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Walk Through Fire

April 23, 2014

Hi all –

As many of you know, being a first year law student has kept me VERY busy this year. I haven’t been able to be as involved politically as normal. This has been very weird for me, and I’ve missed campaigns like crazy. 🙂

So, today when I was asked why I support Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in his bid for re-election, I was elated to get to talk politics a little. Today’s conversation was brief and to the point – and mostly about issues. Gov. Dewhurst is a fine conservative, and I do think he’s the best man for the job. He has cut taxes and balanced the budget without raising taxes; he is unwavering in his support for the unborn and for LIFE; he is strong on immigration policies, and an advocate for states’ rights; under his leadership, Texas has become THE place to build businesses and succeed; he was a strong advocate for smart education reform in Texas and believes that Common Core needs to go; he is a fierce defender of my right to keep and bear arms; he is a Christian – and PROUD of it…………the policy reasons I support David are almost endless.

However – I wanted to write this note to give my friends and family the biggest reason I’m voting for David Dewhurst. In doing so, I am not going to talk about the other candidate(s) running against him. This note is not about them. If you want to ask me specific questions about why/why not some of those candidates, fine – but this note is about my friend, David Dewhurst. And as a side note – if the only reason you are voting for someone is because they aren’t someone else – please don’t vote. Find a reason to vote for your candidate that has to do with them – not others.

Okay – back to the real reason I’m voting for David – his character. I worked with the Dewhurst campaign during the 2012 Senate campaign. It was hard and dirty and long and the result is certainly not what we hoped for. I saw people jump ship in the next few weeks and people who had been supportive come back with cruel and nasty things to say about David, his family, his relationship with his daughter, everything. I saw him betrayed by someone he had known for years and trusted implicitly. I took some arrows too – I was called a liberal; a member of “the establishment”; among other words and names that have never and will never come out of my mouth. This wasn’t from everyone – there were some good sports from the winner’s circle, but not as many as I would have liked to see.

All this apparent doom and gloom has a point though – I got to know David really well through this time. I saw him get beat down with words and lift his head and go to work for the people of Texas. I saw people ridicule him and he smiled that easy smile of his, and reminded all of us to “keep plugging.” I saw him get treated SO disrespectfully by members of his party – and he stood there and campaigned for the man he’d lost to – for the good of the party. I saw him get massacred online by cowards hiding behind anonymous usernames……and he would call/text/email ME to make sure I was okay after I’d been called a name.

Last year, I took a group of students from Lubbock Christian University to Austin. They’d never seen the Capitol, so I called David’s office – trying to set up a brief tour and maybe a quick photo opportunity. He was so gracious. It turned into a breakfast, which he paid for. We invited 20 students from across the state. We were going to get to have a breakfast meeting with him. From 8-9 a.m.. He and I had to attend a funeral of a close friend later that day, so I knew he had things to accomplish. Nine o’clock neared and I started trying to wrap up the discussion to let him go. He waved me off – “They still have questions!” he said. 10 a.m. came. Then 10:30. His staff was getting nervous, so I finally stopped him and had everyone thank him. He smiled – then turned to look at us and said, “Ever been in the Senate Chamber?” He sent a staff member to find the Capitol photographer and off we all traipsed to the Senate Chamber. He allowed me the honor of gavelling in the session at 11 a.m. before we finally slipped off for a tour. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot – just 2 hours – but with his schedule, it was an unbelievable gift.

The trip to Austin is just one of many examples where I’ve seen David Dewhurst put the people of Texas first. Consistently, even when it costs him greatly, he puts Texas first. He cares for our citizens in the Service, even when his service was ridiculed and made light of. He lets accusations that he’s a rich businessman with no understanding of what a “normal” Texan goes through roll of his back and goes and participates in rodeos or conducts the Houston Symphony Orchestra. 

David Dewhurst is the epitome of a leader. I saw him in what to most would have been one of the most discouraging times in his life – and I saw him rise above the fray and take care of the people of Texas. I saw him care for and take care of the people who made things harder on him. I saw him be a servant leader and ask for nothing in return. I saw him get pleasure from a job well done – from doing something the right way, instead of just the easy way.

And I learned from him. I’m still learning from him. I believe in him and am so proud to call him a friend. He walks through fire for the people of Texas daily – and I’d walk through fire for David Dewhurst. Because that’s what friends do.

Kristen Vander-Plas



From → Political Posts

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