TYLER, Texas — Grassroots America: We The People, a conservative political organization based in Tyler, is rescinding their support of Smith County Republican Party Chairman Brent Thompson.
On Monday, leaders with the Smith County Republican Party met to begin the processing of removing Thompson from office, according to an article by CBS19's newspaper partners, the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
The article cites Elisabeth Ayub, Thompson's spokeswoman, in saying the move is a reaction to infighting among different factions of the party. However, the article also says "others" wanted Thompson out after he left the country, thus abandoning his role.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports Titus County Republican Party Chairwoman Susan Evenwel said Thompson has been out of the country since 2018, missing the important midterm election cycle.
In March 2016, the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported Grassroots America played an integral role in electing Thompson as chairman, replacing Tim McCormick.
According to Grassroots America, the group initially supported Thompson's election as chairman. However, that is no longer the case.
"Grassroots America’s endorsement of any candidate for public office does not constitute a lifetime commitment," Grassroots America Executive Director JoAnn Fleming said. "Should any of our endorsed candidates win election, they know full well that we will hold them accountable once they are in office. People are past weary of elected officials who promise one thing and govern completely differently. This case is no different.”
Fleming goes on to say the issues raised against Thompson are not merely "a silly turf battle."
"I can state without reservation, that Mr. Thompson has made himself ineligible for any future endorsement from Grassroots America," Fleming said. "For us, this is about accountability, transparency, and the commitments Mr. Thompson made about how he would conduct himself if Grassroots America’s Board supported his election. He has failed on those commitments – period.”
Ayub told the Tyler Morning Telegraph Thompson left the country for his job in the oil industry and needed to stay longer to deal with health issues. She said Thompson has no plans to step down.
According to Thompson's personal Facebook page, he has been active on social media, having posted multiple times in the past week.