Smith County democratic chairman has no plans of resigning despite demands from party members

Chairman calls allegations ‘libelous’

East Texas Democrats Ask Chair To Resign

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Smith County Democratic Chairman Michael Tolbert said he does not intend to resign, despite demands from members of the Smith County Democratic Party.

A a resolution was formally submitted at Tuesday night’s meeting of the party’s County Executive Committee (CEC), demanding Tolbert resign as the chair of the local democratic party. The CEC is made up of elected and appointed precinct chairs. The committee has 47 precinct chairs, as required by Texas Election Code. 24 members signed the letter along with 9 general members at-large in Smith County, according to Pct. 19 chair Dave Hansen.

The submitted cover letter notes 21 instances that are alleged to be “antithetical of Democratic Party values of honesty, inclusion, transparency, respect and unity to advance the party and its candidates.” The members claim during Tolbert’s tenure, “the local party failed to advance the necessary financial, community and candidate support to result in improved election outcomes in Smith County.”

They go on to say, “one of the most concerning highlights is his sworn court testimony falsely representing CEC approval of a primary runoff following the clear win by Sgt. Willie Mims for Constable Precinct 1 in March 2020. Amazing as it sounds, Mr. Tolbert as a Democratic leader disenfranchised 1717 (51.21%) Democratic votes.”

Chairs, like Tolbert, are elected during primary elections in Texas, meaning there aren’t many ways to remove a county party chair.

“The signatories hope that upon distribution, the public is awakened and encouraged to make known to Mr. Tolbert that the time for his resignation is at hand and he does the honorable thing by stepping down,” stated the group in a news release.

Tolbert responded to the request for his resignation in the following email sent to KLTV.

“Over the course of the last four years, America has encountered many challenges that have tested the concept of government Of the People, By the People, For the People. Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Our political system rests upon the foundation of an informed electorate making rational decisions in the best interest of the majority. Two weeks ago, we witnessed what can happen when an emotionally charged segment of a group is manipulated by a sociopath with a selfish agenda. The extremists within the group created a spectacle that overshadowed those who legitimately care about public policy and achieving common goals. In the case of the looting and rioting that was planned and instigated at the Capitol on January 6, a small segment of the group resorted to destruction and intimidation to avenge perceived losses. Elected official distorted facts and engaged in demagoguery for their own perverted pleasure and selfish gains.

Unfortunately, there are people who claim to subscribe to all sorts of political persuasions who are not content to see the divisiveness and destruction impact the Republican party exclusively.

The author of this manifesto and his co-conspirators are more intent on avenging their actual primary election losses and relitigating legal cases than they are about achieving the common goals and objectives of the Smith County Democratic Party. I understand how difficult it is for some of our neighbors to admit personal responsibility for their losses and failures. It is evident that the author, former president of The Democratic Club of Smith County (“The Club,”) is bitter that his misguided efforts have not received sufficient praise to satisfy his needs. This saddens me. Much like the Big Lie that fueled much of the carnage on January 6, this tactic and writing style are consistent with that of the previous president of “The Club,” Nancy Nichols, Ed.D. The SDEC committeeperson should be fully aware of the proper protocols to address any and all grievances. Deception to win at all costs will not be tolerated.

The allegations in this manifesto are libelous. The co-authors and their co-conspirators have failed to achieve their agenda via many other means and channels, and have now resorted to mob rule tactics. There is a reason that they had their press release ready to publish within minutes of the conclusion of the County Executive Committee Meeting. As George Orwell noted in the novel, “1984,” “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

My commitment to electing representatives who will serve the People of Smith County by promoting Democratic values and principles has remained consistent for over 12 years. That is why I volunteered to serve as Chairman of the Smith County Democratic Party, and that is what I shall continue to do for all Smith County voters who value Democratic principles, because our democratic form of government is the best there is.”

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