BELTON — Robert L. Garrett, 62, of Killeen, a retired Army sergeant who was decorated for service in Vietnam, has thrown his hat into the gubernatorial ring.
Seeking the nomination of the Libertarian Party, he will be competing in the primary election against four other candidates listed on the party’s website.
“This nation of ours is going to pot,” he said. “Obama and his administration are basically destroying America. I had to do something. Why not start at the local level?”
Garrett made his announcement Saturday at the Real Texas Gun Show at the Bell County Expo Center, with permission from show promoter Aubrey Sanders Jr.
The gun show runs again today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“I’m for the Second Amendment,” Garrett said. “I was a victim myself. My home was robbed.”
After that happened, he said, he decided to get a concealed handgun permit. In his second encounter with crime, he was driving into Copperas Cove one day, when a man in a red vehicle forced him to the side of the road. Garrett said he had a pistol on the passenger’s seat, under some clothing.
“I reached in and pulled out my Beretta .40-caliber, and put a round in the chamber,” he said. “I slowly pointed it at him, and looked him in the eye. And he took off, fishtailing as he was doing it.”
Garrett said he is opposed to national standardized testing in schools, which he called “another attempt to dumb down our students.”
“As Texas governor, I would make it mandatory that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution be taught to our kids K through 12,” he said.
The government awareness classes would be taught at three levels, he said: beginners, intermediate and advanced.
The higher level students would study the Federalist Papers, and learn why certain things were included in the Constitution.
“As far as education is concerned,” he said, “we need to go back to the basics.”
Another thing Garrett would like to do is bring back the paper ballot. He said it was that proven the electronic ballot can be tampered with, even remotely. Along that line, in the last general election, he said, a lot of GIs voting overseas lost their opportunity to vote, because of the way it was handled.
“We need to fix that,” he said.
Garrett said he is a firm believer in jury rights. Citing the “Jury Handbook” by Infowars of Austin, he said jurors have rights they don’t know about. “The jury doesn’t have to obey the judge,” he said. “If you decide this is a stupid law, what you do is vote not guilty. That’s called jury nullification.
“It would be a way to negate ‘Obamacare,’” he said. “No jury will convict them.”
Born in Fort Worth, Garrett joined the Army in 1970, and served as a helicopter crew chief in Vietnam from 1971-1972. He was awarded an Air Medal with a V device for heroism, and later received a Bronze Star. He had two tours in Germany.
He has worked as a helicopter mechanic, both in and out of the Army, and is in his seventh year as a corrections officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Gatesville.
Garrett said he’s planning to get some radio and television coverage, and then go to small towns, meet people, “and let them know I’m running for governor.”
He has no campaign funds, but anyone who wants to support him should make the check out to Robert Garrett for Texas Governor, 6004 Sulphur Springs Drive, Killeen, TX, 76542. Funds also may be sent to First National Bank of Texas, 2201 Trimmier Road, Killeen, TX, 76541.