Republican Texas Rep. Ted Poe, who represents the 2nd Congressional District around the northern part of Houston, announced in 2017 that he would not be running for re-election, which opened the door to a slew of GOP contenders for his seat.
According to the Houston Chronicle, one of those contenders is a former U.S. Navy SEAL who lost an eye in Afghanistan in 2012, still served two more tours of duty after his recovery, and now wants to continue serving his state and country following his military career.
That former Navy SEAL is retired Lt. Cmdr. Dan Crenshaw, and he said in a statement at the time, “I am running for Congress to continue fighting for the country I love. I am running because our country needs leaders, not politicians. I fought and bled for 10 years as a Navy SEAL in Iraq, Afghanistan, and South Korea, because I know the importance of service before self.”
Crenshaw described himself as a “patriot” and conservative Republican, and according to the “Issues” section of his congressional campaign website, he is most certainly that — taking a strong conservative stance on such things as national security, the economy and tax reform, the Second Amendment, abortion, illegal immigration and border security, religious liberty, school choice, free speech, fixing the VA, and host of other issues.
The Washington Free Beacon reported in January that Crenshaw had completely lost his right eye and the vision in his left eye following an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2012. After undergoing multiple surgeries over several months, he regained sight in his left eye and actually returned to duty, serving two more tours in Bahrain and South Korea prior to taking medical retirement in 2016.
“What makes me get up in the morning is knowing I’m doing something for the country and I was not ready to quit that,” Crenshaw told the Free Beacon. “I think this is why I’m driven to Congress now, because it’s another path I can take to make a positive impact on people’s lives and serve in a way that is meaningful and push for values that I believe in.”
Crenshaw, who will face off against at least nine other contenders in the March 9 primary, said his service and deployments gave him a unique edge over the rest of the field, and was quite open about his support of President Donald Trump, particularly when it came to foreign policy and national security issues, as well as rebuilding the military and his efforts to “drain the swamp.”
“We have to jolt the system a little bit,” he said. “As crazy as the rhetoric sounds to a lot of people, (Trump) has to provide that credible threat in order to bring the Chinese onboard to pressure North Korea and really make some changes with the regime’s behavior.”
“The swamp needs credibility,” he added. “Our vision should be one of optimism, one of limited government, where we first ask what we can do for our community and our country and not the other way around. That’s the true essence of conservatism.”
Crenshaw recently sat down for an in-depth interview with The Daily Caller to shed more light on his military background, his devastating wounds and recovery, as well as his intentions for Washington should he be elected to serve by the good people of Texas’ 2nd district.
“I retired in 2016 as a lieutenant commander and immediately went to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government,” Crenshaw said. “I knew I wanted to stay in service and it was unclear to me exactly what that would look like. I really wanted to get some policy experience, and I really wanted to get back to Texas.
“My wife and I had talked about running for elected office someday, but we aren’t politically connected and we didn’t have any money. We had to build those things first,” he continued. “When GOP Rep. Ted Poe announced retirement in my district. Well, I knew it was time.”
Part of his effort to connect with potential future constituents is a near daily run through the district to not only meet voters, but to also raise awareness about the still ongoing recovery efforts following 2017’s Hurricane Harvey that drenched southeast Texas and flooded much of Houston.
Crenshaw noted that on the big issue of immigration, he favors a wall where necessary and increased border security, was open to “legal status” without an expedited pathway to citizenship for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and wanted a shift from chain migration to a merit-based immigration system.
This proud, conservative Navy SEAL sacrificed one of his eyes in service to this country, and still wants to continue serving in the best capacity that he can in Congress. It will be up to the voters of Texas’ 2nd district if he is the right man for that job.
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