New Log Cabin chapter kicks off tonight

Vice President Lisa DeWitt, from left, Treasurer Van Freeman and President Thomas Purdy are among the board members for the new Dallas chapter of Log Cabin Republicans. (JOHN WRIGHT/Dallas Voice)

Three-and-a half months after National Log Cabin Republicans de-chartered the group’s previous Dallas chapter, the newly rechartered LCR affiliate will host a kickoff party tonight at Texas Land & Cattle on Lemmon Avenue in Uptown.

National Log Cabin Republicans booted the old chapter — and its President Rob Schlein — in October for engaging “in a consistent pattern of behavior that detracts from the mission of our organization.” Schlein had invited two leaders from GOProud, a competing national gay Republican group, to speak at the chapter’s annual dinner. He had also written an unsanctioned column published by Dallas Voice saying he would support Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president if Perry became the Republican nominee.

After the chapter was de-chartered by national, Schlein formed Metroplex Republicans of Dallas, which remains active. National Log Cabin, meanwhile, rechartered the Dallas chapter and installed 33-year-old Thomas Purdy as president. Purdy had been on the board of the old group.

“I just felt like it was important that the chapter and the brand continue in Dallas,” Purdy told Dallas Voice recently. “If I didn’t step in, I don’t know who would have. I feel like staying with Log Cabin I’m in a better position to affect change both on a local and national level.”

—  John Wright