BELTON — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was the special ingredient this year for the Central Texas Republican Women’s annual chili luncheon fundraiser.
The fundraiser, which helps raise money to help get local Republicans elected, took place Monday morning at the Bell County Expo Center. Patrick was joined by other candidates running for state office, talking about key issues for the party.
Patrick touched on many issues in his talk, including recent legislation passed in the state House of Representatives as well as immigration.
During the event, Patrick said local leaders also needed to work on mobilizing voters for local elections to prevent Democrats from flipping the state in the years to come.
“We cannot sit back and accept 2022 for granted,” Patrick “We haven’t turned purple, we are not turning purple, but the other side is really working hard to do that.”
Patrick said it was the job of these local leaders, including those who attended the event, to educate those who didn’t attend and are just going about their day.
This voter outreach, especially among Hispanics, was a main message of Patrick, who believes that these communities have a lot in common with the state’s Republican ideals.
“We need more minorities in our party, we need more women in our party, we need more Hispanics in our party because that is the future of the Texas voter,” Patrick said.
On immigration, Patrick criticized the Biden administration for letting so many undocumented immigrants through.
Patrick compared the situation at the border to the United States leaving Afghanistan. He said he thinks it is just a matter of time before the situation at the border “turns into all-out violence”.
In addition to hearing from Patrick, attendees also got to listen to speeches by two candidates running for Texas Senate District 24.
The district, currently held by Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, will be up for grabs next year as the senator seeks to become the state’s new land commissioner. The candidates included former state Sen. Pete Flores and Raul Reyes.
Organization officials also gave other local officials the opportunity to let others know that they are running in 2022, including state Rep. Hugh Shine, R-Temple, and Rep. Brad Buckley, R-Salado.
Zenia Warren, president of the organization, highlighted many of the officials attending the gathering including Harker Heights City Councilwoman Jackeline Soriano Fountain.
“Sometimes we forget that government starts at the city level,” Warren said.