Montgomery County GOP Headquarters Closes After 58 Years

After 58 years of serving as the focal point for Republican activities in one of the most important suburban counties in Texas, the Montgomery County Republican Party (MCRP) Headquarters in downtown Conroe has closed due to the party’s failure to renegotiate their expired lease.

The Headquarters is the latest casualty of the bitter internecine warfare that has riven the MCRP in recent years. The party has been almost entirely consumed with infighting between County Chairman Bryan Christ and his supporters on the one side, and precinct chairs affiliated with local tea party groups who control a majority of the County Executive Committee (CEC) on the other side. The feud has all but paralyzed the party in Texas’ 11th largest county.

The lease to the building on 310 Metcalf Street, which the party has rented since 1965, was set to expire in early 2023. Christ was unable to renegotiate the lease with the landlord. Members of the CEC have stated that they attempted to negotiate with the landlord instead, as the CEC has been paying the rent for the Headquarters, however, the landlord would not deal with them.

The party’s factions have been holding separate meeting for most of the CEC’s current term after they could not reach an agreement on the set of bylaws that would govern the party. Christ’s faction held a meeting on March 7 where the precinct chairs in attendance approved resolutions giving Christ the authority to sell or donate the party’s equipment and other assets. They also passed a resolution for future party meetings to be held remotely by electronic means.

On April 2, Christ and party volunteers moved everything out of the Headquarters. Political artifacts belonging to former County Chairman Wally Wilkerson were reportedly given back to his family, while technology and appliances were donated or given to Republican Parties in other counties.

According to an email from Christ, “At this time, the County Executive Committee will not be pursuing an additional space.”

The closure of the Headquarters is a huge blow to the legacy of the late Dr. Wilkerson, who opened the county’s first GOP Headquarters in 1965 in what was originally the State Hotel, built in 1931. In 1994 the party acquired the larger adjacent office. According to Wilkerson, the party realized the need for a headquarters after they ran their first serious campaign in 1964 for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and senate candidate George H.W. Bush.

According to the MCRP website:

“Following the 1964 election, the County Executive Committee concluded a full time headquarters was needed to establish the Party’s visibility and credibility and to compete with the Democrat Headquarters known as the “County Courthouse”. It was not at all unusual to see Democrat candidate signs posted in Courthouse offices during an election campaign.

Norman Imler, Precinct #10 Chairman and owner of the State Hotel (circa 1931) on Collins Street in Conroe, offered to let the Party use a room adjacent to the lobby as the Party Headquarters. In 1965 the Headquarters was officially opened. A sign was hung from the awning over the door after much delay because a painter could not be found who would paint such a “Republican” sign. Today, that sign hangs from the wall above the entrance to the Headquarters at 310 Collins Street as a reminder of the tenacity and dedication of those brave enough to call themselves Republicans during the 1960s.”

Throughout his 56 years as chairman, Wilkerson, or “Dr. Wally” as he was affectionately known, could be found in the Headquarters office watching Fox News, ready to greet visitors with a smile and a friendly history lesson on the early days of the Republican Party back when Montgomery County, like the rest of the state, was a Democratic stronghold. By the time Wilkerson retired in 2020, the Headquarters had come to resemble a museum, with countless items of political memorabilia acquired by Wilkerson on display. The Headquarters served as the hub for many political meetings and general election campaigns.

The failure to even maintain an office poses serious questions about the MCRP’s ability to run a general election campaign to support Republican candidates. The party’s dysfunction is especially concerning for Republicans going into the critical 2024 presidential election, when Senator Ted Cruz will also be up for re-election. As Texas becomes more and more competitive in general elections, statewide Republican candidates rely on the enormous margins for Republicans in suburban Montgomery County in order to offset Democrat strength in the big cities. Will the MCRP be able to deliver in 2024?

Questions? Comments? Thoughts? We want to hear from you! Contact the editor by email at or by phone at 936-777-0743.

Published by Reagan Reed

Reagan is a journalist and educator from East Texas. He has been involved in numerous campaigns, worked at the Texas Legislature, and covered Texas politics for years as a journalist.

One thought on “Montgomery County GOP Headquarters Closes After 58 Years

  1. The landlord, Rodney Poole, would not agree to a new lease because of the continual legal threats and demands he received from the Freedom Caucus (unaffiliated), starting with a Demand Letter sent by Charles Shirley. Poole’s monthly legal fees consulting his lawyer exceeded what he received for rent.

    Precinct 24 Chair James ByersConduct and Ethics Committee ChairmanRules Committee ChairmanSteering Committee MemberMontgomery County Republican Party of Texas(281) 300-0058


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