by Crystal Gottfried
Daniel Boone, the local host of the Canyon Lake Ranch bed and breakfast resort, filed his candidacy to fill the District 73 Texas House of Representatives seat just minutes before deadline.
While having lunch with friends in San Antonio on Aug 29, Boone was complaining about the outcome of the Republican primary election last March, when incumbent Carter Casteel lost her seat in the Texas House of Representatives to Nathan Macias by a mere 53 votes. His friend challenged him to do something more than complain about it.
On the way home, he decided to put his own “hat into the ring” in an effort to prevent Macias, from winning the election in November without a race for the seat.
“In the late afternoon on the way home, we stopped at the New Braunfels Courthouse to check on the filing rules and learned that 5 p.m., that very day, was the deadline for filing as a write-in candidate for the November election,” he said. “We decided to immediately drive to Austin, and at 4:52 p.m., registered to run for the Texas State Legislature from District 73.”
Boone is running as a write-in candidate, with no party affiliation, because he believes that Macias would not be a “true representative” of this district due to his ties to Dr. Jim Leininger, a wealthy physician from San Antonio who donated nearly $1 million dollars to Macias’ campaign.
Robbi Boone, the candidate’s campaign manager and wife of 23 years, supports her husband’s quest for the District 73 seat. She is already planning the time the couple will spend away from their San Antonio and Canyon Lake bed and breakfast operations while they campaign all over the district in the next ten weeks.
“Dan received his first endorsement from an elected official on Sept 7 and a front-page story in the Herald-Zeitung. This is very new to us, but we plan to make the best write-in effort,” she said. “We are already learning from Republican friends that there is great dissatisfaction here in our district with the major candidate.”
Boone told the Herald-Zeitung that even though he made the decision to run for public office in answer to his friend’s challenge, he is taking his candidacy very seriously. His goal would be “to give District 73 residents the option of voting for someone who is not influenced by outside money.”
“I have lived in this district since 1995 and I was very upset by the big money influence in the primary race,” he said. “I’m disgusted by the tactics Macias used against Carter Casteel in the primary, but I’m not saying that as a member of the Comal County Republican Party. I don’t want to make my race about party affiliation; I want voters to cast their ballots based on the candidate’s qualifications or lack thereof.”
Boone wants people to know that “our democracy is not for sale” and that he is beholden to no one, except the people in the district.
“I will be a fair and reasonable voice for us all,” he said. “I respect Mr. Macias, but I don’t think he’s qualified to do the job. I think there are good reasons for me to hold that office.”
Boone is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and cites his 20-year military career as an experimental and clinical psychologist as one of his primary qualifications for public office. During the last four years in the service, he was in charge of reviewing Air Force project contracts to make sure they were efficiently executed and completed under budget.
Boone said this experience and expertise in scrutinizing these projects makes him the perfect person to go to Austin and work to make sure the state’s funds are being spent wisely.
“It’s all about long-term planning,” he told the Herald-Zeitung. “We need to look more carefully at how we’re spending our money. If we plan sufficiently, I believe there will be sufficient funds. That’s obvious, but we have to do it.”
Boone stated that many of today’s “hot-button issues” in his list of legislative priorities are water, public schools, sensible taxes and public roads. He is against toll roads and “vehemently” opposes Gov. Rick Perry’s plan for the Trans Texas Corridor. Boone also believes that even though the legislature has finally passed a viable school finance plan, more work is still needed to increase teachers’ pay.
With two other candidates in the race, Macias and Libertarian Charles B. Ellis, and about $300 in the campaign treasury, Robbi Boone is being very realistic about the path to the Texas House of Representatives and the short amount of time left to reach it.
Dan Boone laughs when he says he will probably not be able to outspend Mr. Macias in this campaign, but he admits his candidacy is very important to him and should be important to others as well.
“I just want to get my message out,” he said. “I want to hear what people want from their representative.”