Flores In Waco Acceptance
By Greg Jones
They turned out by the hundreds to celebrate a grueling two-year campaign that catapulted political unknown, grassroots, conservative candidate Bill Flores of Bryan to the U. S. House of Representatives in an incredible landslide victory over the District-17 Democrat incumbent.
Flores did indeed do the almost unthinkable by snatching the crown from the head of 18-year veteran Democrat congressman, Chet Edwards, who in recent years attached his own political star to the rise and/or fall of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Hussein Obama, and the progressive Left wing of the Democrat Party. The mid-term elections nationwide were an obvious rebuke to that most liberal wing.
“This night, however, is to honor you,” Flores said, speaking to several hundred enthusiastic well-wishers filling the 4,000-square-foot Banquet Hall at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame near Baylor. “This night is about you, you who I will always remember. This is about you who I will work for.”
He continued: ” You are the people from the real world. I can never repay you for what you have done. Again, I will never forget. I just ask that you pray for us all to restore this country.”
With that, the 56-year-old graduate of Texas A&M began a list of reasons to be thankful for his victory over Edwards, when he captured a whopping 20 point lead over Edwards.
“I want to thank God first,” he said, pausing a moment. “Then I want to thank my wife Gina who truly has stuck by me through thick and thin.” He recognized all the hundreds if not thousands of volunteers who assisted in a myriad of ways, making phone calls, block-walking, talking to people on the street.
Flores specifically singled-out the Waco Tea Party and thanked it and its volunteers for playing a significant role in his victory.
“The Tea Party is all about renewal, and reawakening. It represents and manifests the restoration of this country that prompted an uprising” of support in this race, he said, as the audience broke into a long applause.
Flores thanked notables such as former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, who served as mentor and advisor. He thanked East Texas legislator Louie Gohmert, who has been active in conservative politics since being first elected in 2005. And last, but certainly not least, he thanked former President of the United States, George H. W. Bush.
He noted that previous efforts to unseat Chet Edwards served as a learning platform for his own victory. “We learned a lot from those campaigns,” he said, giving a nod to former GOP challengers Arlene Wohlgemuth, who in 2004 trailed Edwards by only a 51-48 split; Van Taylor, an Iraqi war veteran, who ran against Edwards in 2006 but lost by a large margin; and Wacoan Rob Curnock, who represented the GOP in 2008 but lost by a 53-45 margin.
He gave a hat-tip, too, to his earlier challengers during the GOP primary season for helping to sharpening his speaking and debating skills, including Dave McIntyre, Chuck Wilson and Timothy Delasandro.
“Those primary candidates made me perform better,” he said. Pointing to Waco businessman Chuck Wilson, he said, “I am particularly indebted to Chuck.” After Flores’ tough primary success, Wilson endorsed his candidacy and worked closely with him leading up to Nov. 2 mid-term elections.
Flores will be inducted as a freshman congressman on Jan. 05, 2011.
As he closed his comments and walked away from the lectern to talk individually with his supporters, one person was heard to say, “I want to take this chance right now to say congratulations to you, Congressman Flores,” with emphasis on “congressman.”
“That’s okay,” Flores responded, with a smile on his face, “but that’s the first and only time I want you to call me congressman. From now on out .. it’s just Bill.”
Afterall, Flores represents a freshmen class of congressmen who were swept into office riding a wave of populist outrage over Democrat policies, specifically unconstitutional legislation such as Obama’s health care debacle, and a disastrous Cap-and-Trade bill designed to tax citizens over environmental issues.
Flores’ public profile has been to support Tea Party movements and conservative citizen activism calling for realigning the establishment in Washington, D.C. His election is a vindication of this movement to return to fiscal responsibility, free enterprise, and a constitutionally limited government.
After the crowd began to leave the Hall of Fame, a supporter retrieved a pocket-sized pamphlet Flores had left at the lectern where he spoke.
It was well-worn and dog-eared. It was published by Young America’s Foundation. It was a copy of a document most precious to the Founding Fathers. On the cover were the words:
“The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States of America.”
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