Jonathan Zizzo

Politics

Dallas County Republican Party Chair Missy Shorey Has Died

She was the first woman to chair the local GOP.

Dallas County Republican Party Chair Missy Shorey died unexpectedly last night. Her husband, Marc Himelhoch, announced the news on Facebook around noon:

Friends and family. It is with heavy heart that I must inform you that my beloved Missy Shorey passed unexpectedly last night to be with the Angels in Heaven. Words can not express how much she meant to me and so many of you. There will be two memorial services. One in Burnt Hills, NY on Wednesday May 1st and another in Dallas at a date TBD. More details to follow.

Shorey, 47, was the first woman to lead the Dallas County GOP when she took the post in November 2017. Her background is in public relations, and her beginnings were on Capitol Hill. Eric Celeste profiled Shorey for us early last year, describing her route to GOP chair this way:

She worked on staff at Capitol Hill, got her MBA, went to work for a big PR firm, and then in 2004 started her own PR company in the attic of a small family farm in upstate New York (she’d moved there to take care of ailing family members). In 2015, she moved here from Wichita Falls, where she’d lived with her Air Force pilot husband. (He is now a Southwest Airlines pilot.)

Since then she has run her business while working to increase her political profile. She was until recently the executive director of Maggie’s List, the federal PAC that tries to get conservative women elected.

Eric’s story speaks to Shorey’s optimism and ever-present smile, even as she took on the task of backing Republicans in a county that is very blue and only getting bluer. It was headlined “Missy Shorey Has the Most Impossible Job in Dallas.” Her assignment was made more difficult by the events of Mark Montgomery’s two-month tenure as party chair in 2016. One more excerpt:

Those challenges don’t seem to dim Shorey’s spirit. Her intense but optimistic manner is reminiscent of Reese Witherspoon’s character in Election. “Now, anybody who looks at party history, here in Dallas, will know that—let’s just say we had a bit of a roller coaster in the last year,” she says. The snapshot: a small but maniacal band of local tea partiers decided to overthrow the “Pete Sessions Republicans” (read: traditional businessmen/sane people) from leadership and install one of their handpicked hard-liners, Mark Montgomery. That was in early summer 2016. In less than two months, Montgomery resigned and left the county party nearly broke. State Sen. Don Huffines’ brother, Phillip, stepped in and restored normalcy.

Now, Shorey says, Phillip Huffines, who stepped down to run for Texas Senate, has left the county party stable enough that she can grow it to better compete with Dallas Dems. She says small but important indicators, like increasing the number of precinct chairs from about 180 to 250 or so in the past year, show the county GOP once again understands its mission. “Our core objective,” she says, “is to elect our candidates.”

WFAA’s Jason Whitely is reporting that Shorey died in Washington, D.C., there to speak at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute.

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