By Brian Bearden
U.S. Senate candidate Craig James told the Mark Davis’ WBAP radio show audience Wednesday that he is in the race to kick the skunks out of the bushes.
James, the underdog from Celina, Texas, who left ESPN to join a crowded Republican Party race led by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, said he is prepared to debate the candidates Thursday night at the downtown Hilton in Austin and get started on a campaign tour across Texas.
At 7 p.m., Jan. 12, Empower Texans and the Texas Public Policy Foundation will co-host the first debate of the Texas Republican U.S. Senate candidates. Along with Dewhurst and James, former Solicitor General for Texas Ted Cruz, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and funeral director Glenn Addison of Magnolia, Texas, have confirmed. They are running for the seat open with Sen. Kay Baily Hutchison retiring.
“I have been studying the issues, and I am confident that I can convey my message and passion in the debates,” James said, pointing out his friends say he has been debating for years as a college football broadcaster for ESPN. “I’m for the Constitution, family and God. I want to get out there and show my passion, my vision.”
James said that although there may be hard-feelings in Lubbock because football coach Mike Leach was forced to move on after an incident with James’ son who played for Texas Tech, James believes he can pick up votes in West Texas and across the state. James said he has two of the top fund-raisers on his team, and his campaign has been building an organization.
“Our polling shows that statewide voters in this race are undecided,” James said. “I am a businessman, a rancher and a real estate guy. I understand what it is like to run a business in this economy. When you have been in it on the front end, signing checks, you understand that something needs to be done. We need to kick the skunks out of the bushes.
“[In Lubbock], you would be surprised there are a lot of friends I do have there. There is been some water under the bridge. We supported our son against an evil act. I understand there are some who don’t understand it. They weren’t in my shoes.”
James wants to be part of a conservative wave that transforms Washington D.C.
After watching Gov. Mitt Romney win Iowa and New Hampshire, James said Republicans need bold leaders.
“If the nominee is going to be Gov. Mitt Romney, I hope he is bold enough to go up there and kick the skunks out, too,” James said. “We can’t keep sending career politicians to Washington D.C. … I want people to get involved and go vote.”
James said he believes President Barack Obama wants to turn the United States into a European-style, welfare-state socialist country.
“If I wanted that, I would move across the big ‘pond’ to Europe,” James said.
James told Davis that fund-raising has been picking up as voters become aware of his campaign.
“Well, would you like to send in some?” James asked. “The money will come.”
TexasGOPvote.com reports this is what James is up against:
Ted Cruz, tea party
Individual Contributions: $2,753,833
Candidates Loans: $70,000
Unique Donors/Contributors: 2,217
Facebook Friends/Fans: 68,740
Twitter Followers: 18,048
Individual Contributions: $2,456,934
Candidates Loans: $2,000,000
Unique Donors/Contributors: 1,157
Facebook Friends/Fans: 25,393
Twitter Followers: 5,702
Individual Contributions: $2,462,297
Candidates Loans: $2,600,000
Unique Donors/Contributors: 1,681
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