The Texas REALTORS® Political Involvement Committee (PIC) plays a significant role in state-level legislative elections.

Among its other duties, the PIC is charged with:

  • Rating incumbent lawmakers using a combination of quantitative evaluation and qualitative analysis (detailed below)
  • Working with local boards to accelerate local timeline for TREPAC recommendations and Opportunity Race requests in certain legislative districts (a.k.a. “early engagement”)

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What does this mean for local boards?

Early Engagement Criteria/timeline for 2020 primaries (pre-filing)

Candidate ratings

How Texas REALTORS® and TREPAC Can Engage


What does this mean for local boards?

If your PIC member comes to you with an opportunity for early engagement, you have four options:

  • Pass a local recommendation for early engagement in a candidate’s election. TREPAC will consider this race at its next opportunity using your local recommendation and PIC guidance.
  • Oppose a recommendation for early engagement in a candidate’s election. The PAC may still consider this race at its next opportunity, but will require a 2/3 vote to override your local position. If that vote is not taken or the 2/3 threshold is not met, you can submit a candidate recommendation on your own timeline.
  • Request additional time to process the recommendation on early engagement in a candidate’s election. (contact staff)
  • Take no action or remain neutral on early engagement in a candidate’s election: TREPAC may still consider this race at its next opportunity.

Early Engagement Criteria/Timeline (pre-filing)

  • Early engagement– legislative races in which TREPAC may vote to support an announced candidate ahead of the official filing period (November – December in odd years)
    • Recommendations for early engagement can come from the PIC or a local board
    • Perpetual campaigns – Identify the need to get involved early due to the perpetual nature of the modern political environment
    • Candidate Interviews – still part of the process, use your discretion to determine if an “interview” is necessary
  • Timeline for 2020 primaries
    • Tuesday, Aug. 6
      • PIC begins evaluation of candidates for 2020 primaries
      • PIC evaluates races for early engagement opportunities
    • Friday, Sept. 6
    • Thursday, Sept. 12
      • PIC meets at conference
    • Friday, Sept. 13
      • TREPAC Trustees meet at conference
        • 86th Legislature post-session contributions
        • 2020 primary contributions
    • Thursday, Oct. 3
    • Tuesday Oct. 8
      • PIC meets at Orientation
      • TREPAC Trustees meet at Orientation (2020 contributions)
    • Saturday, Nov. 9
      • Filing opens for place on a primary ballot
    • Monday, Dec. 9 (6 p.m.)
      • Filing deadline
    • Friday, Jan. 3
    • Thursday, Jan. 9
      • PIC meeting
    • Friday, Jan. 10
      • TREPAC – 2020 contributions
    • Saturday, Feb. 8 
      • PIC and TREPAC Trustees 
    • Tuesday, Feb. 18
      • First day of early voting 
    • Friday, Feb. 28
      • Last day of early voting
    • Tuesday, March 3
      • Primary Election Day

Candidate ratings

The PIC is charged with “rating” legislators and candidates to provide guidance to local boards and the TREPAC Trustees.

  • Candidate Categories
    • Office Holders
      • REALTOR® Champion – a candidate with a demonstrated track record of significant support for REALTOR® Party positions; who has demonstrated REALTOR® support through other (non-voting) activity, such as carrying legislation; who may have notable leadership roles within the legislature or political parties; who has been receptive and responsive to Texas REALTORS® and REALTOR® constituents.
      • REALTOR® Friend – a candidate with a demonstrated track record of support for REALTOR® Party positions; who has been receptive and responsive to Texas REALTORS®, REALTOR® constituents, and the local association.
      • Incumbent – a candidate who currently holds the office for which he/she is seeking re-election.
    • Open seats
      • Friendly candidate – a candidate with known support for REALTOR® Party positions; who has been receptive and responsive to Texas REALTORS® and REALTOR® constituents.
      • Unfriendly candidate – a candidate with known opposition to REALTOR® Party positions; who has been unreceptive and unresponsive to Texas REALTORS® and REALTOR® constituents; running against an incumbent.
    • Contested seats
      • Friendly challenger – a candidate with known support for REALTOR® Party positions; who has been receptive and responsive to Texas REALTORS® and REALTOR® constituents; running against an incumbent.
      • Unfriendly challenger – a candidate with known opposition to REALTOR® Party positions; who has been unreceptive and unresponsive to Texas REALTORS® and REALTOR® constituents; running against an incumbent
  • Candidate evaluation
    • Incumbents
      • Quantitative Evaluation 
        • Numerical grade based on Texas REALTORS® legislative priorities
        • Considers all votes on all priority bills (including committee votes) and amendments
      • Qualitative (staff/PIC/local)
        • Level of competitiveness
        • Local intel
        • Lobby team input
          1. Behind the scenes
          2. Legislator background
          3. Committee assignments
          4. Receptive/responsive
    • Challengers/Open seats
      • Candidate questionnaire/interview
      • Political experience
        • Elected/appointed positions
        • Employed by elected?
        • Community involvement
      • Professional real estate experience
      • Relationship with local board/state, if any
      • Philosophical agreement with issues
      • Viability of campaign
        • Community support
        • Fundraising
        • Campaign activity

How Texas REALTORS® and TREPAC can engage

  • TREPAC direct contribution – contributions of hard (non-corporate) dollars directly to a candidate or candidate’s campaign; Local boards may submit TREPAC request forms for state-level legislative races.
  • Coordinated Political Activity – in-kind contributions using TREPAC non-corporate dollars done with or at the request of the candidate or the candidate’s campaign; examples may be a sending a direct mailer, buying yard signs, providing contract labor, sharing a poll, or hosting a meet-and-greet event.
  • Opportunity Race – a REALTOR®-facing campaign in support of a TREPAC-supported candidate using Texas REALTORS® corporate dollars. These races are requested by local boards and conducted in candidates’ districts and from state association headquarters. The PIC, local REALTORS®, and Texas REALTORS® Field Reps concentrate on mobilizing district REALTORS® to vote for the supported candidate. Examples of mobilization include placing REALTORS® at the polls, member-to-member phone banking, direct mail, REALTORS®-For webpages, and email. Local boards may learn more and request opportunity races here.
  • Independent Expenditure – Political communication funded by corporate dollars (Texas REALTORS® or Texas REALTORS® PAC) or non-corporate TREPAC dollars that expressly advocates for or against a candidate. The term “independent” is critical, as it signifies that the advocacy is not made in cooperation, consultation, in concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, candidate’s PAC, a political party, or any other entity.
Legal note: Coordination between the corporate and non-corporate sides is illegal. Texas REALTORS®’ internal firewall is a complete communication blockade between the corporate side (Texas REALTORS®/Texas REALTORS® PAC) and the non-corporate side (TREPAC) regarding supported candidates, contribution amounts, and advocacy efforts. Publicly available information may freely be used.