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Keith Nielsen resigns

Better late than never, I guess.

Harris County Republican Party Chairman Keith Nielsen resigned Monday, the party’s secretary confirmed, ending a brief tenure dogged by his social media post that displayed a Martin Luther King Jr. quote next to a banana.

The post, which recalls a racist trope associating Black people with monkeys, sparked calls from high-ranking Texas Republicans for Nielsen to decline the office, which he won after defeating former party chair Paul Simpson in March. Nielsen at first said he would not take office, then reversed course, despite opposition from some precinct chairs due to the social media post.

Nielsen did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

His resignation follows months of lackluster fundraising by the party, which saw donations virtually dry up after Nielsen took over Aug. 3. The party reported a haul of $14,600 from that point until Oct. 24, the latest date covered by campaign finance reports.

The party spent just $4,140 between Aug. 3 and Oct. 24 as it ran a coordinated campaign for the slate of Republican judicial candidates in Harris County. The party had just $10,690 in the bank, according to its most recent campaign finance report.

During the first six months of the year under Simpson, the party raised $92,624, after reporting it had taken in $206,056 during the last six months of 2019.

See here for the background. There’s probably a moderately interesting story about why Nielsen resigned, then un-resigned, then re-resigned, but it doesn’t really matter. He didn’t have much effect on the Harris County GOP one way or the other, and his successor likely won’t either. To the extent that he’s remembered, it will be as the guy who posted that awful racist meme, then later resigned because of it. Let us never speak of him again. The Trib has more.

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  1. brad says:

    I wonder why Nielson quit. He sounded perfectly representative of the values that the GOP insincerely espouse. Why just take a look at the GOP’s self professed mission for their “MLK Association of Texas”:

    The mission of the MLK Association of Texas: 1) Engage the members of the black community that share Republican values 2) Promote Republican Values in the black community like strong families, faith in God, personal responsibility, quality education, and equal opportunity based on character and not skin color 3) Counteract revisionist history with truth regarding the civil rights movement, the fight for better educational and economic advancement in the black community 4) Promote Republican candidates and officeholders who support the engagement of the Texas Republican Party in low income and distressed communities

  2. Bill Daniels says:


    I read your copy from the MLK Association of Texas. I’m trying to find the problem with any of that.

    Promote personal responsibility is anethema to “tell people they aren’t good enough, they will never be good enough, and only with hand outs, set asides and other freebies courtesy of the party, can they continue to exist.”

    Promote quality education sounds a lot better than “have a school board that focuses on racial infighting, and trying to get testing and grades quashed so the state doesn’t take over our failing school district and failing learn at home strategy.”

    I’ll accept as obvious that you would oppose the promote Republican candidates part. As to the rest? Trying to find the problem with it.

  3. Manny says:

    Brad the Republicans don’t have any values that are decent or that would promote the common welfare. They are looking for low lives that hate this country so much that they want it to burn down to the ground, rather than admit that they are out of touch.

  4. brad says:


    Nielson is a racist and bigot.

    You and your GOP ilk promote trying to attract the Black demographic for votes while being racist and/or not calling out blatant racism by elected GOP officials.

    I suppose we could have another bullshit GOP organization like the Cesar Chavez Association of Texas, yet have elected GOP officials calling Mexicans “wetbacks” or “lazy spics” with no one in the GOP blinking an eye.