Op-Ed by Patrick Henry – Democratic Candidate for Texas House District 25
My name is Patrick Henry and I’m running for State Representative in Texas House District 25. I got to say that phrase thousands of times and shake thousands of hands, and then I couldn’t. I had a platform and issues lined out on my website; I had plans; I had a strategy, and then I didn’t. We planned, God laughed, and now with 29 million other Texans, I struggle to find my footing.
Not to say I still don’t support all the things I supported before. I am still a child of the 60s fighting the same battles we should have to put to rest 50 years ago. I am still for people over profits, responsibilities as well as rights, hope over hate, but what we Democrats must become this election cycle and in this crisis, are the adults in the room.
Being the adult in the room.
Being the adult in the room has little to do with age. Judge Lina Hidalgo’s leadership and poise at 28, contrasted to Dan Patrick’s childish theatrics at 70 illustrate that. The adult in the room is there to be responsible and rational, to be honest, to admit mistakes, and to keep the good of the people as the only goal.
Being the adult in the room this election cycle means putting forth something other than soundbites. I listened at a forum to my 5 Republican opponents parrot the same soundbites. If one was going to cut your property taxes, they all were. If constitutional carry came up, they were all suddenly Annie Oakley and Bill Hickok. Pro -life but not pro Medicaid expansion. Pro education even if funded by anti-public education money. Being the adult in the room means admitting that if elected as a first term legislator, you have a lot to learn.
Being the adult in the room means admitting that not everything is either/or, black or white. Being the adult in this election cycle must be about listening. There are a lot of hurting people who want you to listen.
Being the adult in the room next session will mean making very difficult decisions. What gets funded and what doesn’t is going to be painful and unpopular. Being the adult in the room next session will mean you better not count on being a career politician. Cooperation, compromise, plain old deal-making will be a necessity. Texas has been hit hard and we must work to put it back together. At the same time, we must hold on to the principles that make us Democrats. We must work to put it back together in a fair and just way, to make it better.
Send a Teacher to Austin
When I started this campaign, I used the tag line “send a teacher to Austin.” I’m a semi-retired, 40 year veteran of high school and adult education. I thought (and still do) that sending a teacher to Austin to make informed decisions about education was my most important qualification. But I’m also a former city council member and mayor in Angleton, Texas.
I was a council member for 15 years and a mayor for 5. I was a mayor during our last recession. I was mayor during Hurricane Ike. I worked on 20 budgets, made unpopular decisions, and suffered the consequences. I made decisions on when and how to evacuate and how to pay to clean up the city. I always put people first. I have experience (and the scars) being the adult in the room. I think now my most important qualification, and that of any candidate is the ability to be the adult in the room.
Patrick Henry is running for State Representative for Texas House District 25. HD 25 encompasses Southern Brazoria County and all of Matagorda County. Patrick and his wife Kathy have been married 34 years and live in Angleton. They have two grown sons, Sean and David.
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