The first four months of 2022 have been great for me at TADA. Not since I started more than two years ago have I had the opportunity to visit with so many dealers from across the state. I am regularly visiting dealerships and local communities, and I attended my second NADA Conference in Las Vegas, where I was able to connect with many Texas dealers at our Texas Party and throughout the meetings at the conference.
TADA just hosted our Annual Conference in Austin, where we honored Tony Gullo as our latest Texas Legend inductee. There was a lot of great fellowship at both events, and despite the challenges of the continuing chip shortage and the lack of inventory, it was great to hear stories about how dealers have found ways to be successful and take care of their customers.
At the annual conference, the Legislative Committee began its work preparing for the 88th Texas Legislature, which begins Jan. 10, 2023. If there are issues you believe the committee needs to discuss, please do not hesitate to reach out and share your thoughts, as we will spend the rest of this year preparing our legislative agenda. There will be many legislative and regulatory issues facing dealers, and the work the Legislative Committee does throughout the year will guide our lobbying and advocacy efforts.
On the political front, the Texas primary elections were held on March 1. Every vote truly counts, and this cycle demonstrated that. The total turnout for both the Democratic and Republican primaries was 18%. The runoffs will be even lower. There were 50 races in the March 1 primary where no candidate exceeded 50% of the vote, and so these races are headed to a runoff between the candidates who came in first and second. On both the Democratic and Republican sides, there are statewide races and local races that will be important to our issues, so I hope you will take the time to get to know the candidates and that you take the time to vote in the runoff election on May 24. I would also ask that you encourage your employees to get to the polls as well.
If your State Representative and/or Senator won their primary and doesn’t face a challenger in the general election in November, I encourage you to get to know them now before the next session. If they are already a friend, please re-connect ahead of the busy fall season and certainly before the next session. It is imperative each of you have a personal relationship with your elected officials – local, state, and federal. Please stay in touch with our team as you make these connections. If there is feedback, that will be helpful to our efforts to continue to protect consumer choice and free-market competition by holding off any threat to the three-tier franchised dealer system.
We know each of you is busy serving your customers and working in your community. Thank you for all you do, and please continue to share your good stories with us at TADA.