Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul confirmed as keynote speakers;
Governor Rick Perry invited to participate as 3rd keynote
The State Republican Executive Committee, at its last quarterly meeting, approved Chairman Munisteri’s proposal to hold a 2016 Presidential Preference Straw Poll concurrently with the 2014 Republican State Convention. All delegates, alternates and guests who pay the $50.00 facility fee will have an opportunity to cast one ballot for their presidential preference for the 2016 Republican nomination.
Last year the 2012 Texas GOP state convention was the largest state convention and had the highest number of delegates and alternates of any Republican convention in the country. Approximately 11,000 people attended at least a portion of the 2012 Texas GOP convention. There will be 18,000 alternate and delegate spots available for this convention and, with the straw poll, it is hoped that the 2014 convention will exceed 2012 attendance, thereby making the Texas GOP straw poll the largest Presidential Straw Poll next year and possibly the largest for the 2016 election cycle.
The state party has already arranged with Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates to conduct the straw poll. This is the same company that has conducted the CPAC straw poll for more than 20 years. Voting will be electronic and participants will utilize their delegate, alternate or guest credential for access.
The Officials Committee of the Republican Party has also approved the Chairman’s recommendation of criteria for placement of names on the ballot. All anticipated candidates who received a threshold percentage in opinion polls during the 2012 cycle or have done so in current polls will be invited to address the convention and their names will appear on the ballot.
All potential presidential candidates whose names appear on the straw poll ballot will be allowed to address the convention. Moreover, possible Presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz has confirmed his attendance at state convention and possible Presidential candidate GovernorRick Perry has also been invited. Because of their positions as a sitting Senator and the sitting Governor, Cruz and Perry will be given significant speaking allotments.
The Texas GOP is also excited to announce that leading national conservative, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who has been talked about as a presidential candidate, has already accepted his invitation to keynote the convention.
In addition, in the upcoming weeks, the Texas GOP will extend invitations to Governor Chris Christie, Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Mike Pence, Congressman John Kasich, CongressmanPaul Ryan, Senator Rick Santorum, Congressman Steve King, Governor Scott Walker, Senator Marco Rubio, and GovernorBobby Jindal. The Texas GOP will announce in the next few weeks a new website that will allow you to reserve your credential to vote in next year’s straw poll. Anyone who signs up for the guest registration early and is later selected to serve as a delegate or alternate will not have to pay again – their guest registration will convert to their delegate or alternate registration – allowing participants to make plans now to attend but not be asked to pay twice.
The straw poll will not only provide you an exciting and once in a lifetime opportunity to hear from all of these potential presidential candidates, but also will allow you to help influence who is ultimately selected as our 2016 nominee. The reason you can have such a dramatic impact is because right now Texas is scheduled to be the 5th state to hold its primary – on March 1st, 2016 – and we will have the second largest delegation with an anticipated 155 delegates. Whoever wins the straw poll and those that do well will certainly gain precious momentum here in Texas, which will help them in the Texas Presidential primary. And a strong showing in a straw poll of this size will certainly lend credibility to the campaign of any presidential hopeful.
Chairman Munisteri, commenting on the straw poll and convention said, “It has long been one of my goals, as well as that of the SREC, to find ways to increase Texas Republicans’ impact on the selection of our nominee for President. Texas Republicans have an unprecedented record of success and their judgment can be counted on to help guide the national party in determining its future course. This convention and straw poll is an opportunity for grassroots Republicans to have a significant impact on selecting the Republican Party’s nominee for President in 2016.”