State Board of Education member George Clayton

While many local GOPers were undoubtedly taking in election returns from Florida on TV, about 40 people showed up at Texas Land & Cattle on Lemmon Avenue in Uptown on Tuesday night for a kickoff party for Dallas’ new chapter of Log Cabin Republicans. As we reminded you Tuesday, National Log Cabin Republicans abruptly de-chartered, then re-chartered the local LCR chapter amid controversy back in October.

(Now that Log Cabin has relaunched, it’ll be interesting to see how the chapter competes with former President Rob Schlein’s spinoff, Metroplex Republicans of Dallas. And it’s worth noting that for the time being, while some major cities have none, Dallas now has two gay GOP groups.)

Those in attendance for Tuesday’s LCR kickoff included openly gay (and recently outed) State Board of Education member George Clayton, State Rep. Kenneth Sheets and Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Wade Emmert.

“Don’t let anyone tell you the party doesn’t want you,” Emmert told the group. “Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not welcome in the Republican Party.”

Hanging on the wall of the room at TL&C — which fittingly looks like the inside of a log cabin — was a Texas flag flown outside the State Capitol and presented to the LCR chapter by State Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas.

Other candidates who attended the LCR meeting were Andy Olivo, who’s running for House District 115, and Cecile Fernandez, who’s running for the District 1 seat on the Dallas County Commissioners Court. Joe Chow, who’s running for U.S. Congress in District 6, wasn’t in attendance but sent a surrogate.

“By all measures, our kickoff party was a huge success,” Log Cabin President Thomas Purdy said after the meeting. “Not only was it well-attended, but our vision of achieving equality through outreach was well-received.  I could not be prouder of how our Chapter began or more excited about all the good that is to come from it.”

The group’s next meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 21. The speaker will be Randy Roberts Potts. For more information on the Log Cabin chapter, email

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