Don’t know if your districts have changed? Not sure which candidates will be on your November ballot?
Head to texasrealtorssupport.com.
You can plug in your home address to find out which TREPAC-supported candidates will be on your ballot in November.
REALTORS® participate in political advocacy because it’s the best way to ensure the health of the industry. You may be only one voter, but when REALTORS® act together, they have the voting power of 154,000 individuals—among 17 million registered voters in Texas, that’s a big deal! What’s more, the way you and other REALTORS® vote impacts the day-to-day practice of your business.
Real estate is one of the most highly regulated industries. Whenever a new policy is proposed that could affect real estate, it helps when REALTOR® interests are top-of-mind with lawmakers. The association has a saying: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” By engaging in political advocacy, the association can protect and maintain relationships with elected officials who can help achieve common goals. “TREPAC is regarded as one of the most respected political action committees in the state,” said 2022 TREPAC Chair Nancy Garcia. “People know who we are and that we get things done.”
The efficacy of Texas REALTORS® support is evident from the success of RPAC- and TREPAC-supported candidates. For the primaries that occurred on March 1, TREPAC supported candidates in 79 state and federal races in Texas. Of those 79 races, the candidates in 76 races either won outright or headed to a May 24 runoff. Then, during the May runoffs—which are always unpredictable—state candidates backed by TREPAC had an amazing 81% win rate. The one RPAC-supported candidate for federal office who went to a runoff also won his election. “By showing up to the polls, you can ensure REALTORS® continue to have a loud voice in school boards, city councils, county commissions, the Legislature, statewide office, and the U.S. Capitol,” Garcia said.
Make Sure You’re Registered
To check your voter registration status, visit teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP.
As the leading advocate for private property rights in the state, Texas REALTORS® already has established relationships with policy makers at all levels of government. In races where vetted incumbents have proven they share the association’s positions, local boards can—and should—act to support those candidates early on. In these situations, it is likely not necessary to hold a candidate interview, though it is always recommended to visit with your elected officials during the campaign cycle to maintain good relationships and get campaign updates. Another form of early engagement is when a local board helps recruit candidates who are REALTORS® or who have otherwise proven that they care about private property rights.
In open seats, or if reconsideration of incumbent support is on the table, a local association may choose to screen the candidates for a given office. This happens through the Texas REALTORS® Candidate Interview Program. Local associations work with the Political Involvement Committee (PIC) and other REALTOR® volunteers to recommend candidates. Ultimately, TREPAC support is determined based on factors that include a candidate’s positions on real estate issues, the candidate’s relationship with the local association, and that person’s chances of winning. “If you want to help decide who TREPAC supports, you should get involved with government affairs at your local association,” said 2022 PIC Chair J.R. Martinez. “Local boards have the most say in which candidates ultimately receive TREPAC support.” Martinez’s committee is responsible for promoting member participation in the association’s grassroots political advocacy initiatives. This includes providing the state perspective on candidate screening, assisting candidate recruitment and training, candidate interviews, promoting turnout, and maintaining relationships with elected officials.
Get a customized voting guide listing the REALTOR®-supported candidates on your ballot.
The PIC also gives REALTOR®-supported candidates ratings dependent on their stances toward real estate issues and their history of advocating on behalf of private property rights. In order from highest to lowest, those ratings are REALTOR® Champion, REALTOR® Advocate, REALTOR® Friend, and Incumbent.
After local boards make their recommendations for legislative and statewide candidates, those recommendations are sent to the trustees for a vote and final approval. For Texas’s federal candidates, TREPAC trustees vote on recommendations to RPAC, which is responsible for supporting candidates in those races. In elections at the local level, local boards have full control of which candidates will receive TREPAC support.
Elections by the Numbers
About 90% of Texas REALTORS® were registered to vote for the March 1 primary elections.
96% of TREPAC-supported candidates either won their primary election outright or advanced to the May runoffs.
17.1 million people were registered to vote in the Texas primaries.
This year’s political landscape
Going into November 2022, the state’s political landscape has shifted due to demographic changes and redistricting, a process of redrawing voting districts that occurs once every 10 years based on census population data. “This year, the results of redistricting reaffirmed Texas’s status as a ‘primary state’—meaning that, in most cases, the primary elections are the election of consequence,” said Texas REALTORS® Director of Political Affairs Brandon Alderete. Even so, this November election remains consequential. There are several races that remain contentious, and tides could turn in favor of either candidate. Texas REALTORS® is a trade organization focused on the success of its members, consumers, and a healthy real estate environment. TREPAC supports REALTOR® interests by supporting candidates from both major political parties based on their views concerning real estate issues and not based on party affiliation, party platform, or other issues outside of real estate issues.
“These are the decision makers who determine your business environment,” said Tray Bates, Texas REALTORS® Vice President of Governmental Affairs. “During the pandemic, the state’s top lawmakers were charged with deciding what businesses were deemed essential and allowed to operate throughout shutdowns. Real estate was on that list. If that hadn’t happened, we would’ve been in trouble.”
The election this fall presents an opportunity for Texas REALTORS® to have an outsized influence on political advocacy because midterm elections have notoriously low turnout and REALTORS® are far more likely to vote than non-REALTORS®. Statewide data from the March elections show REALTORS® were 50% more likely to vote.
During the 87th Texas Legislature in 2021, TREPAC-supported elected officials passed laws that reformed homeowners associations in favor of property owners, expanded options for appraisals, ensured REALTORS® could provide their essential services in times of crisis, and increased transparency of property taxes. The association worked with allies on both sides of the aisle in the Texas Capitol to achieve those wins. Those partnerships were forged and solidified through participation in the electoral process.
- Engages REALTORS® at the local level.
- Each Texas REALTORS® region is represented for a total of 25 committee members.
- Committee members selected by Texas REALTORS® Leadership Team after undergoing an interview process.
- Each member serves a 2-year term.
- Oversee political programming including candidate recruitment and training, REALTOR®- and public-voter registration, candidate interviews, REALTOR®-voter turnout, Opportunity Races (REALTOR®-facing political campaigns), Legislative Contact Teams, and calls for action.
- Fundraises and allocates support to local, legislative, and statewide candidates who promote homeownership, protect real property rights, and increase political awareness.
- There are 52 TREPAC trustees.
- 49 trustees are elected by the full board and three are appointed by TREPAC chairs. Those three appointed members are non-voting.
- Each trustee serves a 2-year term and may serve up to two consecutive terms. After the first two years, the trustee must interview again.
- Votes to approve local recommendations for legislative and statewide candidates. Votes to make recommendations to RPAC in federal elections.