Mark Dorazio

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Mark Evan Dorazio


Chairman of the Republican Party
of Bexar County, Texas
In office
December 4,  2017 – June 11, 2018
Preceded by Robert Stovall
Succeeded by Cynthia Brehm

Born January 4, 1959
Spouse(s) Monica Dorazio

One son:
Russell Luke Dorazio

Residence San Antonio, Texas
Occupation Businessman
Religion Christian

Mark Evan Dorazio (born January 4, 1959)[1] is a businessman from San Antonio, Texas, who is the former chairman of the Republican Party in Bexar County. He assumed the position in December 2017, when the incumbent Robert Stovall resigned to run in the March 6, 2018, primary for the District 21 seat being vacated by the long-term Republican incumbent Lamar Smith.

Dorazio is also one of the sixty-two elected members of the Texas State Republican Executive Committee, a panel which voted by a two-thirds majority, 44-19, on January 27, 2018, to censure outgoing Texas House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio for Straus' blocking of much of the conservative agenda advanced in 2017 by Governor Greg Abbott. Dorazio said in the executive committee deliberations that Straus had subverted the party's platform and kept the state from becoming the conservative "shining city on the hill".[2]

Former chairman Stovall, though also considered conservative, had defended Straus against the Speaker's detractors. Straus announced late in 2017 that he would not seek re-nomination in the March 6 Republican primary and hence vacated the Speaker's on January 8, 2019. Conservatives also targeted a key Straus ally, Representative Lyle Larson of San Antonio, and being at odds with the grassroots; Larson turned back conservative opposition in the March 6 primary and a Democratic opponent in the November 6 general election. In 2017, Straus prevented the state House of Representatives from taking up the bill pushed by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to forbid transgendered men from entering women's restrooms on the grounds that the legislation would discourage business expansion in Texas. However, in 2015, the staunchly pro-life Stovall became an early and ardent supporter of the Donald Trump presidential campaign.[3]

Stovall proposed Dwight Parscale as his successor, but Parscale finished last in a three-candidate race before the county executive committee. Former chairman Kurt Nelson ran second to Dorazio. Parscale is the father of Brad Parscale, owner of the local web design and social media firm that ran Donald Trump’s social media during the 2016 presidential campaign. But Dwight Parscale was unknown to the precinct chairs because has not been involved to any great extent with the local party. But Pascale said that he could raise “$500,000 to $1 million” for local party coffers.[4]

Before he became chairman, Dorazio and his wife, Monica, had each contributed $500 to the candidacy of Hollywood Park Mayor Christopher Michael "Chris" Falls (born 1975), the insurgent who failed to topple Lyle Larson in the March 6 primary. Dorazio as chairman pledged support to the winner of the primary, either Falls or Larson, in the November 6 general election. Larson has been a persistent intra-party critic of Governor Greg Abbott. Straus, meanwhile, is vacating his District 121 seat and did not run for another office in 2018.[5]

A week after Dorazio became county chairman, the county executive committee pushed through a resolution to censure Straus for his RINO positions even though Straus had already announced that he would not seek to remain a House member in 2019. Dorazio's backers were largely the grassroots leaders who bucked Straus and Larson. However, Dorzaio soon found himself in partial agreement with another Bexar County RINO, Jeff Wentworth, the current justice of the peace in Precinct 3 and a former state senator who was unseated in 2014 by the more conservative Donna Campbell of New Braunfels. Campbell turned back an intraparty challenge in the March 6 primary from another female candidate, Moderate Republican Shannon McClendon. The party rejected the candidacy of Wentworth's only primary opponent, Russ Latham, after it was found that sixty-five of Latham's petition signers did not reside in Bexar County.[5]

Dorazio was not a candidate for a full-term as Bexar County chairman in the March 6 primary but is the Precinct 3091 chairman. Cynthia 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. She is self-identified as a social conservative.[6] Other candidates included Dwight Parscale, who 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.[7] Brehm, a descendant of original settlers from the Canary Islands who were instrumental in the founding of San Antonio, defeated Ponce Gonzalez in the runoff contest.[8]

References

  1. Mark E. Dorazio. Mylife.com. Retrieved on January 22, 2018.
  2. Jonathan Tilove, "State GOP executive panel censures Straus: House speaker didn't go along with agenda," San Antonio Express-News, January 28, 2010, p. A6.
  3. Gilbert Garcia, "Candidate out to Make District 21 great again", San Antonio Express-News, January 26, 2018, p. A2.
  4. Jeff Judson (Joe Straus' unsuccessful 2016 primary opponent in House District 121) (December 7, 2017). Bexar County Party Elects New Conservative Republican Chair: It is a new day in Bexar County.  Mark Dorazio will be reshaping the local party over the next few months.. San Antonio Tea Party. Retrieved on January 22, 2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Gilbert Garcia, "GOP county chair donated to Rep. Larson's challenger, San Antonio Express-News, January 21, 2018, p. 2.
  6. Cynthia Brehm. Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on January 22, 2018.
  7. 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.
  8. Cynthia Brehm. Facebook. Retrieved on May 24, 2018.