The passing of the matriarch of the Bush family should remind some Montgomery County Republicans and inform others of the tremendous influence the Bushes had on the organization and growth of the Montgomery County Republican Party. Montgomery County Republicans join our grief with all those saddened by this loss of a dynamic personality and great American while extending our condolences and prayers of comfort to the family and their many friends and supporters.
A fledgling Montgomery County Republican Party organization was first introduced to George H. W. Bush and wife Barbara in 1963, one year Elton and Amelda Sump following its first Primary election in over a hundred years. The Party was planning its first-ever fundraiser when one of a handful of Precinct Chairs, Elton Sump, had an idea for a speaker. Sump owned a truck farm in the Willis area and sold fresh produce, eggs, and other items to the Bushes and other customers in the Houston Memorial area. None of those present at this meeting had ever heard of George Bush, but we all were happy and anxious to have him speak at the event.
George H. W. Bush, accompanied by wife Barbara, spoke to a group of about 30 people gathered in a Conroe hotel. I was seated next to Barbara and I vividly recall her telling me what a “great crowd” we had. George encouraged us to”keep working” to build a Republican Party in the County. Little did we know that this event would be only one of a number of future visits that George would make to Montgomery County which would have a positive impact on our efforts to establish a viable and credible Republican Party in a county dominated by the Democrat Party.
Bush returned for a fundraiser in 1969 as a U. S. Congressman from Harris County. This was one of the first events held in the recently developed River Plantation subdivision club house south of Conroe. As a candidate for the U. S. Senate in 1970, George and Barbara
made a late campaign stop in Conroe on their return from an appearance with President Richard Nixon in Tyler, Texas, and again in 1979 while a Primary election candidate for president along with Ronald Reagan. Each of these events was attended by increasingly large crowds that stimulated further growth of the Republican Party.
In 1988, during father Bush’s campaign for president, George W. and Laura Bush along with U. S. Senator Phil Gramm made a campaign appearance on behalf of candidate Bush in Conroe before an excited crowd gathered on the courthouse square. George W. and Senator Gramm assured the crowd, that “the polls look good”. Finally, in 1993, George W. Bush attended a party fundraiser in Walden on Lake Conroe at which he strongly hinted that he would be candidate for Governor of Texas in 1994. He was elected Governor and later President of the United States.
Montgomery County Republicans are proud to have voted overwhelmingly for the Bushes in every election.
GODSPEED Barbara Bush!