to life to her husband.
Patti retired from AT&T in 2012 after 22 years of service. She was the former owner of Extra Special, a retail chain of ladies clothing stores serving four cities, with her husband Frank for 12 years.
Patti loved animals and often rescued dogs and cats from the roadside helping to find them homes.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Survivors include her husband, Frank L. Hull III; daughter, Holly Hull Miori, son-in-law Michael Miori, and grandchildren Isabelle Miori and Trenton Miori; brother, Mike Montgomery; sister, Susie Smith; nieces, Amanda Young, Kimberly Thompson, Emily Montgomery, Lauren Hull, Erica Swanson, Rebecca Swanson; nephews, Jonathan Montgomery, Jayson Smith, Zach Smith, Kenny Hull Jr., Nathan Hull; many other great-nieces and great-nephews and many great friends.
Visitation with the family is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 26, 2013, at Corley Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27, 2013, at Corley Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Dr. John Williams officiating. Interment will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Jayson Smith, Zach Smith, Ken Swanson, Michael Miori, Russell Hudson, Jim Cooley and Nathan Hull.
Honorary pallbearers will be Maurice LeGrand, Harry Hudson, Bobby Coyle, Frank Murchison, Vic Heeke, David Proctor and Sam Yukon.
Memorial may be made to your favorite humane society, or the Warehouse Living Arts Center Community Theater at 119 W. Sixth Ave., Corsicana, Texas 75110.
An online guest book is available at www.corleyfuneralhome.com by selecting the Patricia Louise “Patti” Hull obituary.
Arrangements by Corley Funeral Home, 418 North 13th Street, Corsicana.
Texas Young Republican Federation
The Young Republicans will be having TWO big conventions this summer - one national convention, and then our annual state convention.
Young Republican State Convention, August 9 - 11, Austin, TX
The 2013 Annual Texas Young Republican State Convention will be held in Austin, TX, August 9-11, hosted by the Austin Young Republicans. This annual convention gathers Young Republican professionals from around the state to hear some great speakers, make new political connections, meet other young activists from around the state, and get political training. At the convention, we will elect new statewide officers for TYRF, pass resolutions, consider changes to the state federation’s constitution, and federate new local clubs.
Speakers, Updated Agendas, Committee Appointments, and more all coming soon! Everyone is welcome to attend. To be a voting delegate, you must be sent by a local yr club.
Learn more and stay updated on State Convention news by visiting the official Facebook Event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/500348546683128, or by visiting the official convention website: http://tyrf2013.austinyr.com/
Mark C Brown,
Texas Young Republican Federation
Texas Young Republican Federation
The Young Republicans will be having TWO big conventions this summer - one national convention, and then our annual state convention.
Young Republican National Convention, July 10 - 14, Mobile, AL
From July 10 - 14, the Young Republican National Convention will be in Mobile, AL! Join 300+ Young Republicans from around the country and go as an official delegate from the Texas Young Republicans. We will elect national officers, pass resolutions, discuss the future direction of the Republican Party, and more, all while having a great time on the local sunny beaches and evening special events.
This event is open to all Young Republicans and Texas has open delegate slots available for any Young Republican who is a member of a local club. If your interested in going as a TX Delegate, please register at https://www.wepay.com/events/delegate-to-2013-national-yr-convention. For questions, please email Mark Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org. See the official convention website at: http://yrnc2013.com/
We are currently working on a ground transportation option to Mobile that will include your Registration Ticket for one low price. If you want to stay in the loop on these options for attending, follow the Facebook page for this event or the TYRF state website - so check back often or email Mark Brown to stay updated about the convention.
Mark C Brown,
Texas Young Republican Federation
From: On Behalf Of Connor Pfeiffer
Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 6:27 PM
Subject: High School Republicans of Texas State Convention - June 15 in San Antonio
For those of you that don't know me, my name is Connor Pfeiffer, and I am the founder and State Chairman of High School Republicans of Texas. I wanted to email you to inform you about HSRT's first ever state convention, to be held at the El Tropicano Hotel in San Antonio on June 15th.
The convention will feature workshops and seminars on political campaigns and activism as well as running effective HSRT chapters among other activities, and it is open to current and prospective HSRT members alike, so if you have any active high school students in your area, please pass this along to them and offer them this opportunity. Registration and additional convention information as well as a way for people to make donations to help sponsor the convention can be found here: hsrtconvention.eventbrite.com
Finally, I wanted to offer to help any efforts in your counties and districts to help get more high school students involved in our party. HSRT chapters are only in a very small number of the 254 counties and 31 Senate Districts in our state, and the more areas and students we reach with your help, the more we can do to ensure a bright future for our party. All it takes is a handful of students and a committed Republican to start a chapter and begin planting the seeds of our party's ideals and policies in the youth of your area. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions about how to start HSRT chapters in your area and get more high school students involved or about the convention!
Thank you for everything you do for the Republican Party of Texas and our state!
State Chairman, High School Republicans of Texas
Cell: (210) 355-0556
May 3, 2013
Chairman's Update: April 2013
Much of April was dominated by RNC business. The first week of April culminated in the election of Toni Anne Dashiell as our new National Committeewoman to the RNC, replacing our beloved Borah Van Dormolen. The 64 members of the SREC were charged with selecting our committeewoman and all the candidates spent a great deal of time visiting individually with each member so that the SREC could make an informed decision. On April 6, the SREC elected former TFRW President and current Kendall County GOP Chair, Toni Anne Dashiell, as our new National Committeewoman to the RNC. Please click here for a more detailed report of this election.
The very next week, National Committeeman Dr. Robin Armstrong, our new Committeewoman Toni Anne Dashiell, and I traveled to Los Angeles to attend the spring meeting of the Republican National Committee. The main goal of the Texas delegation was to voice our concerns that the RNC rules not mandate to individual states the manner in which each state selects its own national convention delegates. We also received an update on the Growth and Opportunity Project; and members had an opportunity to have a frank discussion regarding their concerns or constructive criticism with the conclusions of the committee charged to evaluate how to improve the Republican Party’s performance in the next Presidential Election.
One of my goals was to ascertain whether the results of this self analysis yielded a commitment to provide resources to Texas to ensure the state stays in the Republican column. Texas has actually been competitive over the past several years but fortunately we have been able to win the vast majority of races around the state. Through the 2008 elections Democrats actually held a majority of the elected offices statewide. Moreover in 2006 and 2008, the statewide base vote of the Republican Party had declined by several points compared to previous elections, and we only had a slim majority in the Texas House, 76-74, at the conclusion of the 2008 elections. Fortunately, in part as a result of a revitalized, restructured, and refinanced state party, we have been able to increase the percentage of votes our statewide candidates have received since 2008 and obtained overwhelming majorities in the Texas House and Senate. In addition we now hold over 60% of all elected offices statewide as a result of Republican elected officials occupying 815 more offices statewide than we did in 2008. We have also won every statewide office since 1994.
Despite this overwhelming success, I have preached the entire time I have been State Chairman that we need to treat this state as a battleground state. In the past, these warnings seemingly fell on deaf ears as we received very little, if any, support from the national party. As a result, the RPT has basically gone in alone for some time to keep Texas a red state. I was heartened at the RNC meeting to learn from Chairman Priebus that they are taking the Democrat’s efforts to win Texas’ electoral votes in 2016 very seriously, and that we will be receiving some significant support from the national party as soon as this year. Stay tuned for some announcements which we hope to make in the next few months regarding this initiative. I also was heartened to learn that the RNC plans to mimic the successful 50 state strategy of the DNC, and to operate victory programs on a year round basis. What this means specifically is that initially, the RNC will spend at least $10 Million a year financing over 200 field operatives across the 50 states to organize year round voter identification, voter registration, and voter turnout efforts on behalf of the GOP. I also was told that the RNC plans to develop a new digital software platform that they hope will not only rival but even exceed the technological capabilities of the Democratic Party. In addition to visiting with Chairman Priebus there was a series of committee meetings, panel discussions, and a general business session during my week in Los Angeles. The primary issue at the general business session was the reforming of the RNC rules to be more grassroots friendly. Click here for our full recap of the RNC meetings.
Although about half the month was taken up with RNC business, I still had a very active month attending fundraisers, speaking around the state, and lobbying for legislation. In the first week of April we held a Grassroots Club luncheon in Austin at which Senator Cornyn was the featured speaker. This was an effort to encourage people to retain their Grassroots Clubs memberships by providing special benefits to members. We are currently planning some additional exclusive Grassroots Club member leadership events. This is a great way for the Party to raise money as the Party gets to keep approximately 90% of funds raised in this manner, as well as a way for us to keep in touch with the grassroots. If you sign up for the Grassroots Club you are taken off the RPT mail and call lists. For more info on the Grassroots Club please click here. After the Grassroots Club lunch I hosted our monthly leadership call featuring Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson where we discussed, the Texas Solution, firearms, and a legislative update as the end of the 83rd session draws nearer.
The next day I traveled to Midland for a fundraiser held by former RNC Committeeman Ernie Angelo. The fundraiser was a tremendous success, raising over $40,000. SREC member Rhonda Lacy was also in attendance. Please click here for a full recap of the Midland fundraiser. Then I was back to Austin where I spoke to the Austin Republican Women’s Club, giving me a chance to visit with Suzanne Bellsnyder, President of the ARW.
The following day I attended the Travis County Reagan-Lincoln Day Dinner, TCRP Chairman Rosemary Edwards held a successful event featuring Senator Ted Cruz, and they also held a very successful auction that raised thousands of dollars. I was the high bidder for a tour of the Ronald Reagan Ranch for 4 and I can’t wait to get out to see one of the homes of my all time hero. The week following the RNC meetings, House Republican Caucus Chairman Brandon Creighton stopped by to present the RPT with a $5,000 check. We are very appreciative of all the support Chairman Creighton has provided to the Republican Party this session.
I also traveled to Denton County to speak to the University of North Texas chapter of the College Republicans. While there I had an opportunity to visit with SREC members Jean McGiver, Leslie Recine, and Tom Washington, as well as Denton County Chairwoman Dianne Edmondson. I came back that evening to Austin because the next morning I gave a speech before a contingent of High School Republicans of Texas members who were at the Capitol. Connor Pfeiffer, State Chairman of the High School Republicans of Texas, did his usual fine job of organizing a very successful event. The next day I was the opening speaker at the TFRW luncheon featuring Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Attorney General Greg Abbott, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, Comptroller Susan Combs, and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. The TFRW turned out hundreds upon hundreds of Republican women for a day at the Capitol. You could see their red shirts throughout legislator’s offices as TFRW members met with their hometown representatives.
The following day I traveled to Brazos County where I joined County Chairman Paul Rieger for the opening of the new Brazos County Republican Headquarters. This was followed the next day by an address to the College Republican state convention being held at the State Capitol.
The following week I spent a good bit of time at the State Capitol testifying for various pieces of legislation. I testified on behalf of 4 bills, including 3 bills before the House Elections Committee, Chaired by former SREC member Geanie Morrison. Chairman Morrison has been wonderful to work with this session and has been extremely helpful in drafting legislation to accomplish the State Party’s goal of increasing Texas’s influence in the Presidential Primary process as well as deregulating party’s. I testified on behalf of the two pieces of legislation the State Party is sponsoring this session to advance these goals. I also testified on behalf of a bill by former Fort Bend County Chairman Rick Miller who introduced legislation to ensure Presidential electors actually vote for who they pledge to vote for. I also testified in front of the House Committee on Education on behalf of Senator Dan Patrick’s bill, SB-2. This bill introduces an element of parental choice into the educational system by expanding the number of charter schools allowed in the state, while at the same time ensuring the appropriate standards are met by the schools.
I finished the week out with a whirlwind trip around the state, traveling to Lubbock to speak to a combined meeting of the Texas Tech College Republicans and the Texas Tech Young Conservatives of Texas chapters. I also had chance to visit with Lubbock County GOP Chairman Carl Tepper while I was there. Chairman Tepper, by all accounts, is doing an outstanding job. From Lubbock it was back to Austin, and then on to Gun Barrel City where I spoke to the Cedar Creek Republican Club where SREC members Vicky Slaton and Nathan Derr were in attendance. I drove from Gun Barrel City directly to Houston that evening/early morning of the next day in order to meet with one of our Chairman’s Circle members, Ross Davis, who set up a meeting with a key Hispanic business leader who wishes to help the Republican Party.
That evening I attended the Harris County Reagan-Lincoln Day Dinner. There were over 600 people in attendance, making the event a smashing success. Harris County GOP Chairman Jared Woodfill fired up the troops prior to keynote speeches by Senator Cornyn and Senator Cruz. Former Harris County Tax Collector/Assessor and SREC member Paul Bettencourt conducted a very successful auction along with
State Senator Dan Patrick who offered to donate $1,000 to the Harris County Republican Party if I would post a picture of Texas A&M coach, Kevin Sumlin, in my office for one year. You know the party means a lot to me and fundraising is of prime importance when a double longhorn (Attended undergrad and law school at UT) agrees to put anything maroon in his office for a day, let alone a year. But $1,000 is $1,000 so I will do it. However I do plan to have a calendar countdown clock next to the picture so that I am reminded on day 365 to take it down and replace it with a picture of a longhorn.
We also continued to spend a lot of time on outreach during the month of April. Our primary goal for April was to establish a new statewide Asian-American Republican Auxiliary with the help of Martha Wong, Commissioner Andy Nguyen, Tina Gibson, and others. We are very close to completing this task. Also, TFRO Chairman Bill Calhoun brought a team of African American Republican leaders and marketing consultants to the RPT offices to present a very detailed, data driven marketing plan to reach hundreds of thousands of African American households, which data indicate are open to voting for Republicans. I was very impressed with the plan and the RPT plans to commit some resources to it now with the hope of being able to eventually fully fund the entire program. This, combined with new field staff to work the African American community, will give us the opportunity to significantly increase our percentage of the vote from the African American community, which is one of my primary goals.
On the financial front, we again ended the month with 0 bills and over $1 Million cash-on-hand. While this is the best shape the Republican Party of Texas been in financially in any of the three Aprils I have been Chairman, we still expect a significant cash draw down from this balance as a result of it being an off election year and for the further reason that summer months are traditionally barren. Thus I hope people don’t get too excited about the cash-on-hand as and I have been fiercely resisting suggestions to spend this money since we will be lucky to end the year with half this amount in our accounts.
As we look ahead, we are coming down the final stretch of the legislative session which will be our primary focus in the month May. Hopefully the legislature will conclude all of its immediate business, which will allow us to spend the summer months organizing campaign schools, drafting victory plans for 2014, and hopefully with the assistance of the RNC, adding additional field staff to help organize the state for the 2014 midterm elections. I suspect as busy as we have been so far this year, that 2014 will be here in no time and we all need to be prepared.
Stephen Munisteri, Chairman
The Hispanic Republican Club of Navarro County will hold its NEXT regular meeting on Tuesday evening may 28 at 7:00 pm at the Republican Headquarters building, located at 111-B West Third Avenue in downtown Corsicana.
Guest speaker: Duke Machado of GOPisForMe
The Hispanic Republican Club of Navarro County will hold its regular meetings on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm at the Republican Headquarters building, located at 111-B West Third Avenue in downtown Corsicana.
The next meeting of the Navarro County Republican Women will be:
Tuesday, May 28
11:30am - 1:00pm Lunch and Meeting
Republican Headquarters, 111-B West 3rd Avenue, Corsicana
The Navarro County Republican Women will meet on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at the Republican Headquarters located at 111-B West Third Avenue in downtown Corsicana. Social time and lunch begins at 11:30am, with the meeting and program to follow.
Make your lunch reservations by Saturday, May 25, with Margarita Patterson, email@example.com or call her at (903) 874-8785. Lunch is $7 at the door. Bring a friend to lunch!!
The organization is open to all Republican women of Navarro County. Everyone who is interested is invited to attend the meeting and learn more about the Republican women's organization.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2013
Contact: Terra Willett / Ben Stratmann
(512) 463-0412 / (512) 463-0122
UPDATE ON SITUATION IN WEST, BEST WAYS TO SUPPORT LOCAL COMMUNITY
AUSTIN—In response to the recent tragedy in West, Texas, Senator Brian Birdwell and Representative Kyle Kacal continue to voice their support for the affected families and their gratitude for all those involved in the recovery process. In addition, they are encouraging those that are interested in helping to focus on giving monetary donations as the community has received a surplus of supplies.
"I was so humbled to be able to spend a couple of days recently with our local officials and first responders who have done a masterful job of handling this tragic situation," said Birdwell. "This community has a great deal of work ahead of it, but I have absolutely no doubt that the citizens of West will continue to pull together—as Texans always do—and get their town back on track. In the meantime, it is imperative that we all continue to provide them with our prayers and our support."
"After spending time with the community of West throughout the end of last week, I continue to be amazed by the outpouring of support from all levels of local, state, and federal government," said Kacal. "With this being such a close-knit community, the level of organization and dedication to help this community recover is truly amazing. As we move forward to help those that have been affected, please know that the largest need at this point is financial donations for the families that have been impacted. Thank you for your continued support and prayers during this tragic time."
For information on the memorial service, how to make a financial donation or volunteer opportunities, please see the following options below.
• For an extensive list of information on how you can help the victims of the tragedy in West, please visit www.WithWest.com.
• Additional donations via cash or check (made out to Victims of the West Explosion) can be sent to the following:
200 Oak St.
West, TX 76691
State National Bank
100 N. Main St.
West, TX 76691
• A memorial service for the first responders killed in West will be held 2 p.m. Thursday in Baylor’s Ferrell Center (1900 S. University Parks Dr, Waco, TX 76706). For more information on this event, please visit http://www.baylor.edu/relief.
• For more information on Thursday’s memorial service and to watch the event live online, please visit www.firehero.org/westtexas.
• For information on how to volunteer your time for the recovery effort in West, please visit http://www.volunteertx.org/.
Representative Kyle Kacal (R-College Station) and Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) represent the City of West in House District 12 and Senate District 22, respectively.
April 7, 2013
Chairmen and friends,
On Saturday April 6, The Texas State Republican Executive Committee, convened at the RPT head quarters in Austin to elect the RPT National Committeewoman.
Toni Anne Dashiell was elected in the third round, with Mandy Tshope and Dianne Edmondson also running. Tonie Anne is a past president of the Texas Federation of Republican Women, a County Chair with long time State and National political involvement. Toni Anne along with State Chairman Steve Munisteri and Committeeman, Dr, Robin Armstrong, leave this week for a meeting in California of the RNC. We are all confident that Toni Anne will serve Texas well as one of our National representatives.
SD22 SREC Committeewoman
P.O. Box 233 Ph. 2547091187
Clifton, TX 76634 Fax 8179777491
April 5, 2013
Deep in the Red of Texas, Republicans Fight the Blues
By NEIL KING JR.
AUSTIN, Texas—Soon after Texas Republicans notched another round of lopsided wins last November, the state GOP sent notice to its local chapters: Please stop holding party meetings in country clubs.
Steve Munisteri, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.
Earlier in the Series
Party Eyes 'Red-State Model' to Drive Republican Revival
The GOP's Immigration Dilemma
One GOP Lawmaker Shows How to Woo Latino Voters
Weigh in, and Share: What's the Future of the GOP?
Other advice followed. Please consider hosting Republican recruiting tables at naturalization ceremonies. Word spread among state GOP lawmakers to back off on bills targeting illegal immigrants in the legislative session.
In no state is the Republican grip at once so firm, and under such challenge from Democrats, as it is in Texas. And nowhere is that grip of more consequence to the fortunes of the national GOP.
Republicans have won all of Texas' 29 statewide offices since 1994, the longest streak of single-party dominance in the country. Republican Rick Perry is the state's longest-serving governor. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney took Texas in a walk last year, beating Barack Obama by a margin four percentage points wider than Sen. John McCain did in 2008.
But Republicans here are suddenly looking over their shoulder, worried that demographic shifts and a big push by Democrats to capitalize could soon turn the state into the ultimate battleground between the two parties. One of the most important backroom players in President Obama's 2012 campaign has launched a broad effort to pull the state into the Democratic column.
No one questions the enormity of the stakes. If the country's second-largest state turns blue—a possibility Democrats say is at most a decade away—Republicans could find their most viable path to the White House blocked.
Some Republicans scoff at the thought of Texas ever tipping back to the Democrats. Gov. Perry, in a recent interview, dismissed the idea as "a pipe dream" more far-fetched than the University of Texas adopting the colors of archrival Texas A&M.
"We are not despairing. Far from it," said Steve Munisteri, the feisty chairman of the Texas GOP, who is girding for the fight ahead. "But nor are we taking anything for granted." Among other things, Republicans say that many Hispanics are drawn to the party's more-conservative social stands.
Other party leaders are more cautious. "To call the last national election anything but a wake-up call would be remiss," said Carolyn Hodges, president of the Texas Federation of Republican Women, which has 163 chapters and more than 11,000 members. "If we Republicans don't find a way to remake and repackage ourselves, this state could go from being bright red to blue really fast."
As both parties dig in, neither side disputes the basic facts.
Texas is one of just four states—California, New Mexico and Hawaii are the others—where non-Hispanic whites, at 45%, are in the minority. Hispanics, who went heavily Democratic in the 2012 national vote, now represent 38% of the Texas population. By 2016, nearly a million more Hispanics will be eligible to vote in Texas, more than quadruple the number of eligible new Anglo voters, according to several forecasts. Other new residents continue to pour in from an array of traditionally Democratic states, particularly California.
Meanwhile, Texas has some of the country's lowest voter-participation rates, especially among groups that typically skew Democratic, That leads some Democrats to compare the state to a vast oil field that has yet to be tapped. The state has 13.6 million registered voters. But Democrats say there are nearly three million eligible but unregistered Hispanics and African Americans, and at least half that many who are registered but don't vote.
Mr. Romney won Texas by a margin of 1.2 million votes in November.
Republicans' desire to shore up their standing with this growing Hispanic bloc has some in the party scrambling to change their immigration stance.
The state party dramatically changed its official platform last year, eliminating references to mass deportations and calling for a guest-worker program. In January, the Texas Federation of Republican Women went further, voting to support a federal path to citizenship for millions of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
But both of the state's Republican senators, including the party's own top Hispanic lawmaker, Sen. Ted Cruz, oppose opening a route to citizenship for those in the U.S. illegally.
Sensing opportunity, a band of former top Obama campaign operatives have just launched the most ambitious effort to date to loosen the GOP grip. Their goal: Make Texas competitive by the second half of the decade and eventually tip it for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since Jimmy Carter won here in 1976.
Led by former Obama field director Jeremy Bird, the Battleground Texas project plans to marshal much the same manpower and data-mining the Obama campaign used to swing states such as Colorado and Virginia in the past two elections.
Wiry and bespectacled, Mr. Bird likes to describe how the past two Obama campaigns were littered with foot soldiers from Texas laboring in other states. Texas volunteers made more than 400,000 calls into Florida in the final weeks of the 2012 campaign, he said.
"For years you have been giving to the national campaign," he told a packed ballroom of 300 or so Texas Democratic volunteers in San Antonio recently on his first public swing through the state. "Now it's time the national campaign gave back to you."
Mr. Bird and other Democrats say Texas, because its vote has been so one-sided in national elections, has been all but untouched by the precinct-by-precinct arts of modern voter mobilization. "Texans haven't seen a presidential TV ad on anything but cable since Jimmy Carter," said Mr. Bird. "That should tell you something."
Democrats point to a little-noted mobilization drive called the 21 Precinct Project that the Travis County Democratic Party ran in the largely Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods of East Austin.
In the fall of 2010, the party combed through data to identify 23,452 households where residents were registered, and likely to be Democrats, but rarely voted. A team of 41 volunteers and paid staff then spent five weeks calling and visiting those homes, urging them to vote. The project cost a little over $40,000.
The results were startling: a 54% jump in straight-ticket Democratic voting, and a turnout rate nearly 20% higher than the rest of Travis County.
The conclusion, according to county Democratic chairman Andy Brown, who ran the drive: "People respond if you ask for their vote. And in Texas, millions of people have never been asked."
Austin resident Santos Martinez is one recent convert to the voting process. Born in Laredo, Texas, 46 years ago, Mr. Martinez says he "never really paid attention to voting, never really cared about it." A community activist group convinced him to register and cast his first vote last year, which he did, for President Obama and every other Democrat on the ticket.
"Now I tell my son, 'Don't wait like me,' " said Mr. Martinez, who works as a maintenance man. "'When you get the chance, vote.'"
Over lunch at a packed restaurant south of downtown San Antonio, Mayor Julián Castro beams at the Democrats' chances in the years ahead. After giving the keynote address at the Democratic Party convention in September, Mr. Castro dropped into Virginia, Florida and Nevada as a campaign surrogate for President Obama. What he saw stunned him.
"The sheer intensity of the campaigning there, the all-out effort to find and mobilize votes, was unlike anything I have ever seen in Texas," he said.
Mr. Castro contends the Republican room for growth in Texas is minimal. "But we Democrats," he said, "we haven't even begun to pick the low-hanging fruit."
He and his twin brother, Joaquin, now a freshman member of Congress, are themselves barometers of the shift under way in Texas. Few expect Texas to become truly competitive for Democrats by 2014 or even 2016. The dream among liberals is that both Castro brothers would run in 2018: one for governor and the other for the Senate seat now held by Sen. Cruz.
Mayor Castro, at 38, says he has no plans for now to seek higher office, but he agrees with the time frame. "Texas," he said, "will be competitive in six to eight years."
Republican Gov. Perry's pollster, Mike Baselice, has a different view. Hispanic support for Republican statewide candidates, he says, has hovered around 35% for years—higher than the 27% Mr. Romney got nationally last year. If the GOP can sustain that, he argues, its hold on the state should remain firm until early in the next decade.
Still, the party establishment isn't taking things for granted. At Republican headquarters two blocks from the state Capitol, Mr. Munisteri, the Republican chairman, keeps an 8-inch-thick binder on his desk stuffed with polling data on Hispanic attitudes toward his party. The poll, conducted in December, was the first of its kind ever commissioned by the state GOP.
Some of the poll's findings—that Hispanics largely see the GOP as the party of the rich bent on eliminating the social safety net—underscore the Republican challenge.
But Mr. Munisteri hammers on the positive: how 40% of Texas Hispanics call themselves conservatives, and how Mr. Romney in November got more than 35% of the state Hispanic vote last year, in contrast to Mr. Romney's tepid performance nationally.
Other statewide Republican candidates, the poll found, outpaced Mr. Romney by claiming closer to 40% of the Hispanic vote. "If we can maintain levels like that, we can win elections here until I die," Mr. Munisteri said.
Joe Gomez, a 49-year-old businessman and lifelong Republican in San Antonio, is eager to see his party change and diversify, both in its candidates and its voter base. "We need to change the entire image of who a Republican voter is," he said. "If we don't, the party is heading for disaster and will eventually die."
Several groups have sprung up to recruit and fund conservative Hispanic candidates, including one founded in 2010 by George P. Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and nephew of former President George W. Bush. The younger Bush, whose mother was born in Mexico, recently announced plans to run for Texas land commissioner next year, his first foray into elected office.
His group, Hispanic Republicans of Texas, spent around $300,000 on training and supporting local Latino candidates last year, a sum the group expects will more than double going into the 2014 election.
At the same time, the state party began a drive last year to recruit hundreds of new Hispanic GOP party delegates to the party by calling all Hispanic-surnamed residents who voted in the last Republican primary.
David Zapata, the 30-year-old son of Mexican immigrants who runs the party's Latino outreach, said it isn't enough to win voters.
"Voters are great, but we need active participants," he said. "We need new people, new faces, who will be a permanent part of the party."
The GOP's most palpable shift has come on the immigration front. Republican lawmakers introduced over 100 immigration-related bills in the past legislative session, including measures to deny cheaper in-state college tuition to the children of illegal immigrants and to overturn laws in several Texas cities that offered refuge to undocumented workers.
This session, with the filing deadline now past, fewer than five such bills have been put forward.
"Let's just say we are taking a different tone this year," said Republican state Rep. Larry Gonzalez, who represents a district just north of Austin. "We're focusing on things we can control, like jobs, education and water."
Both parties are now rolling out the full martial lexicon as they brace for the fight ahead. Mr. Bird says his Battleground Texas project will spend tens of millions of dollars to wage a statewide Democratic voter mobilization drive that will focus first on the most promising counties and work out from there.
Speaking of the Republicans, Mr. Bird said with a grin: "If I were them, I would be scared."
From GOP headquarters, Mr. Munisteri said he has heard big talk from the Democrats before. "But if they do roll out the big guns, we won't stand by," he said, "All artillery fire will be responded to in kind."
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