While the media’s been talking about Democrat Wendy Davis’ bid to become Texas’ next female governor, Republican candidate Lisa Fritsch has also been making her appeal to voters.
As her campaign ad states, Fritsch is “not your father’s conservative.” Along with being the first Black woman to run for the governorship of Texas, she’s also writer and radio host who fell in love with conservatisms after a conversation with her mother.
I unwittingly became a Republican in the front seat of my mom’s gray Vega on the way to school, when I asked her to quit her third job at Piggly Wiggly. I was already different: being one of the few kids in my neighborhood being raised by a young and now single mother. I dressed plain and my arms were always longer than my sleeves. I’d overheard her talking to a friend who told her to apply for food stamps and public assistance to make ends meet. She appeared to listen and take it in but kept returning to her job at Piggly Wiggly.
When I finally worked up the nerve to ask her to quit the job, and go on public assistance as I’d heard someone urge her, I was unprepared for the day that would transform me and set my future in motion. The Vega stopped, and not too kindly my mother said “I would rather us starve, than do go down a road of victimization that might rob you of dignity the rest of your life.” I was transformed in this moment. I didn’t know it at the time, but that would make me a Republican and a conservative advocate.
Fritsch, a member of the Tea Party, has spent her career working to advance conservative principles because she feels they are the “best way to lift people out of dependency.”
She sees abortion as both a moral and financial issue, noting, “that Planned Parenthood is not in” affluent neighborhoods, but rather “where most of the blacks and Hispanics live. It’s an economic issue.” And she feels her party has done a poor job spreading its message to minority voters. “It started to weigh heavily on me that I was not hearing the voices I want to hear in my party,” she said of her decision to run for Texas’ top office. “I support our values. I believe in them, but, as a person who supports those ideals, I wasn’t hearing my voice being heard.”
Fritsch also supports immigration reform, has said she will consider expanding Medicaid if elected, but supports a ban on gay marriage.
Texans head to the polls today, and Fritsch is not expected to beat current Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Despite her chances, Fritsch hopes to garner enough votes to force Abbott into a runoff for the Republican nomination and hopes to change how GOP candidates appeal to voters.
“If conservatives want to, as Margaret Thatcher said, ‘win the argument and win the vote,’ we’ve got to be the party that shows up at these clinics not with signs but with blankets and love,” she said. “At the end of the day our point is to be the party that returns to ‘hope, faith and charity.’”