One of my favorite moments this past week came in an email. It was from a local conservative friend in the medical community who sent me a donation in the early days of the campaign, but shared his concern about the viability of a run. Over the past few months, he has seen a positive shift.
Friends and Neighbors,
Six months to go! We are building momentum each day because of community support, and I am truly energized by this campaign.
One of my favorite moments this past week came in an email. It was from a local conservative friend in the medical community who sent me a donation in the early days of the campaign, but shared his concern about the viability of a run. Over the past few months, he has seen a positive shift, and last Wednesday, he shared these thoughts with me:
"I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people and something very interesting is happening here [in East Texas]... There is a growing acceptance of your candidacy based on core values and ability. All this is exciting and fun to watch. You’d do well as our state Rep. and we’d be lucky to have you."
Wow! What a shot of adrenaline into the campaign. I entered this race with the clear vision that East Texas needs a stronger voice in Austin, and I want to work hard to be that representative. I'm starting to see that vision and that message pay off with these kinds of messages. To be certain, the independent run is a harder political path, but I believe it is the stronger path for East Texas. I am thankful to the person who wrote that message to me, and I am going to continue that energy for the next 6 months.
- Met with one of my friends and personal heroes, Rev. Charles Johnson, who runs the Pastors for Texas Children. He travels around the state reminding religious leaders of the moral imperative to support public education.
Was honored to attend the Mayor's prayer breakfast in Bullard at the Brook Hill School. It was nice to see friends there and to spend the morning listening to words of uplift by members of our community.
- Went to a meeting of the Hospice of East Texas Foundation Board, and I ran into this group of pooches ready to make rounds visiting patients. Our community is filled with awesome people! What a powerful experience it is to bring joy to patients and families in those difficult moments.
On Friday afternoon, I met with a small group called of friends called the Voices of East Texas (a group created by a UT Tyler professor) to talk about my campaign. They had great questions and offered some great pointers as I move forward in the campaign.
I was proud to vote on May 5th in the city election. In my district, there was only one candidate on the ballot – for mayor. But I went and pressed the button for my choice. Voting is our truest exercise in democracy. There will be a large Get Out The Vote campaign this fall to make sure people go to the polls and vote for effective candidates. If people stay home, then East Texas will continue to have an ineffective voice in Austin.
- On Monday afternoon, May 7th, I attended an event sponsored by the Texas Tribune at SFA in Nacogdoches. State Senator Robert Nichols and Representative Travis Clardy spoke with Evan Smith about public school financing, property tax reform, local vs. state control, and forecasting for the 2019 legislature. Click here to watch the video of the talk (about 22 min).
Let's keep up the energy. Please consider making a donation to build the campaign, share an endorsement, and let us know if you want to volunteer.
I look forward to seeing you around town.