Richard Mack, Republican candidate for Texas District 21, discussed redistricting, the effects of Texas' delayed primary and his opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act with Community Impact Newspaper.
U.S. House of Representatives, District 21
Richard Mack is the former Sheriff of Graham County, Ariz. He has been involved in law enforcement for 20 years, appeared at more than 120 tea party rallies nationwide and has authored five books regarding states' rights, the oath of office and constitutional liberty.
A graduate of Brigham Young University, Mack spent 11 years with the Provo Police Department in Utah, where he was promoted through the ranks from officer to detective. In 1988, he moved back to Arizona to run for Graham County Sheriff. Mack won two terms, and while serving as sheriff, he graduated from the FBI National Academy in 1992.
In May 2011, after several speaking engagements in Texas, Mack and his wife and family moved from his native state of Arizona to Fredericksburg.
District 21, as it is currently organized, includes portions of Bexar and Travis counties and all of Comal, Real, Kerr, Bandera, Kendall and Blanco counties. The district's population is about 700,000.
When talking about redistricting Texas to accommodate four new districts, is it the one vote that really matters, or is it the political structure that's at hand?
"I think it was a typical sign that the Democrats and Republicans have a hard time getting together on anything except in Washington, [D.C.],–where they love to raise taxes or the debt ceiling–then they seem to get together quite easily. But I didn't trust any of it. It just seemed to be so politically motivated. But at the same time, I have to say that it helped my campaign since it kept giving me more time. I got into this kind of late, so postponing the primary certainly gave me more time to raise money and to campaign."
What effect has/will Texas' delayed primary have on the presidential election?
"It certainly doesn't look like Texas is going to have the impact that it normally has with the presidential selection, but I felt like Mitt Romney had it all along, so I don't know if it really had an impact on that. Certainly, Rick Perry would have liked to have had Texas sooner. Mitt Romney was very consistent in his poll numbers while others were way up and way down. He was consistent, and it looks like he's got a lock on it now. So that's one thing Texas doesn't have to worry about it, I guess."
Have you endorsed a candidate?
"I did endorse Ron Paul—[I] put a Youtube[.com] endorsement out there, but I am going with Mitt Romney now. It looks like Ron Paul is not going to be the candidate, but I said all along that I would endorse the Republican nominee, and I will."
Your opponent, District 21 incumbent Lamar Smith, authored the Stop Online Piracy Act. What is your opinion on SOPA?
"I think Lamar Smith has really stepped in it on several different issues, not just SOPA. It's typical of Lamar Smith in his career—that he is a big-government, moderate to liberal Republican. And for him, at this time when the people in this country give such a low approval rating of Congress—the lowest in American history—and we all agree that Washington, D.C., is broke and Congress is ineffective, and we're tired of regulations and we're tired of Big Brother government—he comes up with one of the most intrusive pieces of legislation in a long time and wants the federal government now to regulate the Internet. And not only regulate it, but come right out and censor the Internet and inhibit the most effective exchange of communication that we have in the world today. And I find it astonishing that Lamar has turned his back on Data Foundry and other huge Texas companies in favor of his big, Hollywood contributors. I've talked to these companies, and they've actually had me over for tours. They are amazing and a lot of these companies feel betrayed by Lamar Smith, and I think rightfully so."