Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples made his case for being elected lieutenant governor Monday morning during a well-received campaign stop before an enthusiastic Jacksonville audience.
Staples placed a large emphasis on values, new leadership, conservatism, and illegal immigration during his remarks at the Norman Activity Center, 526 East Commerce Street.
The personable 50 -year-old made a point of standing at the front of the stage rather than directly behind the podium when speaking to Monday's audience of roughly 50 people.
The audience included Jacksonville Mayor Kenneth Melvin and Jacksonville ISD Superintendent Dr. Joe Wardell, among others.
“This is not about the next election – this is about the next generation,” the candidate said in stumping comments repeated in a news release. “It's about the future and it's about Leadership. I am running for Lieutenant Governor because I refuse to sit on the sidelines as Democrats try to tear down the conservative principles and policies that have made our state the greatest in the nation.”
Staples has served terms in both houses of the state legislature and was also a member of the Palestine City Council.
Cherokee County Judge Chris Davis introduced the candidate to the crowd – pointing out that as a Republican state senator Staples sponsored a constitutional amendment that defined marriage in Texas as between “one man and one woman” – a mention that received much audience applause.
Incidentally, when the city of San Antonio proposed to amend its anti-discrimination law to include protections for gay, lesbian, and transgender residents, Staples publicly stated his belief it would be discriminatory.
“I consider this an attempt to impose a liberal value system over the objection of millions of Texans,” Staples was quoted as saying. “It actually discriminates against those with deeply held religious views by pushing this agenda to the extreme.”
During Monday's speech, Staples took aim at the administration of President Barack Obama, who he contends has turned his back on a Texas overrun by drug cartels and human smugglers. Staples said Texans cannot afford any more failed leadership.
“There is too much at stake,” he said. “We don't need more talk. We need more action. We need someone who will stand up and fight for our principles – just as I've done.”
Staples, who described the Texas-Mexico border as “porous” said he has developed a six-month plan to fix the immigration system that “starts with border security.”
This appearance was part of Staples' “Leadership For Texas” bus tour, which began this month and lasts for several more weeks. The tour ultimately will include more than 50 cities in Texas.