CAMPAIGN UPDATE: Matt Shaheen picks up well-known support in state house runoff

By Brian Bearden

Pastor Rafael Cruz and talk radio host Mark Davis stormed into west Plano on Monday night, raining support on County Commissioner Matt Shaheen in the race for Texas House of Representatives.

Davis, the morning show host on KSKY 660-AM, told a packed house for the Shaheen fund-raiser: “We are looking for up-beat conservatives, not cafeteria conservatives.”

Davis called for voters in the District 66 runoff to elect a representative who will wrestle with liberals and go to the mat for conservative beliefs. A cornerstone of Shaheen’s campaign is supporting the Right to Life.

“Our legislature and State Rep Jodie Laubenberg did an awesome job protecting our little Texas babies,” Shaheen said, adding that he supports giving more babies a chance to live.

Matt Shaheen is running against Glenn Callison, a 25-year Plano resident and deacon at church. Callison is a go-to guy in Plano, serving on boards of the Plano Education Foundation, The Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Plano Family YMCA and Plano Symphony Orchestra. Callison is the chairman of the boards of both Baylor Regional Medical Center of Plano and Heart Hospital at Baylor Plano. Callison is also running a Pro-Life campaign.

During Monday’s fund-raiser, Shaheen and his supporters never mentioned his opponent. His supporters said don’t expect a negative campaign.

Drawing the support Monday night of the top local conservative talk show host and the man some consider one of the father of the tea party in Texas did give a visible boost to Shaheen’s supporters entering the final days of the runoff. Shaheen is drawing energetic crowds, but Callison picked up the metro newspaper’s primary endorsement. The run-off election will be May 27 with early voting running May 19-23.


Rafael Cruz, known best for prepping his son [Senator Ted Cruz] on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, put more than 36,000 miles on his vehicle during the last election to help Ted Cruz and the tea party overcome the establishment candidate to become one of two Texas senators. The pastor has read the tea leaves in the District 66 race.

“Matt Shaheen is rooted in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights,” Rafael Cruz said. “Matt believes in American exceptionalism, something the President is trying to erase. This is a wake-up call for America. I am so encouraged to see Constitutional conservatives going to Austin to represent us.”

Cruz recalled the early days of the tea party in Texas, when small groups would meet around the state. “Matt and I were part of a group that met for pancakes,” Pastor Cruz said. “Matt’s passion for freedom is inspiring.”


Mark Davis remembered the first time he met Rafael Cruz at a tea party event. Cruz was a late edition to the program, and he spoke about growing up in Cuba before Fidel Castro took over.

“The revolution in Cuba started in the schools and colleges,” Cruz said. “I remember when I came to this country for the first time, now 57 years ago. By the grace of God, I was able to leave Cuba legally for my education. I returned in 1959 when Castro took over. I got the shock of my life seeing the same man [Castro} who had talked so passionately about freedom, suddenly change.”

Cruz said first Castro and his regime began confiscating property.

“Then he began attacking the church,” Cruz said. “And, then he started talking about socialized medicine. Yes, it sounds like something out of the news today.”


Rafael Cruz pointed west toward the state of Nevada, citing the April “sagebrush” standoff in Clark County between a rancher and the federal government. Cruz then pointed north toward the Red River.

“The same thing that is happening in Nevada is happening on the Texas – Oklahoma border,” Cruz said. “That border is fluid, changing with the river.”

“When the government wants to confiscate your property, there is more than one way to do it,” he said. “When I left Cuba, I was able to come to America. If we lose our freedom in the United States, where are we going to go? These is nowhere.

“Friends have said to me, ‘That will never happen here. This is America.’ But, we can all see that is happening here, but it is happening a little at a time.”


Rafael Cruz said he finds hope across the United States in a recent survey that shows younger Americans making a 17-point shift toward favoring conservative ideas. Cruz points to the possibility of going to the mat with conservatives Matt Krause, Matt Rinaldi and Matt Shaheen all being elected locally in Texas.

“It is time for America to wake up to what is happening to their country,” Cruz said. “We want to wake up millions of Americans and return America to being that ‘shining city on the hill.’

“And, America is waking up,” he said. “We see a shift happening. It is happening in House and the Senate nationally, and it is happening in Austin. We are going to see a revolution of ideas when we elect young conservatives to office. Our representatives will have their work cut out though. The over-reach of the government is happening more and more each day. This government is trampling not only on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, it is also trampling on state’s rights.”

Cruz said during his study sessions to help prepare his son on the Constitution and the rule of law, he didn’t see two jobs belonging to the federal government – education and the environment.

Cruz called for a return of education to the local level with decisions made between locally-elected school board trustees, the schools, administrators, principals, teachers, parents and students. He also wants energy production to not be regulated out of existence by a federal agency.

“We have enough to be energy independent and do it quickly, but we need to elect people who will stand up for us and our rights,” Pastor Cruz said.

Davis supports Shaheen, he said, because the former county commissioner makes a point to listen to voters all across the area and shows up to fight.

Shaheen said he missed being electedoutright in the Republican primary in March by 119 votes.

“That is all history now,” Shaheen said. “This race comes back to who gets their voters to turn out. We are out there every day. We will be able to knock on every door in the district twice. The voters know I am committed to standing up for their priorities and issues in Austin.”

Davis said, “Matt is always there. How many people can you say that about? We know he will go to the mat for us. He doesn’t say one thing to one group and something different to another. He is the same – conservative on every issue.”

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Mark Davis touts ‘Better Day’ by Maylee Thomas Band

“We enjoyed the opportunity last week to debut a song by the McKinney TX-based Maylee Thomas Band, “Better Day,” which they performed at the Rick Santorum rally in Plano on Feb. 8th. See if you can imagine this being played at the Republican convention in Tampa this summer if Santorum is the nominee. And be sure to notice the backing vocals of Producer Susan Cloud, who lent her talents in the recording session just a few days ago.” – Mark Davis of WBAP 820-AM radio.

Maylee Thomas – lead vocals, George Fuller – Guitar, Andy Timmons – Guitar, Dale Roach – Guitar, Chuck Hasley – Keys, Derek Zock – Drums, Gerry Fisher – Bass, Susan Cloud – vocals

Thanks for joining more than 70,000 in reading, sharing and advertising on … Your source for news in Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Plano and across Collin County. … Advertising starts at only $250 per month. … E-mail Click for today’s TRAVEL DEALS – Ends Daily at 9 p.m.Click for Today’s GROUPON Deal. ***

WFAA TV: Brad Watson asks Craig James about senate race

Brad Watson of Channel 8 interviewed Craig James of Celina about the senate race, and Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy weighed in on his candidacy this week. Take a look at Watson’s interview by clicking on VIDEO: Craig James interview with WFAA’s Brad Watson on senate race

Reid Cherner’s article on USA TODAY, Dec. 27:
Only in politics is it possible for a former football star turned national broadcaster be able to make the claim how connected they are to ordinary people.

But that is the way Craig James will be trying to make it to the Senate.

The former SMU and Patriots running back stepped down as an ESPN analyst to run for office in Texas. He’ll be in next year’s Republican primary.

“Washington is off its rails. I’m living on real street,” James, 50, said on Fox and Friends. “I understand this. For 30 years I’ve been in business. I’ve started jobs and created jobs. I understand the economy and our world. I want to take that fresh perspective of reality to Washington.”

And then, showing he can play both sides of the ball, James went negative on probable opponent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

“In the past, many times people have been able to use their wealth to buy a seat at the table in Washington. We have to change that,” James said. “Having governmental experience, being a career politician just doesn’t work. It’s why we’re in the pickle we’re in right now.”

Read what Kennedy has to say from Fort Worth: Bud Kennedy column on Craig James

How will Craig James’ candidacy play in Lubbock?

Here is a look back to a March 2011 story by James Clark for (Channel 11 Lubbock):
Click for full article

ESPN Commentator Craig James continues putting his toe in the water to see if he can successfully make a run for U.S. Senate to replace outgoing Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. 
James is best known in Lubbock as the father of Texas Tech football player Adam James. Many blame the  [Craig] James for pressuring Texas Tech to fire football Head Coach Mike Leach in December 2009 amid allegations that Leach abused Adam James.  Leach denies any abuse occurred.
[In March 2011] on WBAP radio in Dallas, [Craig] James took questions from host Mark Davis and radio station callers.  The premise of the interview was that James is considering a run for Senate, but Davis made it a point to ask a few questions about Texas Tech and the perception that James is partly responsible for Leach’s demise. 
Davis asked, “Is it your feeling that you got to make this Tech thing go away if you have the slightest hope of success?”
Craig James responded, “You know what? I guess because I’ve lived it for over a year and I’ve seen the reaction around the country, Mark. Obviously it was a big deal. People come up to me from all over the country and say, ‘Hey, thanks for standing up for your son.'”   
Davis also asked about possible support, or lack thereof, in Lubbock.  James was on record in January saying most folks in Lubbock supported him, but James says he was quoted out of context. 
James said, “Basically most folks in Lubbock and the good people of Lubbock understand the situation.  They understand supporting your son.”
Click for full article
On Wednesday, Dec. 21, Mark Davis of WBAP was talking about James’ candidacy said on his radio show with Bud Kennedy. …Davis said these one-liners to Kennedy: “The thing about Craig James is what does he bring to the race? … I’m not saying he [James] is Bin Laden, but 50 percent negatives? … The only person in the Senate race with [statewide] name recognition is David Dewhurst. … In the past year, what is the number of people that have come up to me and said they want to see Craig James in the Senate race, that number of people is zero. … Where is there room for him in a race that contains David Dewhurst, Tom Leppert and Ted Cruz? … “

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