Just when it seemed like Montgomery County Republican politics had gone too far off the rails to avoid a disastrous crash, a citizen decided to take matters into his own hands, with a very unexpected result. Allen Taylor, a local business owner, is also President of the Taylor Group – a homegrown volunteer activist group that stands out from most in that they tend to take a positive approach to change and frequently volunteer their time and resources to help those in need, or for pro-active reasons, as opposed to many other “activists” who use their energy and resources to complain and protest. Taylor, like most average Republican voting residents of Montgomery County, had grown tired of the incessant bickering dividing the Montgomery County Republican Party, and the particularly upsetting disrespect shown the iconic party chairman, Dr. Wally Wilkerson.
Taylor contacted Jodi Ruonavar, who is both a member of the Taylor Group and an official within the Montgomery County Republican Party. Taylor told Ruonavar he wanted to bring the two sides together and work out a compromise to restore unity to the party, well in advance of the 2020 election. The one point all have been able to agree upon throughout all of the difficulties and differences is the importance of the next local and national election and all that is at stake. Ruonavar, whose family has been active and influential in local politics for many years, agreed to help Taylor, and they got busy.
On Saturday, February 2, at a barbecue restaurant in Splendora, something amazing happened. Dr. Wilkerson, flanked by members of the Taylor Group and party members who’ve been steadfast in their support of him and his decades of leadership, met with members of the infamous “steering committee” who were willing to sit down and calmly discuss their differences. Turns out, there were many misunderstandings and much of the long, ugly and very public conflict ripping the county’s majority political party in half appears to have arisen from misinformation (or outright lies and refusal to retract them even when confronted with proof of the truth, according to some accounts).
Granted, there was no appearance by those who were the most hostile in meetings that have been broadcast all over the internet drawing outrage at the treatment of Dr. Wilkerson, the duly elected Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party. However, few could argue against the truth – that those present represent the backbone and stability of the party, and those capable of putting ego aside in order to compromise and restore unity, which is exactly what happened. They sat down and discussed how they could compromise on everything from meetings scheduling and who has the authority to call them, to the bylaws and when or whether they expire.
It’s difficult to say what was more remarkable about the meeting – the fact that a compromise was reached, or that one man who holds no political office and doesn’t have a last name on any local buildings or street signs managed to do what no one else had. Rather than accept someone else’s interpretation of events, or cherry-picked pieces of conversation, MCPR decided to provide video and audio of the entire discussion and conclusion, and we urge every voter and potential voter in Montgomery County to view it.