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Democratic Populist Who Ran Against Congressman Lamar Smith in 2016 Announces He is Running for Tex

For Immediate Release Press Conference Scheduled for:   Saturday, July 22nd

Where:     Bexar County Democratic Party Headquarters, 3000 Interstate 10 Frontage Rd, San Antonio, TX 78201 Time:                                    11:00 am

July 18th, 2017

Wakely, a populist independent Democrat threw his hat in to run for Governor of Texas

– Tom Wakely, who ran against 30-yr. Congressional Republican Lamar Smith in 2016 announced today that he is running for Texas Governor. Wakely, an economic populist who ran on a progressive agenda in 2016, stated that he “entered the Congressional campaign on the heels of Senator Bernie Sanders bid to secure the 2016 Democratic Party nomination for President. Today, I enter the Texas Governor’s race on the heels of Gov. Abbott’s attacks on labor, on women, on refugees and immigrants, on Hispanics and other minorities, on the LBGTQ community, on the poor in our state, on our environment and on our great cities. His attacks on our fellow Texans need to be responded to with the most forceful weapon we have at our disposal – the ballot box.”

Wakely went on to say, “I am entering this race for Governor not because I want to but because I have to. When I was in seminary I learned about Martin Niemöller, the Lutheran minister who was an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and who spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. He summed up perfectly my feelings and why I am running for Texas Governor. Niemöller said: First they went after the Communists, and I did not stand up, because I was not a Communist. Then they went after the homosexual and infirm, and I did not stand up, because I was neither. Then they went after the Jews, and I did not stand up, because I was not a Jew. Then they went after the Catholics, and I did not stand up, because I was Protestant. Finally, they went after me, and there was no one left to stand up for me.”

According to Wakely, the defining principles of the 2018 Texas Governor’s race are moral issues: respect for the dignity of everyone living in Texas; respect for the dignity of work and the rights of workers; the call to family and to community; the rights and responsibilities of all Texans; a preferential option for the poor in our state; valuing our fellow Texans and respecting who they are as individuals; and caring for God’s creation – the air, water and land.

“With only a little more than 22% of the state’s registered voters supporting Gov. Abbott and his tea-party brethren, I have to ask myself why are over 60% of our state’s registered voters not voting.” Wakely asked. “The answer I believe to why so many Texans are not voting is because no serious candidate for Governor has ever talked to them about the issues that matter to them.

“Well, I intend to talk to the 60% about income inequality in our state and why raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and repealing our state’s right to work laws, will help them. If we are serious about rebuilding the middle class in Texas we need to make it easier for people to join a union, not harder. I will talk to them about how I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment but I am also a strong supporter of common sense stuff, like the need for gun violence prevention programs like background checks at gun shows. I will explain to them why abolishing the death penalty in our state makes sense. I will reach out to the 60% and ask them a simple question, does your child or grandchild have child have asthma. I will then remind them that Texas is the number one source of oil and gas methane pollution in the country. I will tell them I want to ban fracking and flaring in our state. I will also tell them we can create tens of thousands of new jobs by moving our state from a fossil fuel economy to a renewal energy economy.

“I also want to know why Governor Abbott is not supporting Texas Representative Valoree Swanson’s (R-Spring) proposal to abolish school property taxes altogether and find new revenue streams. Well, I think it is a great idea and among the many revenue streams I see available to us are scraping the state’s franchise tax system in favor of a business income tax and the legalization and taxation of marijuana. The revenue from both sources would put a serious dent in the funds needed to make our public school system number one in the nation and at the same time lowering the personal property taxes that so many of us pay.”

Wakely went on to say,

“I am running for Governor because I want to make Texas Great. After decades of abuse, the women and children of our state need someone to stand up for them. When we see so many Texans hurt and killed by senseless gun violence, they need someone to stand up for them. When we see racist legislation like SB 4 signed into law by Gov. Abbott and his support of Lt. Governor’s Dan Patrick’s effort to regulate bathroom use by transgender people in public buildings, such things leave me fearful. Fearful of the word’s that Martin Niemöller spoke so long ago, ‘Finally, they went after me, and there was no one left to stand up for me.”

Contact:            Manuel Medina, (210) 430-7943 Email:     

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