TWA convention may include contested election for president

aadeertwaThe Texas Wildlife Association Annual Convention, Wildlife 2013, could be the stage of some mid-July fireworks, one where all of the 180 or so directors of the organization may want to attend.

The event, held July 11-14 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa, is expected to be the setting where a Director will seek a floor nomination to challenge the nominated President-elect for the position.

Mike Murski, the son of one of the original founders and life member Ray Murski, Jr., will seek the nomination to run for the office against President-elect Greg Simons.

“I was contacted by some of the founding members of TWA and we discussed the direction of the organization,” Murski said. “Even though TWA is a committee-driven organization, we felt like the membership wasn’t being kept in the loop on key decisions.”

TWA’s positions on some bills before the Texas legislature is a part of the reason for the challenge, Murski said.

“It wasn’t so much the disagreements with deer breeders,” he said. “What upset me was that some of the positions seemed to be against the landowner’s personal property rights — and that’s why TWA was founded — to protect landowner’s rights.

“That’s what my dad stood for, and my father’s legacy burns deep inside me.”

Greg Simons, president of Wildlife Systems, Inc. in San Angelo, and President-elect of TWA, said he was aware of the activity although Murski is not yet an official nominee, but it wasn’t affecting his convention preparations.

“We’re moving along with the convention as business as usual,” he said. “There has been some drama relating to things in the deer breeding community, but that’s been going on for a long time — it’s not a new debate — that’s why TDA (the Texas Deer Association) was formed.”

Procedurally, at the Joint Membership and Directors Meeting, held before the Grand Auction on July 12, there will be votes to elect new directors. Then, the directors will vote on whether proxies will be allowed and, finally, there will be a balloted election for officers, including president.

“We’re moving toward the convention, registration is going well and we expect a good general attendance and a fun convention, “Simons said. “We have an excellent live auction and I’m looking forward to as profitable convention as we’ve ever had.”

Supporters of Murski include TWA Founders Murphy Ray, Jr. and Gary Machen.

Dr. Dale Rollins of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Dr.Fred Bryant, Director of Wildlife Research at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute have expressed their support of Simons to TWA’s directors.

Simons said the possibility of a floor nomination should bring directors thinking of staying home to San Antonio.

“I expect we’ll have the best attendance of directors we’ve had,” he said.