Release: Travis GOP opposes Robert Morrow candidacy for SBOE

Jan. 22, 2020
Media contact: Andy Hogue, Communications

Travis GOP opposes Robert Morrow's candidacy for State Board of Education

AUSTIN — County political parties typically do not endorse or oppose opponents in contested Republican primary races.

But one race in particular drew the opposition of the Travis County Republican Party Executive Committee Tuesday (Jan. 21). The Executive Committee, consisting of precinct chairmen across the Austin area within Travis County, unanimously approved a resolution to oppose the candidacy of Robert Morrow, a perennial candidate seeking a position of the State Board of Education. 

Also running on the Republican Primary ballot are Inga Cotton and Lani Popp. The Executive Committee did not endorse any of the candidates. Early voting for the March 3 Primary begins Feb. 18.

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RELEASE: 'Godfather of Travis County Republican Party' announces retirement; Travis GOP Chairman calls Commissioner Gerald Daugherty 'living legend'


Dec. 5, 2019
Media contact: Andy Hogue, Communications Director | (512) 298-9996 (cell)

'Godfather of Travis County Republican Party' announces retirement
Travis GOP Chairman congratulates Precinct 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty on 14 years of service

AUSTIN -- Republican Travis County Precinct 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty announced in a press release today he will not seek re-election when his term expires in the new year.

Travis GOP Chairman Matt Mackowiak wishes Daugherty well in retirement from the county dais.

"Gerald Daugherty is a living legend. His remarkable service to Travis County has been extraordinary," Mackowiak said. "He is the Godfather of the Travis County Republican Party, which is why we recognized him with our Reagan Courage award last year.

"He has been a consistent advocate for taxpayers and worked to find consensus on the Commissioner’s Court by always focusing on what was possible by working together. His legacy will be the completion of SW 45, which he fought to secure for many years and which will benefit everyone who lives and works in Southwest Austin. I am tremendously grateful for his public service and friendship.”


Austin-area Republicans announce support for November 2019 ballot items


Oct. 17, 2019
Media contact: Andy Hogue, Communications Director

Austin-area Republicans announce support for county, city ballot items

Travis GOP issues statements in support of state constitutional amendment propositions 3, 4

AUSTIN  With early voting beginning Monday in the Texas Constitutional Amendment and Local elections, the Travis GOP Executive Committee unanimously approved resolutions in support of state Proposition 3 (disaster-damaged property tax exemptions) and Proposition 4 (state income tax ban). The resolutions are included below.

In support of local ballot referenda, precinct chairmen decided by unanimous voice vote to support County Proposition A (expo center improvements) and city of Austin propositions A (voter support for sports facilities) and B (voter approval for convention center improvements and use of hotel tax).

On county Proposition A, Chairman Matt Mackowiak said: "I'm proud to endorse Travis County Prop A because it allocates a new use of an existing hotel occupancy tax, paid for by out of town visitors, to renovate the Expo Center. This will create jobs and allow Rodeo Austin to generate more scholarships for kids in our community."

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RELEASE: Travis GOP makes first hire for 2020 election cycle


Oct. 16, 2019
Media contact: Andy Hogue, Communications Director

Travis GOP makes first hire for 2020 election cycle

Ed Check brings 3 decades of experience to critical election primary election management role  

AUSTIN —A veteran legislative and state government aide with a keen eye for detail joined the Travis County Republican Party staff today.

Ed Check will serve as Primary Administrator for the 2020 election season beginning Nov. 1, 2019.

The Texas election code allows for counties to contract with local political parties to administer open primary elections. As such, Check's duties will include: working with the Travis County Elections Division and the Texas Secretary of State's office to administer the March 3, 2020, Primary Election; recruiting a strong team of volunteers, election judges, and other workers necessary to assuring a smooth-running election; and overseeing the many details assigned to him by Travis GOP Chairman Matt Mackowiak to comply with state and federal election regulations.

“I'm pleased that Ed has agreed to serve as primary administrator for the Travis County GOP for the 2020 election cycle,” said Travis GOP Chairman Matt Mackowiak. “His experience will be an asset to all Republican primary voters and to the county party. He will make all decisions related to the primary election.”

Check, most recently a contract and grant specialist with the Texas General Land Office, brings to the Travis GOP office over 30 years of experience in state government, Republican party leadership, and health care administration and research.

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TCRP Chairman Condemns Eckhardt’s Disgusting Joke about Gov. Abbott

UPDATE: Judge Eckhardt has reportedly apologized to Gov. Abbott.


Sept. 27, 2019

TCRP Chairman Condemns Eckhardt’s Disgusting Joke about Gov. Abbott
Highest-Ranking Travis County Elected Official Makes Light of Abbott’s Paralysis

AUSTIN – According to a report in The Texas Tribune, at a panel discussion today at the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott “hates trees because one fell on him.”

Gov. Abbott suffered lower body paralysis while jogging in Houston when a tree fell over and hit him.

“I want to condemn in the strongest possible terms this disgusting joke from the highest-ranking Democrat in Travis County,” said Travis County GOP Chairman Matt Mackowiak. “Governor Abbott has displayed inspiring determination in his life, overcoming a tragic accident that paralyzed him at age 26 and rising to serve on the Texas Supreme Court, Attorney General, and now as Governor. Judge Eckhardt apparently believes that his disability is open to ridicule if it helps her make a political argument. This joke represents a profound lack of compassion from Judge Eckhardt. After news reports surfaced about her outrageous joke, she has since offered a weak apology. I hope she takes some time to reflect and reaches out to Governor Abbott and his family to also privately apologize. There is no place for insulting Americans with disabilities and Judge Eckhardt should know better.”



RELEASE: Missing money, deadlines among discoveries while reviewing Justice Thomas J. Baker's paperwork


Aug. 16, 2019
Media contact: Andy Hogue, Communications Director,

AUSTIN ⁠— A freshman Democratic appeals court justice may have run his campaign touting his experience in the courtroom.

But Justice Thomas Baker's experience in running a campaign apparently has much to be desired, according to several inconsistencies discovered in his legally required campaign finance paperwork.

Travis County Republican Party Chairman Matt Mackowiak filed a sworn complaint on Tuesday (Aug. 13), noting the numerous errors and miscalculations.

"When considering the complicated nature of his profession and researching caselaw, how can we expect Justice Baker to issue competent rulings if he cannot file accurate campaign finance reports?" said Matt Mackowiak, Chairman of the Travis County Republican Party. "The problems we discovered are indicative of mismanagement and could foreshadow ethical problems. The voters of Texas demand better out of our elected jurists."

Below are the campaign finance violation allegations included in the complaint:


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RELEASE: 2 new campaign finance violations discovered from District 1 Austin Council member


July 18, 2019
Media contact: Andy Hogue, Communications Director

BREAKING: 2 new campaign finance violations discovered from District 1 Austin Council member

Additional examples of Natasha Harper-Madison's neglect raise questions of competency, ethical standards

AUSTIN -- A single campaign finance rule violation for a first-term office-holder was enough to make local headlines this week following the release of semiannual filings.

Now, two new violations have been discovered following a careful investigation of District 1 City Council member Natasha Harper-Madison's campaign finance paperwork.

Travis County Republican Party (TCRP) Chairman Matt Mackowiak filed a sworn complaint to the City of Austin on Wednesday (July 17) detailing the violations. Austin-area media outlets picked up on one of the problems: Harper-Madison's acceptance of $3,695 in campaign contributions after her runoff victory — a clear violation of Austin city campaign finance rules. Harper-Madison dismissed it via KXAN-TV as an "innocent error."
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Homeless given more rights than property owners under new camping policy

UPDATE: Read further comments on this situation from TCRP staff via the Austin American-Statesman here.

July 3, 2019
Media contact: Matt Mackowiak

Homeless given more rights than property owners under new camping policy

Chairman Matt Mackowiak supports Gov. Greg Abbott in calling for Texas Legislature to reverse city decision

AUSTIN -- A recent change to city ordinance allowing homeless camps on private property, business frontage, and even public sidewalks has ignited a firestorm from both sides of the political spectrum.

It has now become legal in the City of Austin for homeless persons to camp on the front of one's private property or on public rights-of-way in the Capital of Texas. Even the Austin Police Association is expressing discomfort with the idea, which allows camping "on sidewalks, alleyways, and other public places (except parks and City Hall), which includes in front of your house, provided the people camping are not making the sidewalk unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous."

"This ill-advised homeless camping policy is the latest example of our all-Democrat City Council continuing its war on private enterprise and taxpayers," said Matt Mackowiak, Travis GOP Chairman. "There are better ways to incentivize businesses and homeowners to help alleviate homelessness in Austin, but chiseling away at our rights and public safety is not the answer.

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Ruddle succeeds Davis as TCRP Executive Director

Media Contact: Matt Mackowiak
(512) 423-6116 |

April 15, 2019

Ruddle to Succeed Davis as TCRP Executive Director
Veteran of the Abbott Campaign Joins TCRP for the Rest of the 2020 Cycle

AUSTIN – Travis County Republican Party (TCRP) chairman Matt Mackowiak announced the appointment of Brian Ruddle to the position of Executive Director, effective immediately. Ruddle succeeds Spencer Davis who has served in that position since January 1, 2019 and is moving on to another role that he will announce soon.

“I am excited about working with Brian to elect more Republicans, grow the party and advance conservatism,” said Mackowiak. “Brian’s years of experience working with grassroots activists across the country, including the past two years for the Abbott Campaign, align perfectly with our goal to aggressively campaign and elect more Republicans in Travis County.”

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Austin-area Republicans support giving taxpayers power to tap brakes on runaway property taxes

Families and businesses continually being run out of Austin by high property tax burdens is a major concern for Travis County Republicans, who are now firmly standing with state legislative leaders to empower Texas taxpayers.

If passed by the Texas Legislature this session, House Bill 2 would require voter approval for local property tax hikes that represent a 2.5 percent increase. ....

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