Democratic candidate for governor of Texas, Tom Wakely, visited Amarillo last night, as part of his campaign tour.
Wakely, a South Texas hospice owner, visited Abuelo's Party Room last night on his tour for governor. Billing himself as an "economic populist," Wakely is running as a challenger to incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
In an interview with the Amarillo Pioneer, Wakely said that he is looking forward to running against Abbott as a progressive.
"Abbott said he's looking forward to running against a liberal," Wakely said. "Man, I'm not a liberal, I'm a progressive. He's never run against a progressive before."
Wakely said that a former patient at his hospice was the inspiration for his campaign for governor. According to Wakely, the patient was oldest living female World War II veteran and befriended Vice President Joe Biden during her 108th birthday. His patient, Lucy, said that a person had to be the change they wanted to see. When Bernie Sanders decided to run for president in 2016, Wakely was inspired to run for Congress.
In his congressional bid, Wakely said that he ran to the left of incumbent Lamar Smith and dropped his vote total below 60 percent for the first time in the incumbent's history. Wakely said that he had originally planned to be done with politics, but was encouraged to join the race for governor, as a progressive.
The top issues that Wakely said he would like to see accomplished, if elected, include: Achieving a $15 minimum wage, enacting campaign finance rules in Texas, banning private prisons, and ending the death penalty.
Wakely is currently collecting signatures for a place on the Democratic ballot and is facing businessman Jeffrey Payne for the Democratic nomination.
For more information about Wakely's campaign for governor, visit www.facebook.com/tom4governor/.