Tina Benkiser

Mark McCaig on Benkiser’s departure

Sep 27, 2009 By Paul Burka

I received this communication from State Republican Executive Committee member Mark McCaig in response to my post about Tina Benkiser’s resignation as state chairman of the SREC. McCaig has been a critic of Benkiser’s leadership and had considered running against her had she run for reelection. McCaig writes: I do…

GOP chair Tina Benkiser steps down to join Perry campaign: Big deal or not?

Sep 27, 2009 By Paul Burka

Benkiser, whose title will be senior adviser, brings to the table a knowledge of all the players in the GOP--SREC members, county chairs, precinct chairs, the big fundraisers, the state party organization, the whole works. That's worth something. On the other hand, her leadership of the party has been challenged from day one. Gina Parker ran a vigorous but unsuccessful race against her in 2004. Ross Ramsey reported in Texas Weekly at the time that Benkiser had the support of Texans for Lawsuit Reform while Parker was a trial lawyer. She also had opposition in 2008 and two candidates, including dissident Mark McHaig, of Katy, intended to challenge her if she ran for another term. n. One of the factors that contributed to her resignation as chairman, according to the Lone Star Report, is that she received a complaint from the Hutchison campaign that she was giving the governor's speech -- that is, touting the state's economy. In other words, she was taking sides in a race in which she was supposed to be neutral. Now she can campaign for Perry without drawing fire. I can't envision Benkiser being much of an asset beyond her stumping for Perry. As a strategist, she muffed the attempt to get Tom DeLay off the ballot in 2006; she ruled him ineligible to run for re-election to his congressional seat because he had moved to Virginia, but the ploy was thrown out by an Austin federal district court and likewise rejected by the Fifth Circuit. By that time, it was too late for DeLay to resign and allow the Republican party to name a replacement. The result was that the GOP was left with a write-in against Democrat Nick Lampson. (Pete Olson regained the seat for the Republican party in 2008.) Benkiser made a bid for national prominence last year by teaming up with Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell on a ticket to seek the co-chairmanship (akin to vice-president) of the Republican National Committee, but that effort went nowhere.

Statesman: RPT’s Klingler jumps to Hutchison

Feb 25, 2009 By Paul Burka

The main effect of Hans Klingler’s hire is that it is yet another signal from the Hutchison camp that she is in the race for the long haul and no matter how mean it gets. Otherwise, it doesn’t move the needle. Staffers switch jobs all the time. The RPT is…

Benkiser joins conservative slate for GOP post

Dec 18, 2008 By Paul Burka

Politico today reports on the race for chairman of the Republican National Committee. Six candidates are seeking the position, including incumbent Mike Duncan, who wants a second term. After all, this one was such a resounding success. This is the Texas angle: Ken Blackwell: The former Cincinnati mayor…

The Speaker’s Race: Shock and Awful

Dec 1, 2008 By Paul Burka

Things are about to get ugly in the speaker’s race. The Craddick forces, led by several longtime loyalists (I want to run another check on the names), are trying to stir up a coordinated campaign to put pressure on wavering colleagues to vote for Craddick. According to credible reports I…