|Thomas Richard "Tom" Mechler|
|Republican Party of Texas state chairman|
Assumed office |
March 7, 2015
|Preceded by||Steve Munisteri|
Place of birth missing
(1) Tomoko Izumikawa Mechler (divorced)
From first marriage:
|Residence||Amarillo, Texas, USA|
|Alma mater||Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania|
Thomas Richard Mechler, known as Tom Mechler (born c. 1957), a petroleum and natural gas consultant from Amarillo, Texas, is the current chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. He was chosen on the third secret ballot by the 62-member Republican State Executive Committee meeting in Austin on March 7, 2015, after the resignation of Steve Munisteri of Houston, who had been the chairman since 2010. The GOP holds all statewide offices in Texas except for one seat on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Mechler's place of birth is not available. He graduated with an engineering degree from Texas A&M University in College Station and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has formerly resided in connection with his employment in Wasilla, Alaska and in Texas: Kerens, San Antonio, Claude, Pampa, and Amarillo.
To win the state chairmanship, Mechler defeated several intraparty rivals, including former vice chairman and current Republican National Committeeman Robin Armstrong, an African-American physician from Dickinson in Galveston County; Wade Emmert, the Dallas County party chairman, and Jared Woodfill, the former Harris County chairman known for his support of social conservatism. Woodfill was unseated as chairman in Harris County in 2014 by Paul Simpson. In 2010, Munisteri defeated Mechler at the party's state convention in Dallas, and Melcher instead was named the party treasurer and was credited with bringing stability to party finances. To retain the chairmanship, Mechler must be again elected in 2016 by delegates to the regular state Republican convention, which will be held in Dallas from May 12–14. At the state convention on May 13, 2016, held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Mechler turned back another challenge from Jared Woodfill, the former Harris County chairman, in the race for a full term as Texas GOP chairman. The race had become heated when Dr. Steven F. Hotze, a Woodfill supporter from Houston, claimed that Mechler supports a "disgusting homosexual agenda", a charged that former chairman Steve Munisteri called "despicable". Woodfill withdrew when twenty-seven of the thirty-one state Senate districts supported Mechler's retention and declared his own backing of Mechler.
Mechler has been the Republican chairmen in two Texas counties, one of which is Gray County, which includes Pampa, the second largest city in the Texas Panhandle. To succeed himself as party treasurer, Mechler tapped Republican activist and assistant treasurer Thomas "Tom" Washington of Denton.
In 2005, then Governor Rick Perry appointed Mechler to the board of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Governor Greg Abbott said that he expects Mechler to "strengthen the party [and] continue the momentum of our state's Republican victories and preserve the very values that have made Texas the greatest state in the nation to live, work and raise a family." Mechler opposes marriage of same-sex couples and once said he would cancel his subscription to his home-town newspaper, the Amarillo Globe-News, were it to place in its pages a picture of two men or two women kissing each other.
A resolution over secession from the United States, which Mechler opposes, was debated at the convention but rejected by a voice vote of the delegates.
In April 2016, Ross Ramsey, writing in The Texas Tribune, explained how the Mechler-Woodfill race divided along ideological lines similar to the national stage, with "establishment against insurgents, social conservatives against social moderates, and chamber of commerce against grassroots." Mechler, the establishment favorite, carried the backing of Texans for Lawsuit Reform, a bi-partisan group formed in the 1990s. Because its focus is on lawsuit abuse, TLR has drawn the ire of the conservative faction for the organization's support of numerous pro-choice Democrats as well as Sarah Davis of Houston, the only Republican in the Texas House of Representatives who supports abortion rights.
- "Thomas R. Mechler". intelius.com. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- Brian M. Rosenthal (March 8, 2015). "Tom Mechler elected new leader of Texas Republican Party". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Tom Mechler Elected Texas GOP Chairman". breitbart.com. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- Gromer Jeffers, Jr. (May 13, 2016). "Tom Mechler easily retains chairmanship of Texas GOP". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
- "Tom Mechler's File". politifact.com. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Tom Mechler Is New State Party Chairman", jackcountygop.com, March 17, 2015
- Trudy Ring (March 10, 2015). "New Texas GOP Chair Repulsed by Same-Sex Kisses: New chair Tom Mechler once wrote that if his local newspaper published a photo of a same-sex kiss, he'd cancel his subscription". advocate.com. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- Douglas Ernst. "Texas GOP officials urge statewide secession vote: Surge in support over last 4 years". World Net Daily. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
- Mike Ward and Bobby Cervantes, "After loud debate, Texas GOP rejects platform call to secede: U. S. politics that 'impair' states' rights are cited," San Antonio Express-News, May 14, 2016, p. A3
- Gary M. Polland. "You Can Judge a Candidate By the Company He Keeps". Texas Conservative Review. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
|Texas Republican Party State Chairman
Thomas Richard "Tom" Mechler
| Succeeded by|