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  • Ellis County GOP Chair Randy Bellomy is shown conducting the meeting on July 7.
    Ellis County GOP Chair Randy Bellomy is shown conducting the meeting on July 7.
  • Cat Parks
    Cat Parks
  • Alma Perez Jackson (incumbent)
    Alma Perez Jackson (incumbent)

Ellis County GOP host RPT Vice Chair debate

The Ellis County Republican Party heard from several candidates seeking election. 

On Tuesday July 7, the event was held outside, there was plenty of room for social distancing, and it was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. 

Candidates for School Boards, the Sheriff’s race, Elector CD 6 candidates, RPT State Chairman race, SREC Senate District 22 race, and RPT Vice Chair Candidates all were allotted speaking time to persuade those most active in the party to vote, promote, and endorse them.

Many delegates from across North Texas came to listen to the match up of the evening, the RPT Vice Chair race featuring Alma Perez Jackson (incumbent) and challenger Cat Parks. The most pertinent question for delegates: Will the candidate uphold the planks of the Republican Party Platform?

Jackson being the incumbent brings experience as the Vice Chair along with an impressive resume of previous places held as a grassroots Republican.

Parks, the County Chair in Hamilton County, also brings a host of titles and experience to the floor.

Both ladies were amicable and desired a respectable race. 

One will win the votes of the delegates at the virtually held State Conversation later this week.

The stance Jackson and Parks took on auxiliary and coalition groups was a key point and could be a deciding factor of the race.

As Vice Chair, Jackson voted against the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation’s largest organization representing LGBT Republicans, having a booth at the last State Convention. 

Jackson said, “I voted ‘no’ because I am going to defend the Republican Party Platform.” 

Jackson was referencing the plank of the platform as Republicans widely believe in Judeao-Christian values in marriage between a man and a woman. 

Parks held a different view saying, “I welcome all coalitions. If they are Republicans we need them.”

Both candidates voiced concern and urged constituents, who were troubled with the way the platform is being ignored at the state level, to form relationships with their representatives.

Jackson reminded the group, “We cannot legislate. We can only put pressure on representatives to legislate. Those ignoring the platform need to be voted out.”

Parks said, “The platform is an essential voice, the work is year-round, and constituents need to seek relationships with their legislators.”

When asked what the top three issues Texas was facing the answers were agreeable.

“Keep Texas conservative. Promote families as they are the foundation of our society. Honor God,” said Jackson.

Parks’s top three issues were, “Keep the White House. Keep the districts. Keep the judicial benches.”

A respectful question and answer session helped many delegates decide who they will elect as the next Vice Chair of the RPT. Kathy Ponce, a state delegate and in a race for elector CD6, is voting Parks. Ponce said, “Cat Parks is the future of the Republican Party of Texas. She worked diligently to get a Republican Candidate in every race in Texas. 

“She has energy and drive. We need someone to represent and lead with tenacity.”

Penny Story, a state delegate and also running for re-election of Red Oak ISD School Board is voting for Jackson. 

“In this time when few people are willing to stand for absolutes, Alma Jackson stands firmly with the Republican Party platform which is the soul of the Republican Party. She has been a trustworthy supporter of the Party since 1987. As Vice Chair, she has fearlessly traveled over 50,000 miles in Texas spreading her message of ‘The Greater Opportunity Party,’” said Story.

For many Republicans deeply entrenched in the grassroots movement, this is a critical race shaping the direction and future of the Republican Party in Texas. Many Republicans fear the Lone Star State turning blue. The Beto (D) vs. Cruz (R) race of 2018 was a wake up call to the elephant. Texas has been a strong Republican foothold for previous election cycles. But with Governor Abbott (R) coming out weekly with big government mandates due to coronavirus, red Texans are surely gearing up for change. This can explain why a deeply conservative county is so focused on keeping the state red. The activists in Ellis County are a feisty bunch and specialize in keeping Ellis County a Conservative stronghold.

Photos by Holly Freeman / The Ellis County Press

Ellis County Press

208 S Central St. 
Ferris, TX 75125