Texas State Representative and Lt. Col. Rick Noriega speaks today about the Fourth of July and his intent to form an exploratory committee for U.S. Senate:
On July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed by delegates to the Second Continental Congress. The Declaration states that all people are creatures equal under God, with rights and liberties that cannot be violated. This signing was an act of treason under British law, carrying the threat of execution and utter ruin for entire families. We recognize this day as a celebration of patriotism and of the courage it takes to stand up to the sitting government when it is wrong.
This day I share with you my intent. My intent that, in the days to come, our family forms an exploratory committee and joins with me in my choice to run for the United States Senate. Why?
Why, on the first Independence Day I have spent at home in four years, would I risk a safe legislative seat, take a leave of absence from my job, sell property to lend money to a campaign. Why would I ask my family to allow me to be gone again?
Why? Because as Americans, it is our duty to stand up and speak when things have gone off the rails. It is in our very fabric, our soul; it is God's requirement of us as heirs to the legacy of this country, to exercise the right to speak out as our forefathers taught us.
Our nation is headed in the wrong direction. It is lead by those whose choice is to divide Americans to maintain power. It is the vision of the powerful that are either unwilling or unable to unite people, to foster common ground for the common good.
We as a nation have been the envy of the world when we have maintained our moral compass. I believe we have begun to let that slip away.
Our mismanagement of the war on terror, the acrimony of the national debate on immigration issues, the squandering of the environment, the inability to provide reasonable health care, the decay of our respect for human rights, the refusal to improve education, the willingness to sacrifice the many for the few....we are losing our global moral leadership.
This day reminds us of our legacy as Americans to stand up when things have gone wrong. This call to duty runs in our veins lives in our very bones, as both Texans and Americans. The thing that has always pushed my button is bullies. I have always been compelled to step in when wrongs are being perpetrated, when a group is headed in the wrong direction.
The draft effort asking me to run for the United States Senate has been an astounding honor. I and my entire family are humbled by it. We have prayed about this call. We have asked God every day that if we undertake this immense and necessary task, that it is for the right reasons. That I meet this challenge for God, for Texas and for the country we share and love, not for myself.
This is a daunting endeavor in a multitude of ways. When someone exhibits leadership, they invite attention. No one is perfect, certainly not any of us. We are a regular family that has grown into leadership and responsibility through a commitment to public service. I see it like being a soldier. My wife sees it as a calling, like the ministry.
We are a regular family. We aren't perfect and we don't want to hold ourselves up as perfect. It remains to be seen if a regular family can offer themselves up for service to their country without being overwhelmed by money or criticism.
In Texas, we tell our children that if they work hard and play by the rules, they can do anything. We are about to find out if that is true. We are regular Texans like you, answering a call to service, and hopefully, we have prepared as a family for the inevitable onslaught. As Americans the greater good is more important.
Today is the right time for all of us to stand up and say that there has got to be a better way. When our forefathers created this country, they risked their lives, their families, their property and their futures. This is going to take all of us, all of you--our time, our treasure, our patience, our faith. I am answering your call, and that of my Maker, and I am asking you to come with me.
As we jump in, it is because we know that we have the support and prayers of all of you. God bless each of you this July 4th, bless the United States of America, and God bless Texas.