Two Candidates Emerge for Dallas County Republican Chair

Two Republicans have put their name in the hat to replace Mark Montgomery, who abruptly resigned Tuesday as Dallas County Republican Chairman, citing personal reasons.

One is Elizabeth Alvarez Bingham, former vice-chairman of the Dallas County Republicans, who said the following in a statement Wednesday:

"The current leadership of the Dallas County Republican Party – and those who put them in power – have utterly failed to provide the support and organization that local Republican leaders, voters and volunteers depend upon. If Dallas County Republicans want to right the ship and come out on top this November, they need an experienced leader who is ready to put the party back to work – and my record shows that I am more than up to the challenge. We must achieve victory in November."

Phillip Huffines, the twin brother of State Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, is in the running, too. Phillip Huffines released the following statement, in part:

"2016 is going to be a challenging election cycle, and to put the Dallas GOP back on the right track, I will to commit 100 percent of the time, effort and resources that are necessary for Dallas County Republicans to be victorious.

"We need decisive, conservative leadership in the State of Texas, and it must include a Dallas County Republican Party that is efficient, professional, and most importantly, well-funded. To achieve that, we must immediately prove to Republicans in North Texas that our party is a good investment to advance the Republican cause."

Read his full statement here.

State Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, fired off a string of tweets Tuesday when Montgomery stepped down, saying Don Huffines engineered the resignation to get his brother installed as chief.

"I am deeply troubled that the brother of a sitting Republican who has publicly and privately recruited, financed and endorsed opponents to sitting Republican members of the Texas Legislature is now in line to become chairman of the Dallas County Republican Party," Villalba said.

As of this writing, NBC 5 has not heard a response from Don Huffines on that, but he did say he would support his brother.

The battle between the two, and the turmoil within the local party, is happening just about three months from the general election.

"My hope is that the executive committee elects somebody quickly, and that they bring some stability to the party. But it's going to put more pressure to the campaigns to pick up the slack that the county party is not going to be able to help with," said Former Dallas County Republican Chairman Wade Emmert.

The year, the Texas State House seats are up, and there are a number of local races. Dallas Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Donovan thinks trouble on the other side can help their chances. But she wants the candidates to continue doing what they are doing.

"I would say it is not going to change what we do, but I do think the results are going to be different because if they don't have a leader in place, and an organization in place, and a budget in place to be fielding workers in the area, then it's almost going to be like winning by default at a baseball game," said Donovan.

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