Dallas County Republican precinct chairs will meet tonight to choose a successor to Jonathan Neerman, who’s arguably been the most LGBT-inclusive leader in the local GOP’s history. The two candidates to replace Neerman are civil attorney and former county judge candidate Wade Emmert, and the tea party-affiliated former president of the Park Cities Republican Women, Debbie Georgatos.
As chair, Neerman publicly advocated for including groups like Log Cabin Republicans in the local party, in an effort to grow the base and try to stem the Democratic tide of the last five years. Naturally, this led to criticism of Neerman by social conservatives, and now the race to replace him has become the subject of some major gay Facebook drama. LCR President Rob Schlein is accusing Georgatos’ supporters gay-baiting in the campaign against Emmert, whom Schlein is now publicly endorsing.
It all started when Dallas County Commissioner Maurine Dickey canceled her scheduled appearance at next week’s monthly meeting of the gay GOP group. To replace Dickey, Schlein invited both Emmert and Georgatos to speak at the meeting — win or lose tonight’s election. “Both spoke about broadening the party so another ‘test’ was to see which candidate would have the courage to commit to openly speak to Log Cabin before a vote. I wanted to see whose actions would meet their words,” Schlein writes.
Schlein said he was impressed that Emmert immediately accepted the invitation. As for Georgatos, she replied to Schlein as follows: “I am sorry–that date is not possible on my caliber [sic]–and my life is crazy–let’s talk after the 17th (after i get a good night’s sleep). I am telling all the different clubs asking that i need to sort out my calendar after the 17th.”