Nine years ago, when my wife and I first found out that we were pregnant --after trying for a long time-- I took a vow. I swore that, in any way I could, I would try and make the world a better place for my daughter than I'd found it.
Now, almost a decade (and one more tiny kid) later, I'm running for U.S. House, District TX-32, to follow through on my promise.
I was raised Republican, and come from a Republican family, one that embodied the traditional conservative values of self-sufficiency, hard work, and compassion for others. We worked hard, lived well, and never complained. Growing up, I thought I would be a conservative Republican for life, just like my parents.
But around 15-20 years ago, the G.O.P. took a sharp turn for the worse. It abandoned all of the values that made it great, and was taken over by dangerous, unhinged extremists. The GOP used to be the party of bedrock values, of innovative ideas, the party of independent thought and free expression. When it devolved into nothing but a conduit for the wealthy to rob the middle class and the poor, I left. This was not the party I was raised in. This was not the party of Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, the one I freely volunteered for as a optimistic teenager, or championed so vigorously when I was in college.
And when that same group of corrupt flunkies and yes-men used questionable methods to put an unstable con man into the most powerful office on the planet, I decided I had to do something. I had to act. How could I raise my son to treat everyone with dignity and respect when his President never has in seventy years? How could I explain to my daughter that the most powerful person on the planet treats everyone around him like something he scraped off the bottom of his shoe? And how to explain to my young children that sometimes corrupt men seize power, and that the men and women who could stop him... don't?
Men such as U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, who has gleefully rubber-stamped every single passing whim of our Tweeter in Chief... simply because there's a little "(R)" next to his name. That's not leadership. That's not 'setting an example.' That's just toadyism, pure and simple.
I never once wanted to get involved in politics. I was far more focused on the day-to-day challenges of raising a family and making their lives better.
But watching helplessly as GOP "leaders" like Sessions robbed us of our healthcare and raised our taxes –all so they could give hundreds of billions to their real bosses– that lit a fire within me. I got angry. Frustrated. Royally pissed.
So I decided to do something about it.
I'm running for U.S. Congress in Texas' 32nd District. It's an uphill climb, to be sure. Unlike my opponent –indeed, a majority of Congress– I am not a multi-millionaire. Nor am I, like a majority of Congress, a lawyer or CEO. I have been a lot of things over the last two decades, including a writer, customer service rep, journalist, ballroom dance instructor, janitor, and small business owner and craftsman, with a side business I run with my brother where we repair and restore beautiful antique musical instruments. And I have achieved success the right way in all of these fields.
I am not a career politician. I am not some slick party wonk running for office as a stepping-stone to another career. I am answering the call to save our country and our state, and restore the sense of civility and shared cultural values that we've lost
If you live in U.S. House District TX-32, I humbly ask for your vote and your support.
If you do not live in TX-32, I would absolutely appreciate your support, either through a financial contribution or as a volunteer. Thus far, this campaign has run almost exclusively on the power of volunteers! That gives us an edge over those candidates who have to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars to get half the results.
This is going to be a real David and Goliath campaign, but I know that together, we can take this seat back from those who would sacrifice our most vulnerable citizens to line the pockets of the billionaires, and institute policies that will help Texas grow into the shining example of what this country is capable of. I know we can do it: let's start right now!