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Personal Statement

I have been involved in Texas politics for more than 40 years. First in the late 1960s, then continuing when my mother Mary Ida Hofheinz ran for the Texas legislature, and later in support of Ralph Yarborough, Jimmy Carter, and other Democratic candidates.

I ran in the Democratic primary for District 32 in 2002, for many of the same reasons that cause me to consider doing so today: reckless, destructive fiscal policies, trade and finance policies that export jobs and cause us as a nation to consume more than we produce, and social policies that are designed to enrich the few at the cost of the American future as a prosperous land of opportunity no matter one's background.

I will be OK; I have a comfortable life, standing on the shoulders of those who came before me. My children will have the opportunity to do well should they avail themselves of it—they have the advantages of education, health, and a head start grounded in my hard work. Others are not so fortunate. I see a decline in the opportunity for education for those without means. I see government policies pushing our economic system toward greater inequality of opportunity for the vast majority of us. I see freedoms eroded out of fear. I see the squandering of resources.

I believe in America. The shining City on the Hill, the last best hope, the land that welcomed the huddled masses yearning to be free — your ancestors and mine. The people who defied an empire to create that freedom, against daunting opposition. The courage of those who lived that adventure, with the cost of failure their lives and fortunes. The brilliance of those who created a framework under law for the preservation of liberty and governance of the people, for the people, by the people. A place of freedom, opportunity, and equality under law for all people, with tolerance for the differences of others. A place never fully manifest, but possible at the end of the journey.

My Methodist heritage and Unitarian practice teach that it is our duty to work to make the world a better place for all—in the words of the Christian tradition, to make manifest the Kingdom of God amoung us; in that of the Buddhist tradition, to live in compassion.

If we as a people do not choose to be courageous, to cease to seek benefits for ourselves to the exclusion of others, and choose to recover a spirit of civic obligation to make a future better for our children than our parents made this present for us, the America that I believe in will gradually cease to exist.

We do not have to let this be the path chosen. We can instead choose a different path, a path that brings us closer to the day when the America I believe in is manifest in the world.

Join me on this path.