Linda is a leading spokesperson, analyst, and tactician for the Texas independent political movement. She has a long history in independent politics. Linda is proud to have played a part in gaining ballot access in 1988 for independent Lenora Fulani, the first woman and African American to get on the ballot for President in all 50 states. In the 90’s she served on the national committee of Ross Perot’s Reform Party USA and as its Texas state organizer under Texas chair, Paul Truax.
Following the demise of the Reform Party in 2001, Linda helped found the Independent Texans PAC. The PAC got its big break in 2005-6, when Carole Keeton Strayhorn, the Republican Texas Comptroller, left the Texas GOP to run as an independent for Governor against Republican Governor Rick Perry. Linda wrote about this in "Divided We Stood." Perry squeaked by with 39% of the vote, having lucked out with two independents for Governor in the race, Carole and Kinky Friedman. Democratic candidate, Chris Bell, came in second, but with a combined 1.3 million votes, Strayhorn and Kinky came in 2nd.
In 2004, Linda assisted the Libertarian Party of Texas in regaining ballot access. She shepherded their Executive Director in running a successful petition drive which gathered 45,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot and collected 2,000 of the signatures. That same year, Linda advised the Ralph Nader independent presidential campaign, which came close but failed to get on the ballot.
Linda and Bill Rhodes share a love for horses, dogs, and talking and walking independent politics for the people of Texas.
Bill Rhodes, Linda Curtis, and Bill's Tennessee Walker, Whistle, at the Oktoberfest Parade, Dime Box, Texas, October 2022.
William “Bill” Rhodes and his wife, Jean, own property in Lee County, just outside of Lexington. It’s called “Setter Downs.” They raise Irish Setters and train them as champion hunting dogs. They also own eight horses – Tennessee Walkers and Trotters.
Bill met the independent movement as an affected landowner by the many water export projects that are causing drawdown and damage to private wells, especially in the Lexington area of Lee County, Texas. Bill regularly attends the monthly meetings of the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District. He is becoming one of the most well-informed landowners on water issues in the District which encompasses Lee and Bastrop counties.
Bill was born a “navy brat” at Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi. He graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. A few years after becoming a licensed Professional Engineer, in 1979, he co-founded a closely held corporation that manufactured aftermarket electronic instrumentation for lift cranes.
In 1980, Bill married his lovely wife, Jean, and in 1988 they adopted their son. They have three grandchildren.
In 1993, Bill and Jean co-founded with others the Irish Setter Rescue of Houston, Inc., a 501(c3) nonprofit organization. They rescued and rehomed over 100 dogs over a 10-year period.
Bill said, “Setter Rescue was the most fun thing we did together. We just loved it.”
In 2003, Bill founded WR Forensic Engineering (a Lee County DBA).
Rhodes travels the world as an expert witness on fire forensics.
Bill is a truly independent voter who freely admits he voted for Ross Perot, Kinky Friedman and a few Libertarians over the years, which included Ron Paul’s presidential bid on the Libertarian Party line in 1988. Rhodes also regularly votes in the Republican primary.