|Cynthia Turner Brehm,|
formerly known as Cindy Speer
|Assumed office |
June 11, 2018
|Preceded by||Mark Dorazio|
|Born||May 11, 1960|
|Spouse(s)|| (1) Missing|
(2) Norman Brehm
|Residence||San Antonio, Texas|
Cynthia Turner Brehm, formerly known as Cindy Speer (born May 11, 1960), is the chairman of the Bexar County Republican Party, based in San Antonio, Texas. She was chosen by voters in the runoff election held on May 22, 2018, to succeed the interim chairman, Mark Dorazio, who like Brehm is considered a staunch conservative in the party, which also has a considerable Moderate Republican wing associated with outgoing state House Speaker Joe Straus and U.S. Representative Will Hurd of Texas' 23rd congressional district.
Dorazio was not a candidate for a full-term as Bexar County chairman in the March 6 primary but remains the Precinct 3091 chairman. Brehm, who lost a 2015 bid for mayor of San Antonio and a 2017 race for the District 8 seat on the city council, led the four-candidate field for county chairman. Other candidates in the March 6 primary were Dwight Parscale, who had lost the interim election to Dorazio, and finished the primary with 21 percent of the ballots cast. JoAnn Ponce Gonzalez (23 percent), a former agent with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms who carried considerable business support, entered the May 22 runoff with Brehm. Andres Holliday finished fourth with the remaining 11 percent of the vote.
A descendant of original settlers from the Canary Islands who were instrumental in the founding of San Antonio, Brehm defeated Ponce Gonzalez in the runoff contest with nearly 70 percent of the ballots cast. As soon as she was elected chairman, it was reported that Brehm had refused to reveal details of a sexual misconduct scandal involving her husband, Norman Brehm, a retired military officer since employed by General Dynamics Corporation in Afghanistan. The two have lived apart for seven years. She resides in a $647,000 home in the wealthy Dominion neighborhood which they co-own. He can visit her only occasionally because of the distance between Texas and Afghanistan. Patty Gibbons, a past Brehm supporter and critic of Speaker Joe Straus, said that she is appalled to learn of Norman Brehm's indecency case and questions Cynthia Brehm for trying to keep the matter private. In an email on May 25, 2018, Brehm said that her husband "sadly got into pornography and did something absolutely stupid. He flashed my 14-year-old daughter." Norman Brehm escaped prosecution on an indecency charge because his case was forward after expiration of the statute of limitations. On May 13, 2009, the sentence for the indecency charge was set aside by the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals.
Tylden Shaeffer, the unsuccessful Republican nominee for Bexar County District Attorney in the November 6 general election against the Democrat Joe D. Gonzales, said that he is "extremely troubled" by the Brehm revelation and called upon her to step down "today" as the party chairman. Gibbons said that she fears Brehm's presence in the campaign will alienated party donors and damage the campaigns of down-ballot Republicans in the fall. Brehm refused to resign as party chairman despite the questions raised.
Six months into her tenure as party chairman, Brehm was jolted when the Democrats, including Beto O'Rourke in his challenged to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and Lupe Valdez in her long-shot bid against Governor Greg Abbott, swept Bexar County in the mid-term election held on November 6, 2018.
- Cynthia Brehm. Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on January 22, 2018.
- Rishika Dugyala (March 7, 2018). Here's how six of Texas' most interesting local primaries turned out: Bexar County Republican Party Chair. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved on March `12, 2018.
- Cynthia Brehm. Facebook. Retrieved on May 24, 2018.
- Gilbert Garcia, "GOP chair faces backlash over husband's scandal" (commentary), The San Antonio Express-News, May 27, 2018, p. A2.
- The Jack Riccardi Show, May 29, 2018.