Name: Brian Garlitz
Current position: None
City of residence:
Education: BS computer and electrical engineering, Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.), 1996; JD Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (Fort Worth), 2004.
Professional credentials /certifications/commendations (relative to office): State Bar of Texas, other than that none that come to mind.
Prior experience (relative to office): Involved with the Collin County and Dallas County GOP prior to moving to Ellis County; still involved with the Dallas County GOP.
Family: Wife, Kim. Daughter, Brenlin.
Hobbies: Flying, snow skiing.
Campaign Web site:
QUESTION 1: In your own words, why are you running for Ellis County GOP Chairman?
ANSWER: During the 2008 election we witnessed the result of ineffective Republican leadership – the election of an individual with extremely liberal views to the office of President of the United States.
The national environment that allowed him to be elected was not the result of an economy in the initial stages of a recession or ineffective conservative leadership in a single election cycle.
It was an electorate angry at a Republican majority in Congress that sponsored and passed several pieces of legislation that diverged significantly from conservative principles over the previous four election cycles.
I am running for Ellis County GOP Chairman because our country’s proper course, that left to us by Ronald Reagan of a strong national defense, low taxes, and free market solutions with limited government intervention, has been overtaken by liberals in two branches of federal government, whose policies will remove the incentive and reward for success, and Ellis County will suffer as a result. Change in Washington cannot happen without change at the county level.
The Ellis County Republican Party needs to make significant changes before the 2012 presidential election.
There is very little, if any, countywide grass roots involvement in the Republican Party.
Throughout 2009 we saw increasing support nationally, and locally, for the Tea Party movement.
The county Republican Party must embrace and help grow the grass roots enthusiasm of the local Tea Party groups through cooperative means whenever possible.
Most importantly, the Ellis County Republican Party needs a chairman with good organizational and communications skills.
I have spent my entire adult life bringing together diverse groups, and I will bring that experience to the Ellis County Republican Party.
QUESTION 2: How long have you been a member of the Republican Party?
ANSWER: I have been an ideological member of the Republican Party since age 6, when Ronald Reagan was first elected president, and a voting member of the Republican Party since I became eligible to vote. I have never been a member of any other political party.
QUESTION 3: How long have you been actively involved in the Republican Party? Please elaborate on positions held and volunteer duties.
ANSWER: I have been actively involved in the Republican Party since 1996 when I graduated from Purdue University.
During the last term of President Clinton and throughout George W. Bush’s first term in office I lived in Collin County and was very active with the Collin County GOP.
I volunteered on the campaigns of several District Court judges and for Congressman Sam Johnson's campaign. I still receive a Christmas card from Sam Johnson every year addressed to my home in Waxahachie, even though I’ve moved from Collin County and I am no longer a constituent of his.
Almost precisely concurrent with President Bush's first term in office I attended law school as a part-time evening student at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth.
During that period I also became more active with the Dallas County GOP as I became more involved in the Dallas legal community. My office is presently located in Dallas, and I still regularly attend as many Dallas County GOP meetings as my schedule permits.
Through my involvement with the GOP in Collin and Dallas counties I have seen a each Republican Party Executive Committee develop programs and policies that can be effective in a county of any size.
I set out to implement as many of those programs for the Ellis County GOP when I moved here in 2008.
Last summer, even though I was not a precinct chairman, I proposed a series of initiatives to put in place tools necessary to effectively communicate with county Republicans and develop an active grass roots political base dedicated to conservative Republican party interests.
One of those tools was a Web site for the party. The Ellis County GOP Executive Committee appropriate funds to acquire the domain EllisGOP.org and appointed me to create the Web site, which I did, at no cost to the Party.
I encourage all Ellis County Republicans to visit www.EllisGOP.org, and add your name and email address to our mailing list so you will receive regular Party email updates.
I would like the opportunity to continue these efforts and implement other grass roots programs before the 2012 presidential election.
QUESTION 4: What do you see as the top three challenges facing the Ellis County Republican Party and if elected, what would you do to address those challenges?
ANSWER: The first, and most important, challenge facing the Party is to increase its grass roots base throughout Ellis County.
I am very happy to see so many local Tea Party activists want to be Party precinct chairmen, but this is just a first step. Precinct chairmen must reach out to Republicans in their respective precincts, and encourage them to become involved.
The Party as a whole must make a coordinated effort to reach out to the growing hispanic community in Ellis County. There are a number of events throughout the county that cater to this community in which the Party should actively participate.
A second challenge facing the Party is how to secure fixed office and meeting space. To maintain a fixed office the Party will need to implement one or more programs that will allow it to generate regularly monthly revenue, rather than rely on a single annual fund raiser. I have proposed several options to the Executive Committee, and each of these options should be more fully developed by the whole Executive Committee and implemented once approved. When we have the revenue stream in place, we need to identify office/meeting space that suits the Party’s needs and furnish it as necessary.
We will also need to coordinate staff so that the office can be opened during normal business hours. This is likely to be a more difficult challenge than creating the revenue stream.
A third challenge facing the Party is communication to county Republicans. The county chairman must be the voice of the Ellis County GOP, and must regularly communicate events and updates to Republicans throughout the entire county. Technology has made this task easier, but it cannot be the sole means of communication.
By the end of the two year term, I want every Republican in Ellis County to know me, that they can contact me, and that I will do everything I can to address their concerns.
QUESTION 5: If elected, what will you do to help grow the party in Ellis County?
ANSWER: As described in the previous question, I believe growing the grass roots base is the most important challenge facing the Ellis County GOP. Working closely with ideologically similar groups, such as the Tea Party, is a natural first step in areas where the non-partisan Tea Party movement is not in conflict with the partisan Republican Party. Embracing the growing hispanic community in Ellis County will also grow the Party, as will a coordinated effort to reach out to people when they move into the county. Guest speaker events, either at our regularly scheduled meetings or on the weekends, is another way to increase attendance and create excitement for the Party. Finally, I will be very diligent in communication Party activities and events to all Republicans in the county, and asking for their input at every opportunity.
QUESTION 6: What are your views on the Republican Party platform and why is the platform important.
ANSWER: I strongly believe the two party systems is the proper framework for political debate. The Republican Party platform is the ideological backbone that unites the GOP and differentiates Republicans from the Democrats.
Republicans can and should engage in discussions of how to best implement the platform in various communities throughout the state and county, and our elected officials must carefully adhere to Party principles during their terms in office.
QUESTION 7: What are your views on sanctioning elected Republican officials for their votes and actions that contrast with the party platform?
ANSWER: The Ellis County GOP should sanction elected Republican officials for their votes and actions that contrast with the Party platform, but only after a determination of what “contrasts with the party platform” is consistent among Ellis County Republicans by a clear majority.
The Ellis County GOP Chairman, and Party precinct chairman alike, must be careful not use their positions to circumvent the will or view of constituent Republicans.
Party precinct chairman must regularly listen to Republicans within their precinct and represent those interests to the Executive Committee, and the Party county chairman must only act in accordance with an Executive Committee vote.
If by a majority vote the Executive Committee desires to sanction an elected official, then the Ellis County GOP Chairman is the person who should be the voice of the Executive Committee and communicate its vote to the sanctioned elected official, and to the public.
QUESTION 8: In your view, what is the most important duty a county chairman performs and why?
ANSWER::The most important duty of a county chairman is to bring competing conservative interests and ideas together into a solution that benefits all Ellis County Republicans. Competing interests and ideas are resolved through the Executive Committee, and the county chairman must act as an effective parliamentarian throughout that process.
The county chairman must then work with members of the Executive Committee to implement the solutions.
QUESTION 9: Have you always voted and, have you always voted in the Republican primary? Please elaborate.
ANSWER: I have voted in every general election since age 18, every Republican primary where a statewide or federal office was mathematically contested at the time of the election, and almost every Texas constitutional amendment poll.
I have never voted in a Democrat primary, or participated in a primary candidate selection process of any political party other than the Republican Party.
QUESTION 10: If you could have a wish list of three items to improve the Ellis County Republican Party, what would they be and why?
ANSWER: The Ellis County Republican Party needs but one asset that it does not have today, that is strong and energetic grass roots involvement.
With a large grass roots base, the Party can develop and implement programs that will generate revenue, it can develop leaders for tomorrow, and it can facilitate a self-sufficient citizenry that provides the necessary check on elected officials.
Without a committed grass roots base, unlimited funds would remain unspent, or worse be spent unwisely, competing ideologies will groom our future leaders, and elected officials will feel accountable to constituents only at election time. A prerequisite to an effective Republican Party is the same prerequisite for an effective representative democracy – an engaged electorate between elections.
QUESTION 11: Are you current on your personal and business taxes?
QUESTION 12: Tell us why you feel you are the best person for this position.
ANSWER: To say that any more than five per cent of the Republican Party Chairman's responsibilities involve ideological decisions is an overstatement.
A successful chairman is someone who has the requisite ideological views, to be sure, but more importantly is someone who has effective communication and organization skills, and who can get competing interests within the Party to work together towards a common goal.
I believe I am the best person for this position because I possess both the ideology and organization to be effective.
As a young software engineering professional I worked with ethnically diverse individuals to accomplish some truly noteworthy milestones given the resource constraints placed upon us.
As an attorney I’ve worked with opposing counsel, some of which did not necessarily represent the best interest of their own clients, to reach solutions for a wide range of problems.
Finally, as a small business owner, I understand tight budget constraints, and how self-sufficient solutions often provide unforeseen return on investment. What I have learned from each of these aspects of my life I will bring to the Ellis County Republican Party for the good of all Republicans in Ellis County.