Beyond Party Banners – June 25 Campaign Update

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to have a booth at the Lone Star Gun Show in Tyler. I take the idea of being an independent seriously and I see everyone in the community as my neighbor. So often we get caught up in party banners from the left and the right that we can't – or won’t - see one another. One of my favorite interactions came from a gun enthusiast who stopped by the booth to chat.

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Friends and Neighbors,

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to have a booth at the Lone Star Gun Show in Tyler. I take the idea of being an independent seriously and I see everyone in the community as my neighbor. So often we get caught up in party banners from the left and the right that we can't – or won’t - see one another. One of my favorite interactions came from a gun enthusiast who stopped by the booth to chat.

First things first. He was making sure I wasn't interested in taking away his guns. I'm not. I will be a protector of responsible firearm ownership. But I also welcome discussion about any tweaks we can make that will be both considerate of second amendment rights – and - with an eye towards community and school safety. I commend Governor Abbott for hosting roundtable discussions a couple weeks ago to have that exact kind of dialogue.

With that out of the way, this visitor to my booth then shared a great point. He said that even though he is a gun enthusiast, he's not a single-issue voter. He said he wants to support candidates that are strong on public education, ensuring access to health care and mental health, and who will work for his local community, not for some West Texas billionaires. At the end of the conversation, he shook my hand and offered his support to my campaign.

So often, we hide behind our political party banners with a level of disrespect for the other side. Not me. I start from a different point of view. I believe that everybody brings value to the table, and that we share more in common than what divides us. That is the workable middle ground and that is the independent voice I will be for East Texas.


Quick Update

  • On Monday and Tuesday of last week, I spent some time meeting law enforcement officials from around the region. The East Texas Peace Officers Association convention was held in Tyler and I was honored to be one of the sponsors of their awards banquet. At my booth, I learned about some of the issues that concern our law enforcement community. Pictured with me at the conference are Tyler PD Officer Chuck Boyce (who received an award for his service to the organization) and Constable Bobby Garmon.


  • On Monday afternoon, I attended the South Tyler Rotary lunch where Amanda Folmar was installed as the new president. I was privileged to share the opening blessing that afternoon and to watch over a dozen former presidents of that club stand in line and pass the gavel to Amanda. On Thursday morning, I had the chance to speak at the Sunrise Rotary Club at Hollytree. I am always inspired by their organizational mission of community engagement and service. Our community is a better place because of clubs like Rotary.

  • On Thursday I attended the opening session of the Youth Professional Conference run by Workforce Solutions East Texas. What an awesome attendance of people from around East Texas committed to training and engaging younger people into the workforce. Pictured above is Gregory Kennedy, the Dream Manager and Human Resources Assistant, Goodwill Industries of East Texas giving the morning motivational speech.


  • This past weekend I went to Memphis to officiate at a wedding for some friends. My daughter and I had a chance to stop at the National Civil Rights Museum. It is a profoundly moving display of the civil rights struggle from the beginning of the slave trade through tragedies and triumphs of recent years. For six years, I proudly organized the Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in Tyler along with Rev. Jerome Milton. And I recognize that honoring and celebrating the success of the civil rights movement can only build a better community moving forward.

A quick note - last week, I forgot to credit Tambria Flournoy for letting me use one of her photos of me that was taken at the Juneteenth parade. Thank you Tambria.

Donation Challenge

This coming June 30th is the next financial filing deadline for campaigns.

I had a wonderful local donor in East Texas offer a nice matching contribution if I could achieve 25 donations before June 30th!
So, I am making a special appeal for new contributions to my campaign.

You can live anywhere in the US - and simply donate online by clicking here.

Or – if you would like to mail in a check – old school – the mailing information is on the same donation page.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support. 

I look forward to seeing you around town.

To peace,
Neal


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