As a first generation college graduate, who came to Travis County with $120.08 and a desire to make the world a better place, becoming the youngest Chair of the Party was a dream come true. I want to thank the 84% of precinct chairs that first voted for me to be Chair and the more than 100,000 voters that subsequently re-elected me.
When I sought a political leadership position to help usher in a new kind of politics based on people and principle over political favors and money, I made one campaign promise: to do the right thing. Although I have not been perfect, I believe I have kept that promise.
In my four plus years as an Officer of the Party, we raised over 1.85 million dollars; won every election in which the Party has endorsed in since I became Chair; thousands have attended our community events on important issues such as policing, race, immigration, poverty, and the legislative process; achieved the highest Presidential winning percentage margin; conducted 113,000 door knocks during the coordinated campaign; hosted a US Vice-Presidential Nominee; and helped lead progressive charges at City Hall, Commissioners Court, and the Capitol.
As I reflect on all that we have accomplished, the aid of precinct chairs, the tireless work of our staff, volunteers giving of their time and treasure, I hope that our efforts have made you proud. While the journey was not easy, and I faced opposition, I am forever grateful that I had the tremendous honor to serve as Chair. I met so many amazing people along the journey that supported and encouraged our team.
Personally, I have tried to use whatever gifts and influence I posses to uplift the least of these and provide a voice to the voiceless. Political involvement for me is not about prestige or power but purpose, and is what led me to turn down an internship at the White House during law school. Which is why after much consideration, I do not believe it is my purpose to seek another term as Chair of the Party.
I want to thank my wife Meagan Harding for her unwavering support, strength, and sacrifice. She is truly my better two-thirds and has allowed me to serve for almost as long as we have been married. I want to thank my friends and family for their prayers, and the two women that have helped the Party maintain its unmatched reputation and achieve new heights, Cindy Flint and Carisa Lopez. Each of these women have sacrificed so much and helped the Party be excellent in everything that we do. I want to thank former Chair Jan Soifer for giving me the opportunity to serve as Secretary and for her support and guidance. I also want to thank Senator Kirk Watson for giving me the opportunity to serve as an intern in his Legislative Office and for his guidance and support as Chair. I also want to thank every former TCDP Chair and Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa for their service and encouragement.
I am grateful for our communications associate Michael Benbow, and former staff JD Gins, Joe Deshotel, Darcy Caballero, Marco Orrantia, Stephanie Morris, Tyler Sheldon, and others for working countless hours and always taking the high road. The true strength of the Party has never been the Chair but all of us, our precinct chairs, activists, organizers, environmentalists, donors, unions, and volunteers in the community.
I believe Central Texas is more progressive and more inclusive now then where we were five years ago. Politics should be about what is right, not who is right. Based on our team’s commitment to integrity above all else, I know that when the time comes, and someone else becomes Chair, the Party will be ready.
I am not sure what my future will hold but I trust God to lead me down His path for my life. It is my current intention to complete my term as Chair and continue building on all that we have done with goals to make 2018 the best ever for the Party. We will work hard to elect more Democrats this cycle and continue to push on issues that reflect our values.