Dear Congressman O'Rourke,
I am the Libertarian Party of Texas Nominee for United States Senate, and along with yourself and Senator Cruz, will be the only candidates on the ballot in November.
Without open thoughtful debate our politics devolves into the divisive sound bites and social media that we have seen in the last few years. We have been quietly building relationships at local and county level, have hundreds of volunteers statewide active in our campaign, and expect to win regions of Texas that have never been won by a Libertarian. We expect our Libertarian minded voters in Central, West Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley will be the swing voters that decide a historically close race in November. Senator Cruz has consistently refused to commit to debating you in public and I consider that to be a dereliction of responsibility from a sitting Senator who could find the time for a basketball grudge match against a TV celebrity.
This is an election marked by controversy in issues ranging from foreign policy, to healthcare, to privacy, to budget, to immigration, to the economy and trade. Major and serious issues that deserve considered and well debated response. Like yourself, I came from the private sector, founded tech companies, and am in my 40s with young kids. My family has lived in Texas for 6 generations, and we will be here in another 6 to come. We take the long view and I know Texas and Texans very well.
Politics should not be about money, or incumbency, or media coverage, or even frankly party. It should be about issues, policies, leadership, and vision. And above all, the voters and the future. You have been bringing a tremendous amount of positive energy to Texas politics, and I appreciate this, even though I fundamentally disagree on the policy solutions you propose. The data is clear, Texans are ready to hear a new message, and a vision for the future. I have visited, spoken to and met with voters from over 100 counties and understand what our citizens are looking for. I believe our debate would allow each of us to present a very different vision to our voters of what message and actions a Texas Senator should carry to Washington, and help them make a considered choice in November. No Democrat or Libertarian has won statewide since you and I were in High School. It is time to change that. If Senator Cruz is not willing to engage in a serious conversation in public on issues, then he may stay home and take his chances that Texas is not ready for change and a new vision. In which case I will take the votes he thinks are his.
I am ready to debate you in a formal setting or town hall. Most Texans do not realize that debates are not independently organized and always open to all the candidates on their ballot. And while we believe that a debate with all of the candidates on the ballot is the most fair for Texans, I am prepared to debate you with, and without, Senator Cruz. We are willing to accept one of these debates half in English, and half in Spanish, and will work with you on dates and details, though frankly, the sooner the better.
We have proposed to your campaign to debate twice in September and October. We propose once alone, and once together with Senator Cruz if he chooses to accept. We propose at either University of Texas, Texas A&M University, or Sul Ross State University, and have been in discussion with each. We propose that Ross Ramsey, the Managing Editor of non-profit Texas Tribune and one of the most knowledgeable analysts on Texas politics, serve as moderator, and in light of that proposal have forwarded this open letter to the Tribune with a request for publication.
You may reach me personally by Twitter or LinkedIn.
You think Ted Cruz is a conservative because he votes for tax cuts to tout in the next election? Ted Cruz does not deliver. Federal spending increased every year, and is up 20% total, since he joined Congress - CBO data. How much of a pay raise have you had in 6 years? In fact, total Federal spending increased by MORE than our current deficit under Ted Cruz's tenure in the Senate. If he had done his job, we wouldn't be bleeding red ink.
On April 14, 2018 I won the Libertarian Party of Texas nomination to be the Libertarian candidate for United States Senate. I will be on the November 6 ballot facing Ted Cruz (R) and Beto O’Rourke (D) in the upcoming general election. We won with the votes of 70% of the convention delegates from a field of 5, and with the support, advice, and help of amazing people.
Libertarian values are not the fringe. They are the heart of our moderate middle. They are the heart of Texas. The government works for us. My candidacy is about making our elected officials listen to us and hold them accountable. If you want a fiscally responsible, socially tolerant member of the moderate middle, actually from and educated in Texas, with an actual track record of success to take action, then give me an opportunity to earn your vote like I did the delegates at our convention. If you are happy with what Congress has been doing, then choose between two experienced Washington congressmen. Vote your conscience.
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas as a 6th generation Texan, and graduated from Texas A&M university as a 3rd generation Aggie. My family has been here over 150 years, and will be here in another 150 years. I take the long view. I go to the same church my grandparents helped found back when Houston was a not so big city.
I began my entrepreneurial career at the age of 25 and have personally co-founded 7 technology start-ups and numerous other businesses. I understand energy, both oil & gas and renewables; I understand entrepreneurship; business; and what it takes to create jobs; I understand technology; and finance - because unlike my opponents, I have actually done it my whole career. Most importantly, I understand the value of investing your life in people - in your friends, family, community, and church. I am taking time from that to work for you - because I have a 3 year old and 5 year old and they deserve the very best world we can build them.
Like a startup, politics is a participatory sport. If you want change you don't talk - you act. Politics should be about principle. We only have one life to live. This candidacy is about standing on principle and making a difference. I am well aware of the stacked deck facing a 3rd party candidate. In the words of one of my friends - "Neal, you're crazy". If I had wanted a high percentage path to get myself into power, I would have run as a Republican, as no Democrat or Libertarian has won statewide in Texas since I was in high school. I didn't.
I am running on the platform that embodies the principles I believe in.
I am running to carry a simple message that they work for us, people matter, and elected officials need to be responsible.
I am running because we need better policies, and I have them.
I am running because the choice should not be intolerant and fiscal conservative vs social liberal and spendthrift.
I am running because they have run up our debts beyond counting and involved us in wars they can't get us out of.
I am running for a 3 year old and 5 year old who don't yet know what the Senate is. You may have 6 1/2 years of my life if you want it. Because of them.
Both of my opponents have been in Congress while they ran up the largest debt in our history. They've let our government and corporations invade our privacy and interfere in our lives over and over. They push solutions that don’t work, except to keep themselves in office. They literally make up and vote for bills they know will fail just to make themselves sound good in the next election. They voted for or failed to deal with key issues over and over. They are either part of the problem, or unable to solve it. We cannot kick the can down the road any longer to let my young daughters, and your children and grandchildren, deal with the mess we allowed them to create. But the buck doesn't stop with them. It stops with us. Our vote. Our action.
I am not asking for your vote. I am asking to earn it. I expect you to vote your conscience. If we win, you get the best qualified candidate on the ballot to represent you in Washington, and if I lose am I your message to Washington. They will not listen unless you change your vote.
Just like you get to choose in public each day how to spend the one life God gave you, you get to choose, in the privacy of a voting booth, with only your own conscience as your guide, what message and what candidate represents your values, principles, and will. You will have 3 options on November 6. You will not regret your choice if you trust me with your vote.