On my way to Dallas, to meet with Jason Villalba, Republican Candidate for TX-House District 114, I reflected back on the first time I met him, a year ago at their still unfinished new Party Headquarters. It was a meeting he organized as the Vice Chairman of the Dallas County Republican Party.
Janet Jackson, State Republican Executive Committeewoman and Co-Founder of GOPisForMe, and I gathered with Hispanic business owners, local activists and publishers to discuss our successes and failures with regard to Hispanic Outreach. I was in a room with people who had spent years in the trenches, and were well connected within the Republican Leadership.
It was this same meeting where I first met Edwin Flores, a strong supporter of our Stepping Stones Education initiative. At the end of our discussion, it came down to connecting with the future of Texas…the students and their families. Education is the key, and Villalba was interested in how we could improve the system and create one that was based on performance.
I walked away from that meeting with one thought, “That guy’s going places…”
As I reached the downtown area, I sent a quick text and snapped this image. I was just a few minutes from giving an interview that would wrap-up our “Hispanic Republican Candidate Tour,” which included interviews with Rep. Raul Torres, Joel De Los Santos, Miriam Martinez and Jessica Puente Bradshaw, each located in the Rio Grande Valley.
I wanted to get an interview with Jason prior to the Primary election, but couldn’t make it come together. Now, he’s facing a Democrat…on the ballot with two Presidential Candidates sparring to gain control of this Nation.
At a time when this country is focused on the emergence of Hispanics and the future of this state, Jason Villalba is taking action, unafraid to do what must be done. We all want the truth. Sometimes it hurts, but in the end, we learn from it and resolve our issues. Villalba is from Dallas…a product of the public school system. He knows what it’s like to struggle, and he remembers the lessons of his Conservative upbringing.
My navigation system was telling me I was close, so I began observing the area. I wondered if the people in their homes were Republicans or Democrats; if they were Obama supporters or Romney supporters. A few turns later, I was at my destination.
Jason greeted me at the front door and introduced me to his daughter, who reminded me of my five year old girl, with wet hair, just out of the shower…with comfy pajamas. She showed me her artwork, made of plastic beads, pressed with a hot iron to melt them into a design. “Wow, are those custom designs?” I asked. “No, they’re from a template. These over here are some I did with my own imagination,” she answered, as she showed me her creations.
“Now, honey, you’re gonna have to go to the other room while we do this,” Jason said to her. “OK, as soon as I clean up my artwork,” she replied quickly, buying more time to hang out with her dad and the stranger with the video camera.
We shut the door, sat down and began our conversation.