Meet Spencer Bounds.
The extraordinary 24-year-old is running to unseat an otherwise unchallenged 50-year incumbent Republican in the 82nd district of the Texas House of Representatives. As a Democrat.
For TX HD-82, Goliath appears to have finally met his David.
Born and raised in Midland, Texas, Bounds has been volunteering and working in local and state politics in different capacities for many years — his entire life, he notes. And when filing day came in December for would-be members of Congress to establish their candidacies for the Texas House, which has been dominated by Republicans for decades, he had no intention of running.
“I was in Austin helping my friend Armando Gamboa file file, he’s running in the neighboring [81st] district in Odessa,” Bounds told Bros4America. He noticed that there was nobody running to challenge the Republican incumbent in the 82nd district, where he’s from.
In his work locally or for Young Democrats organizations, he had been preaching the need for Democrats to run in every seat in every district in America. It wasn’t until he was half way home on the drive back to Midland from Austin– and thanks to the urging of his close friend Stuart Williams — that he decided it was his moral imperative to run. He simply could not let the seat go uncontested. Not in good conscience.
“I couldn’t allow it to happen,” Bounds said.
Bounds spoke to Bros4America’s co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Alex Mohajer about his candidacy, his age, and what he hopes to accomplish once he’s elected in this special episode of The The Bros 4 America Podcast.
On being a 24-year-old running for elected office:
“When [Republican incumbent] Tom Craddick was elected in 1968, he was a year older than me. That happened to be fifty years ago. But the fact remains, that its been done before. And when Tom Craddick ran for the first time, it was a one-party state. Our party. Now I’m running under the same exact circumstances.”
“At the end of the day, as long as you are willing to put in the work, if you have ideas and you’re willing to work with people and talk with people, and you’re willing to sit down with your constituents and go fight for them, it shouldn’t matter how old you are.
“If you’re willing to go door to door, sit in their homes, have a glass of lemonade.
On why it’s time for Tom Craddick to go:
“Tom Craddick is very much so the reason that Texas is a one-party state. He got elected, worked his way up. He’s the one that gathered these donors and big financial interests together and decided that there was going to be a Republican majority in Texas. And through his years of gathering donors and putting money everywhere throughout the state, and then in his years as Speaker, when he so nicely gerrymandered every district map in the state for his party. Tom Craddick is the reason we are where we are at. He has been around so long, even if he had never been Speaker, that if you have a problem or something that you don’t like about Texas state government, then its probably his fault.”
Mohajer: “And it’s time to hold him accountable?”
Bounds: “And it’s time to hold him accountable.”
On the path forward:
“We need better healthcare, we need rural hospitals and people are having to drive 2 or 3 hours just to see someone who isn’t a general practitioner. We have the threat of school vouchers looming above some of our smaller school districts….”
“We have a voter apathy problem because people think they’re votes don’t matter. And I’m out here spreading the word that it can be better.”
Check out the full interview and his inspiring words for other millennials and Young Democrats who may want to run for office but haven’t yet in this bonus episode of The Bros 4 America Podcast. You can help support Spencer by donating to him or visiting him on Twitter.
The Bros 4 America Podcast is executive produced by Alex Mohajer and is co-hosted by Mohajer, Rance Collins, Daniel Fusselman, and Thomas McAbeee. The theme music is “It’s Always Too Late To Start” by Chris Zabriskie. The show is produced using Audacity and is powered by BluBerry/Wordpress. Special thanks to Nelson Melegrito, Matt Garrett, and stem cells!
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story inaccurately stated the name of the friend Mr. Bounds was helping to file. It has been corrected to reflect that friend is Armando Gamboa, who is running in the 81st district in the Texas House of Representatives.
Also published on Medium.