bowie county republican party chairman: Graves

By: Greg Bischof - Texarkana Gazette -

Published: 02/15/2008

Mark Graves
Mark Graves

Having chaired the Bowie County Republican Party since 2004, Mark Graves believes unity, trust in leadership and being an inclusive party are the main strengths the party must have.

Should he be re-elected during the March 4 primary, Graves, 42, said he plans to continue to work hard to build a unified party and “extinguish the mentality of ‘us’ and ‘them.’”

“It has to be all Republicans in Bowie County working together to build a unified party,” he said. “I would love to see trust being restored and this comes with unification and leaders being allowed to lead.”

Graves said an opportunity to trust must be given in order to build trust and all leaders—from the chairman down—should be trusted unless proven otherwise. He said without the opportunity to lead, leadership cannot be built.

“I plan to continue the wonderful grass-roots movement that has been built during the my first term in office,” he said. “This grass-roots movement has and will continue to include people from all parts of the county regardless of backgrounds. The Republican Party must be a party that is built on traditional values that I hold very dear.”

Regarding the recent controversial issues embroiling the local party over ballot drawing and party bylaws, Graves said he will and has always done his job as GOP chairman according to the Texas Election Code and the Republican Party of Texas bylaws and recommendations.

“No matter what kind of controversy comes my way, I am committed to integrity and following the law that was established for the good of all voters,” he said.

Throughout his first term in office, Graves said he established relationships with state Republican leaders that have been beneficial for Bowie County.

“We reopened a Republican headquarters in downtown Texarkana, brought ballot security to a new level and had several state Republican leaders visit,” he said, referring to a visit from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott last year.

“Also, the morale of our Republican ladies clubs is at an all-time high and we have been represented at many local parades and events.”

Currently working as chief financial officer for a family-owned business in Bowie County, Graves said he has always had a passion for public service, and serving as GOP chairman has provided him a way to serve and have a voice in the political process.

Regarding his reason for first running for the chairmanship back in 2004, Graves said he had a vision for a conservative county, state and nation in which he would love to see today’s youth learn and thrive.

“We have to start at the county level and build all the way to the national level in order for this to take place,” he said. “I have roots deep enough to be part of our wonderful past, but I am young enough to have vision and drive to lead us into the future.”