Name: Dan Davis
Current Position: Training specialist – Gerdau Ameristeel, Midlothian
City of Residence: Waxahachie
Education: Bachelor of business administration, Texas Wesleyan University Fort Worth, Cum Laude graduate in 1994
Professional credentials, certifications/commendations (relative to office)
Republican Party Candidate School – 2009
Prior Experience (relative to office)
• Ellis County Resident for the last 35 years
• Retired Army Reservist (Lieutenant Colonel)
• 41 years military and professional leadership experience
• Vice Chairman of Ellis County Conservatives
• Proud Tea Party activist
Family: On April 1 of this year, my wife Jody and I will celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary. Our daughter Rachel is waiting for us in heaven, but she left us two grandchildren Aaron Emanuel and Sarah Emanuel. Our son Gavin and his wife Shelina live in Midlothian. Gavin and Shelina have given us one grandchild, James, who is 5 months old.
• Member of Texas Civil Defense, an organization based out of Red Oak, that prepares the citizens of Texas for disasters and emergencies. In addition to operating shelters during severe weather and hurricanes, we support the Ellis County Emergency Services CRI/POD program and are members of Ellis County VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters).
• I am a trained POD (Point of Distribution) site director for Ellis County. PODS will be responsible in health emergencies for dispensing medications to the public during health emergencies.
• I enjoy genealogy. My family tree now contains over 8500 names and goes back to 1023 AD.
• Member of Sons of Confederate Veterans, a heritage organization composed of descendants of Confederate Veterans, we participate in Living History Reenactments, and do educational programs for local schools (on request)
Campaign Web site:
Question 1: In your own words, why are you running for Ellis County GOP Chairman?
ANSWER: I am deeply concerned for the future of my children and grandchildren. Like many, in the past I paid no attention as the Federal Government taxed more and provided more services.
I ignored the Washington shenanigans, assuming that this was just a quirk of democracy. But somewhere, I don’t know exactly where, we took a turn.
Administration after administration has felt compelled to make their personal mark on history. They continue to come up with a never-ending stream of new federal programs.
I believe all of them start out for the right reasons, but it seems like the government just keeps thinking of new ways to “ help” one group or another seemingly oblivious to the fact that to do so they must take away from someone else in order to pay for it.
Then in April of last year, the people stood up in town hall meetings and protests and said “We can’t afford this!”
The most insidious thing about it is that with each government handout, we also got unfunded mandates and more government regulation of our daily lives. The rules under which our republic was formed (The Constitution) have been broken, and our Bill of Rights, is under attack. As the new conservative movement began to take hold, I looked with an eye to see what we could do locally.
I discovered that the Republican Party in Ellis County was having problems with apathy on the part of its citizens, and was having a difficult time raising a quorum in its meetings. I decided that it was time to step up and provide leadership.
As an Officer in the Army I took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC.
There is no statute of limitations on that vow, and I intend to live up to my duty. I must do so for the sake of my children and grandchildren.
Question 2: How long have you been a member of the Republican Party?
ANSWER: There is no such thing as joining the party. You are automatically a member when you vote in the Primary Election. I have been voting Republican since I was able to vote.
Question 3: How long have you been actively involved in the Republican Party?
ANSWER: To my shame not long. It took a national crisis to wake me to the need for all of us to be active participants in the system. It is precisely because of my (and the majority of Americans) inaction, that the system became so corrupted.
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: 1. The conservative base has lost confidence in the Republican Party.
I believe the primary reason for this is that on a national level, the Republican Party which was once a very conservative organization has drifted toward the middle of the political spectrum.
Over time the Republican Leadership has been seduced by the “Elections are won in the middle” school of thought. As a result our representatives have at least partially abandoned our principles as stated in the Party Platform.
In addition, once our representatives have been in Washington for more than a couple of terms, they tend to contract “Potomac Fever” disease which causes elected representatives to view themselves as “career politicians.” Now that this is their career, their focus tends to shift to how to win the next election, so that they can keep their positions of power and influence.
This disease has only one known cure, unemployment. To prevent this from happening in the future, the Party needs to embrace the concept of censuring those who run as “Conservatives” and govern as “Independents.”
2. There is not sufficient grassroots support for the party to perform its most basic functions.
When you can’t consistently raise a quorum, and voter turn-out in the last primary election was only about 13,000 out of a county of 160,000, you have a systemic problem.
I wish there was a quick fix to this, but the only way to get people involved is to be active in the community. Each Precinct Chairman must work hard to find concerned citizens within their precinct and organize them. It takes shoe leather and hard work. Often it is the result of simply being a good neighbor. We need to communicate to them that we share their worries about how things in the community and the country are going. We should invite them to come to the next committee meeting. Too many citizens cannot tell you who their Precinct Chairman is. Too many citizens are unaware that after the vote on Election Day, there is a precinct convention. If you voted in the Republican Primary, you can come to the caucus and participate! You may even be selected as a delegate to the County, State, or National Convention. If you feel strongly about an issue, you can submit a resolution to be voted on and perhaps be included in the State Platform. The responsibility lies with the County Party to see that the citizens understand their powerful role in America’s political system.
3. The 2010 and 2012 Elections
Up until the Massachusetts primary we had one-party rule in the Senate. Now we have just enough votes to force the Administration to at least negotiate with us on key issues. We need to understand that only one vote could swing us back to one party rule. The current administration is more than willing to use our tax dollars to purchase that vote. As previously stated, we are at a critical point. Nationally, the opposition party is well organized and funded (with our tax dollars). With activist groups like ACORN and SEIU, they proved in the last presidential election that they were very capable of turning out large numbers of voters. In the last Presidential Election, the Republican Party achieved a 10.2 percent turnout of qualified voters while the Democrats turned out over 22 percent. Our ability to get out the Conservative votes will be the key to our success in 2010 and 2012. We must focus on grass roots organizing, if we are going to achieve our goals.
Just eight years ago, the Republican Party became the majority party in the State House of Representatives. Currently we hold 77 out of 150 seats. We should not assume that maintaining control of the State House is a certainty. Unless we have a good turnout, we could have a Democratic Speaker of the House in Texas. As south Texas becomes more and more Democratic, we have to work extra hard to maintain our already razor thin majority. I believe with the mood of the electorate, that can be reversed, but we must make a strong showing across the state in voter turnout.
Question 5: If elected, what will you do to help grow the party in Ellis County?
ANSWER: During the first couple of months we will focus on building consensus among the group on how we will move forward. The Executive Committee is a representative body. Each Precinct Chairman represents a precinct within Ellis County and needs to grow their Precinct Organization. The approach will differ from Precinct to Precinct, but we will support each other as we confront challenges in each precinct. The meetings will be much more of a round table, where successes and failures can be shared, and we can draw energy from each others efforts.
I will also bring Ash Wright, Political Director for the State Republican Party in to assist with the group development. He will train us on methods to use when going about our outreach to the community. We will conduct brainstorming sessions designed to provide each precinct chair with the tools they need to re-establish the Party’s relationship with the people in their precinct.
We will create sub-committees to act as watchdog groups to monitor our elected officials at all levels. We will then brainstorm a way to get information out to those citizens in each precinct who are interested in keeping up with current events. I believe that if we provide a stream of information, our constituents will become more knowledgeable in pending legislation and what the Republican Party is doing on their behalf.
It is really not up to just me. The strength or weakness of our efforts will be dependent on the decisions the Precinct Chairs make as a group and the effort each Chairman puts into making our ideas work. My role as County Chair will be to use my leadership experience to pull us all together, keep us on track, and move forward as a cohesive team.
Question 6: What are your views on the Republican Party platform and why is the platform important?
ANSWER: The party platform is created by the people of the county and of the state. The platform is a set of guidelines that express our beliefs as to what we expect our representatives to fight for. They define what issues we consider important and should be the guide as to how we expect our elected officials to govern. Our current platform is one that should bring pride to every conservative republican in the state.
Question 7: What are your views on sanctioning elected Republican officials for their votes and actions that contrast with the party platform?
ANSWER: Ours is a representative democracy. This means that we elect individuals who we trust will vote in our best interest. While they run as Republicans, they must be able to research each issue and vote in a manner which serves all the voters of their districts. If they are to function effectively, they must have the latitude to negotiate the best possible results for the people within their district. However, as an elected official they also have the responsibility to stand up for their constituents.
These constituents voted for them based on their Party identity and the principles identified in the Platform. It is an issue of trust, and ethics. Unfortunately, in the past we have had those who deceive us during the election and we find out too late that they do not share our beliefs.
The Republican Party has suffered greatly at the hands of far too many of this type of politician. The County Chairman is charged with the responsibility to have the candidates declare their position on each plank of the platform and to publish it on the Party Web site. It is the duty of the Executive Committee to monitor their actions, and if a pattern of disregard for our platform emerges, these actions need to be discussed. If the Precinct Chairs deem it necessary, then the first step should be for the County Chairman or a committee selected from among the chairs, to schedule a visit with our representative to voice our concerns. If after we have exhausted all of our other options, our representatives continue, we must then decide on an appropriate course of action.
Our elected Officials need to understand that it is a privilege to run on our ticket and to receive the party’s nomination and support. While we have no recourse under the current State Constitution to have a recall election, these variances from the platform should be part of the discussion in the next election cycle so that their credentials as our party candidate for that office may be challenged. They can still run for the office, but as something other than a Republican.
Question 8: In your view, what is the most important duty a county chairman performs?
ANSWER: This is difficult because all of their duties are important. If I had to select just one, it would be leadership. The County Chairman is the person who keeps the committee pulled together. They resolve differences among sub-groups, they must work constantly to ensure that the Executive Committee remains cohesive and they must deal with absentee Precinct Chairmen. The Chairman must provide the motivation to keep every person involved and energized. The Chairman provides a valuable asset as an over watch to observe how the organization is working and to step in when needed to keep things working smoothly.
Question 9: Have you always voted and, have you always voted in the Republican primary? Please elaborate.
ANSWER: As long as I can remember, I have voted Republican. There may be a few exceptions, like when I was overseas, or in the past when I worked shifts and the early voting rules were not as open as they are today.
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: We need a permanent office space to provide a place where people could come by and visit with us to see what is going on or to get informational and campaign materials. The people of Ellis County are entitled to an active address and phone number to enable them to reach us with their concerns. Therefore I would wish for:
1. A furnished headquarters
2. At least three phone lines and a main line with an answering machine
3. Volunteers to staff it.
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: This is a critical time for our country and for the Republican Party. The country is in the midst of a severe recession. People are hurting and struggling to get by. Many are loosing their homes, and others are out of work with no real expectation of finding a job soon.
At the same time, the current administration has gone on a spending spree of historical proportions that has yet to produce significant results. The current debt is $12.3 trillion, and the interest on the debt is over $1.2 billion a day. The debt that they are piling up will take generations to pay down and with every bail-out and stimulus package, they grab more and more control over our daily lives. Our legislators in Washington (on both sides of the aisle) are complicit in getting us to this point.
It is a time that requires Leadership and warriors to fight this outrage so that our country can return to the form of government envisioned by the founding fathers. This is not the time to point fingers, it is the time to roll up our sleeves and fix it.
My years of service in the Army as an Officer taught me much about how to lead and how to provide the training and motivation that is necessary to mobilize our efforts.
My years in industry taught me much about organizational behavior and how to forge effective work teams.
The last year with the Tea Party, Ellis County Conservatives, and the Common Sense Conservative Coalition has taught me much about organizing at the grass roots level.
As an American, a husband, a father, and as a grandfather, I cannot sit idly by and have this outrage perpetrated on my family and on the American People. Each American must decide how much he or she is willing to do. Some may be content to send a generous donation, or to volunteer to help in some other way. All of this is sorely needed. But for myself I must do more. Leadership is in my DNA. I have the tools, and I am more motivated on this than anything I have ever done, and I feel a call to duty.
One person, one county, or one state cannot accomplish this alone. However, history has presented us with an opportunity. Across the country in counties just like Ellis County, the people are rising up and finding the courage to say “NO, it stops here.” Not just the current administration, but also the corrupt system that has been built over decades needs to be dismantled and our beloved country must be returned to the principles outlined in the Constitution.