Jonathan Neerman Resigns as Dallas County GOP Chair; Former County Judge Candidate Wade Emmert "Interested" in Replacing Him

Categories: Politics

Jonathan_Neerman.jpg
Photo by Hal Samples
Jonathan Neerman
Back in December 2008, we introduced you to foul-mouthed Jonathan Neerman, who had the misfortune of taking over as Dallas County Republican Party chair during a Barack Obama-led Democratic ass-kicking at the polls.

One day after the GOP swept local state House races and lost again to the Democrats countywide in November 2010, Neerman told us "it's very unlikely" he'd run for a third term in 2012. Then, less than a month later, he said current officeholders, former candidates and grassroots leaders "encouraged me to stay on for one more cycle."

Now, he's decided to resign effective May 2.

"It's time to turn over the leadership of the party to new blood, which hopefully can continue on the same upward trajectory that we've been on," says the Hunton & Williams securities and real estate lawyer and father of two young children. "I've also reached the point in my professional career and personal life where I want to spend more time focused on that right now."

Vice chair Debbie Georgatos will assume Neerman's duties until a new chair is elected by the party's precinct chairs. Georgatos, who Neerman says is interested in staying on long term, has 30 days to schedule a meeting of the executive committee.

Lawyer and former Cedar Hill council member Wade Emmert, who narrowly lost his campaign to become Dallas County judge in November, says it's a logical position for him to assume.

"I haven't totally decided yet, but it's something I'm interested in," he says. "It would be a way for me to stay involved in both county politics and county government, along with state and federal politics."

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Photo by Sam Merten
Wade Emmert
Emmert says Neerman's decision surprised him, and he praised Neerman's tenure.

"Besides being a great friend, he is a great leader," he tells Unfair Park. "We're losing out in a lot of ways on a visionary for Dallas County. But I hope to build on what he's accomplished and look forward to taking the county party to the next level."

Neerman says he won't be taking an active or passive role in determining his successor.

Other than securing a major countywide victory, Neerman says he accomplished the goals he established when he replaced Kenn George as party chair in 2008. Those goals included re-establishing the GOP's relevance in the county and boosting the party's finances, technology systems, communication with the public and relationship with elected officials. He says the lack of a countywide win had little to do with the candidates.

"The census numbers show demographic trends that are hurting countywide Republican candidates in the short term," he says. "One-punch, straight-ticket voting has also hurt our down-ballot candidates at a time when our Republican top-of-the-ticket has underperformed. And, looking at 2008, our local candidates were fighting against a historic Obama campaign that swept urban areas."

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13 comments
local democrat
local democrat

Aww,come on Neerman please stay ! The democrats were just getting used to beating up on you and your party here locally. Kidding aside,Good Luck in whatever you do.

MattL1
MattL1

I'd be willing to do the job. I'm technically a Democrat, but that shouldn't be a big deal, right?

Laura
Laura

It's the Dallas Republican Party--so why does this matter. Dallas votes Democrat.

So who really cares who leads the Dallas Republican party?

Bonwells
Bonwells

Debbie Georgatos is grassroots oriented and Tea Party friendly. Debbie has the time to devote to being full time chair of the Rep. Party. Trying to persuade Debbie to be DCRP Chair!

Real Conservative
Real Conservative

Wade would be an awesome Chair!!! He's a great leader, a passionate conservative and a SOUTH DALLAS resident!

Jarret
Jarret

Except for losing every countywide race for the third election in a row he "accomplished the goals he established".

Great stuff, that.

Ready for a Change
Ready for a Change

Debbie Georgatos can be a full time chair. Wade Emmert is great guy, but he has two small children at home and a full time job that he would maintain. Debbie is the logical choice.

Christi R
Christi R

Wade would be a great successor!

El Rey
El Rey

Neerman will be missed. Wade Emmert is a great choice for his replacement.

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

Too bad.....Neerman is one of the coolest dudes in Dallas.

Jay
Jay

Why the hell not? You could not possibly do worse than the current local, state wide and national republican leadership.

Jo
Jo

Not until 2006.

Reality Check!
Reality Check!

Georgatos is a right-wing nut. If Republicans ever want to get back in office in Dallas County beyond their neatly carved out strongholds they must reach out for the middle. Georgatos would be the final nail in our area's Republican Party

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