By Betsy Dolan
Just seven weeks before the May 29 primary election, the Fort Bend County Republican Party finds its leadership in a state of flux after chairman, Sharon Roberts, resigned April 2. In a letter posted on the Fort Bend GOP web site, Roberts stated that she had withdrawn her name recently for re-election as county chair so that “long time Republican friend and volunteer, Mike Gibson can run unopposed.” Roberts’ withdrawal paves the way for a special election by the precinct chairs on April 19 to fill the remainder of Roberts’ unexpired term, likely by Gibson. In the meantime, Vice Chairman, Mickey Mixon, will assume the role as Chairman Pro Tem.
Roberts’ withdrawal comes during a contentious period within the county Republican party which has had difficulty finding common ground between the party moderates and the tea party/evangelicals. In addition Roberts is said to have clashed with former county GOP chairman, Rick Miller. Roberts recently released a 19 page letter detailing Miller’s alleged attempts to sabotage her efforts to get the party back on track including the executive committee’s persistent evasiveness in regard to the party’s finances.
“It’s an amazing mess in regard to what they won’t disclose,” Roberts told the Star. “The more questions I asked the more upset they got.” Roberts says she is pleased that prior to her resignation she was able to get a 3-member ad hoc financial oversight committee in place to begin reviewing the bank statements from 2007 to the present.
In a conversation last week with “Fort Bend Star” publisher, Bev Carter, Rick Miller, who is running for the District 26 seat in the Texas House of Representatives, disputed all of Roberts’ claims stating that he only wanted to see Roberts and the party succeed. Miller did call her letter “slanderous and unethical”.
Roberts took over as chairman of the county Republican party in August of 2011, succeeding Miller who resigned to pursue other interests. Gibson, Roberts likely successor, has been actively involved in the party for 20 years.