Breaking New Ground gave the Political Involvement Council (PIC) a bigger role in state-level legislative elections.

Among its other duties, the PIC is now 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 Races requests in certain legislative districts (aka “early engagement”)

Jump to Sections

What does this mean for local boards?

Early Engagement Criteria/timeline for 2018 primaries (pre-filing)

Candidate ratings

Ways TAR 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 2018 primaries
    • Tuesday, Aug. 8
      • PIC begins evaluation of candidates for 2018 primaries
      • PIC evaluates races for early engagement opportunities
    • Friday, Sept. 1
      • Opportunity Race Requests due for Sept. 8 PIC meeting
      • Local recommendations due for Sept. 9 TREPAC meeting
    • Friday, Sept. 8
      • PIC meets at conference
    • Saturday, Sept. 9
      • TREPAC Trustees meet at conference
        • 85S post-session contributions
        • 2018 primary contributions
    • Monday, Oct. 2
      • Opportunity Race requests due for 10/10 PIC meeting
      • Local PAC recommendations due for 10/10 TREPAC meeting
    • Tuesday Oct. 10
      • PIC meets at Orientation
      • TREPAC Trustees meet at Orientation (2018 contributions)
    • Wednesday, Dec. 20
      • Opportunity Race requests due for 1/4 PIC meeting
      • Local recommendations due for 1/5 TREPAC meeting
    • Thursday, Jan. 4.
      • PIC meeting
    • Friday, Jan. 5
      • TREPAC – 2018 contributions

Candidate ratings

The PIC is now 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 TAR 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 TAR, 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 TAR and REALTOR® constituents.
      • Unfriendly candidate – a candidate with known opposition to REALTOR® Party positions; who has been unreceptive and unresponsive to TAR 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 TAR 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 TAR and REALTOR® constituents; running against an incumbent
  • Candidate evaluation
    • Incumbents
      • Quantitative Evaluation (formerly the “scorecard”)
        • Numerical grade based on TAR legislative priorities
        • Considers all votes on all priority bills (including committee votes), as well as 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

Ways TAR 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 TAR corporate dollars. These races are requested by local boards and conducted in candidates’ districts and from state association headquarters. The PIC, local REALTORS®, and TAR 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 request opportunity races here.
  • Independent Expenditure – Political communication funded by corporate dollars (TAR 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. TAR’s internal firewall is a complete communication blockade between the corporate side (TAR/Texas REALTORS® PAC) and the non-corporate side (TREPAC) regarding supported candidates, contribution amounts, and advocacy efforts. Publicly available information may freely be used.