It’s early in the primary season and candidates are starting to venture out in search of votes. The Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club has always been a favorite destination for both candidates and voters during the primary season. Of course, this year is a redistricting year, so it’s pretty difficult for anyone to say with certainty what district lines and demographics will be. With those things in mind, I ventured downtown to listen to Tim Stroud make his pitch as to why people should vote for him.
Tim Stroud is campaigning as a candidate for CD-7 at the moment. It’s anyone’s guess as to what the final district lines will look like but he said that regardless of that he is going to be running in the district he lives in and is confident that it will still be called CD-7 and that incumbent Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D) will be the final opponent should he prevail. He stated that he moved into the district a year and a half ago.
After listening to him and asking a few questions, I’m not sure what his campaign is for. He focused a lot on not adhering to the “red vs blue” or “us vs them” mentality. His website has many of the usual Republican boilerplate issues but he didn’t highlight any of them at this meeting.
He focused mostly on his military career and work afterwards helping veterans. He stated that he has raised a lot of money for vets and his desire is to be a “connector guy”, the person that people go to when they need something or have something to offer and connecting them. His work also entails training companies and people on the social and legal statutes that apply to Service Dogs. His service dog Colton was with him at the meeting.
One of the attendees asked him how he was going to raise enough funding to compete with Rep. Fletcher. He responded by saying that he estimated that he would have to raise $5 million and then went on to talking about something else. I followed up by noting that he didn’t respond and asked again how he was going to raise such a large amount. After all, the last guy to try this (and one that is running again) spent about $8 million and lost. Mr. Stroud said that he had a network of friends and that he would lean on them since he wasn’t connected to the Karl Rove/Kevin McCarthy pipeline as the other guy was. I looked up his FEC filings and he didn’t get started until June and didn’t hold his first fundraiser until July, so it will be months before we get a glimpse as to his financial viability.
As for the issues, I noted they were boilerplate but when you review them a bit, I’m not certain that they are in line with today’s Republican primary voters. For instance, this is from his “Protect Life” bullet:
The majority of men, the majority of women, and the majority of young people today now believe that abortion after 20 weeks is wrong. Taking that common ground, I will always compassionately stand up for pro-life policies in Washington
I’m not sure that’s going to fly with groups like Texas Right-to-Life.
Or this from his “Secure the Border” bullet:
Illegal immigration encourages and funds human/child trafficking. …. I will focus on policies that protect innocent victims of human trafficking and that promote legal immigration.
Again, I’m note sure that those passionate about stopping the “illegal invasion” are going to think much of a policy devoted to human trafficking. Obviously, human trafficking is a problem but it is not one that affects most people in their everyday lives like the other aspects of illegal immigration do.
These a just a couple of quick takes on his platform as listed on his website. I could probably do the same to each of his points but you get the idea. Truth is, I didn’t get the sense that he was in tune with Republican primary voters or issues. But it’s early yet and he has plenty of time to sharpen his focus and narrow in on issues that will excite voters.
Hope to see you soon at one of the next events. This week, Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner candidate John Manlove is scheduled to speak at the Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club. Why don’t you join me?
For more on Mr. Stroud:
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stroudmarketing/