Todd Staples, Texas Agriculture Commissioner and candidate for lieutenant governor, made a stop in downtown Tyler on Saturday as part of his statewide Get Out The Vote Tour.
The candidate met with Tylerites in front of the Smith County Elections Office on 302 E. Ferguson St. to discuss the campaign and talk about the ideas he is running on.
Staples said the tour’s goal is to run across the state and encourage people to vote by meeting with prospective voters face-to-face.
Staples, who calls himself a “consistent conservative,” is running in the March 4 Texas Republican primary against incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, State Sen. Dan Patrick, of Houston, and Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.
Staples said he feels he has received a bump in support after several debates.
“People knowing all the candidates, I seem to be gaining more support. I’ve gotten some significant endorsements just in the last few weeks,” he said. “I think it had to do with the debates, with voters getting fully informed. … I have the strongest record of service, once they know all the candidates.”
Staples, who has previously served in the state House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001 and the state Senate from 2001 to 2007, was not cautious in boasting his record over the last few years.
“I’ve been a top-ranked conservative in both the House and the Senate,” he said. “I sued the Obama administration over job-killing (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) mandates.”
He said that he considers immigration reform a top issue. Staples stressed a six-point plan to secure the Texas-Mexico border and to reform what he calls a “failed immigration system.”
“It starts with border security and does not include amnesty,” he said.
He also stressed his Contract With Texans, which includes 10 steps to a “strong Texas,” which outlines the things he wants people to know he plans to do as lieutenant governor.
In the 10 steps, the contract includes cutting state costs, growing jobs and improving healthcare and education.
Staples, who is from Palestine, said he feels a special support when he comes to East Texas.
“East Texas has been great to me. East Texans sent me to Austin to serve in the House; they sent me to Austin to serve in the Senate, and East Texas carried me as our agriculture commissioner,” he said. “I’m hoping East Texans will turn out and send me back to serve as lieutenant governor.”