Oravetz said he expects an exodus by other GOP county chairmen.
“I am not retiring,” he said. “Instead I will double-down and work to elect conservatives with principle who want to save this country.”
Oravetz said the Republican Party is “at war.” He said the party's base, the party workers and ardent conservatives, are incensed with the GOP establishment, which is driven by money, power and crony capitalists.
Smith County Republican Club President David Stein said Oravetz served the county and GOP voters well over his tenure.
“I think, like a lot of people, he is fed up with all of them,” he said.
Stein said the county party will have to find someone who will “pick up the banner” and appeal to the broader reach of likely GOP voters. He said he agrees with many grassroots ideals but that politics has always been about compromise.
“It comes down to the practical versus principle argument,” he said. “You can stand and shout in the forest and nobody hears you, but it's a waste of breath, even if you are right.”
Political analyst and publisher of the Quorum Report Harvey Kronberg said Tea Party-type activists are a “component” of a split GOP base.
Kronberg said the GOP base ranges from evangelicals, single-issue (such as abortion or guns) voters and moderates and that there is no central voice that unites the factions.
“There are so many philosophical threads that (the GOP) is in disarray and while its base is vocal, it is a shrinking base proportionate to the rest of the country,” he said.
Minorities and younger progressives are the rising voter demographic, Kronberg said. He does not expect a mass exodus of county chairmen because the positions are difficult to win.
Oravetz said the final straw was the re-election of both U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.
“The party doesn't stand for anything anymore. It has a good platform, but the establishment doesn't stand for its principles,” he said. “The long-term goal will be to replace the Republican Party.”
Oravetz said the election of Ted Cruz to the U.S. Senate was a message to the national and statewide GOP that the conservative base and liberty movement is growing rather than fading. He said established Republicans are “scared” and will make efforts to strengthen their appeal to conservatives.
Kronberg said disillusionment is part of politics. Disillusionment is more prevalent among those on the extreme right or left, he said.
“You have to be with them 100 percent or it's seen as a betrayal,” he said.
Oravetz said his goal is to see Constitutional conservatives who are more interested in what is right for the country rather than their personal or political careers.
“We need politicians with the character and conviction of those who signed the Declaration of Independence,” he said. “They put their sacred honor, fortunes and lives on the line for liberty.”