Victor Carrillo's Letter to Supporters: ''I Refuse to Walk Away in Shame''

LETTER TO SUPPORTERS FROM VICTOR CARILLO (Chair of the Texas Railroad Commission, March 3, 2010)

Dear Family, Friends, Colleagues, Supporters:

As you now surely know, last night I was defeated (61% / 39%) in my statewide
Republican Primary by my opponent, David Porter.

Porter, an unknown, nocampaign,
no-qualification CPA from Midland residing in Giddings filed on the last
day that he could file while I was waiting in Abilene to bury my dad. He has
never held any elected office, has no geoscience, industry, or legal experience
other than doing tax returns for oil and gas companies.

I was handily defeated in spite of spending over $600,000 to do the following:

  1. Distribute two direct mail pieces to almost 500,000 Republican primary
    households;
  2. Run a 60-second radio spot on TX State Radio Network, supplemented by
    key conservative talk and Christian radio stations;
  3. Run ads in several targeted newspapers;
  4. RoboCalls to thousands of “Independent” households;
  5. Distribute election push cards, website, Facebook page, bumper stickers,
    letter writing;
  6. Actively campaign in-person by my campaign staff and me.

Early polling showed that the typical GOP primary voter has very little info about
the position of Railroad Commissioner, what we do, or who my opponent or I
were. Given the choice between “Porter” and “Carrillo” — unfortunately, the
Hispanic-surname was a serious setback from which I could never recover
although I did all in my power to overcome this built-in bias. I saw it last time
but was able to win because the “non-Carrillo” vote was spread among three
Anglo GOP primary opponents instead of just one. Also, the political dynamics
have changed some since 2004.

Screenshot of Web Page for Victor G. Carrillo, Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission (accessed March 6, 2010)

Many of you have begun to call and/or write to express your concern over the
whole situation. You are correct to be concerned over the fact that the GOP (our
party) still has these tendencies to not be able to elect or retain highly qualified
candidates who WANT to continue serving the public as I do.

It is indeed a
shame. Nevertheless, I refuse to walk away in shame because I know that my
team and I did just about all we could have done to ensure that the primary
electorate knew of my qualifications, expertise, and experience. The rest was
beyond my control. I also urge party leaders to not alienate the Hispanic/Latino
voter in Texas, as we now comprise about 39% of the population and we remain
the fastest-growing minority group in the nation.

However, none of you should be concerned about me and my family or my staff.
Justin, my dedicated chief of staff and former student, gave up an excellent
position to come back to help me through a most difficult time in my personal life
with regard to my health and campaign. He remains a trusted friend and advisor
and I will do all I can to ensure that he and his dear family are well positioned to
allow his true, full potential to shine.

As for me and my family, I have learned much over the last several months of
personal tragedy — after my own brain surgery/recovery, the death of my halfbrother
at Thanksgiving, and the death of my Dad (my best friend) in January:

THE SPECIFIC OUTCOME OF MY PATH IN LIFE IS NOT IN
MY CONTROL, BUT WHOLLY IN THE MERCIFUL HANDS OF
MY LORD & SAVIOR. HE, BEING SOVEREIGN, KNOWS
WHAT IS BEST FOR ME & HE ALONE REMAINS IN FULL
CONTROL! AS FOR ME, IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL!

So please don’t fret over my situation! God has known my path from before the
beginning of time and He guides my path and I am fully confident that He will
work things out for His ultimate glory! I do, however, seek your continued
prayers for my wife (Joy) and my daughters (Laura, Christina, Grace), that they
not overly worry about our future. I also covet your ongoing prayers for my 86-
year old mother (Alicia), who continues to grieve the loss of her firstborn son
and my dad within a six-week time period.

Sincerely,

Victor Carrillo

Exceprt from a March 5, 2010 report by Steve Taylor at the Rio Grande Guardian:

Carrillo was not the only Hispanic to go down to a surprise defeat in the Republican primary. Harris County Tax Assessor Leo Vasquez also lost to an Anglo. And, in South Texas, a young and highly-regarded former White House staffer, Daniel Garza, failed to make it to the runoff in the Congressional District 15 race.

In an article about Carrillo’s defeat for Texas Insider, political consultant Suzanne Bellsnyder said the state’s Republican leadership has to confront the “elephant in the room.” Bellsnyder works with conservative Hispanic leaders nationally and in Texas on outreach and leadership development.

“Tuesday night’s defeat in the Republican Primary of Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo sent shockwaves throughout the state, and rightly so. How could a well-funded, conservative and proven incumbent go down so handily in defeat?” Bellsnyder asked.

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