The Libertarian Party of Texas selected its candidate for Texas Governor on Saturday with one number in mind: 34.
“It is going to be hard, but we can do hard things. In a three-way race, 34 percent of the vote can take this thing, and that’s within reach,” said Katherine Youngblood Glass, 56, whom the party chose to challenge Gov. Rick Perry and Bill White in November.
Hundreds of miles from the highfalutin' digs in Dallas where thousands of GOP delegates congregated for their Washington-bashing fun, the Libertarians gathered in a convention room at a Holiday Inn smack dab in the middle of blue-collar Austin to nominate Glass, a Houston civil trial lawyer, who defeated 2002 gubernatorial nominee Jeff Daiell by a 73 to 25 vote. A third candidate, Steve Nichols, withdrew moments before ballots were cast and threw his support behind Glass. Nichols chose instead to accept an invitation as vice-chair of the group’s state party.
Glass fused two hot-button issues, immigration and spending, and said both could be addressed without any federal intervention, in keeping with the party’s philosophy of less meddling from Washington.
“We need to cut the budget drastically — not just a little but a lot — by eliminating spending on people who are here illegally,” she said. “Twenty-five percent of the budget is spent on people who are here illegally, and that’s something that should not happen.”
Glass' comments indicate that though the party’s slogan is “Fiscally Conservative, Socially Tolerant,” the former has won out over the latter, as the fervor over undocumented immigration continues to swell. Her solution involves sealing the border without federal involvement.
“Our philosophy is to secure the border, and I would secure the border with the use of the Texas State Guard,” she said, pronouncing the words “Texas State Guard” slowly, loudly and deliberately. “It is not our fault, but it is our problem. We have seen that the federal government is not going to do anything. We need to stop waiting for them to do something and start doing it ourselves with our own resources.”
She agrees with what Perry has stated publicly about Arizona-style immigration reform, however, likening it to the removal of common pests from her home.
“That’s not the way for Texas," she said. "We should secure our border at the border. The Arizona-style interrogation, after people have become integrated in the community, is like my ants in my pantry, and I want to remove them one at a time and take them outside.”
Despite chances of winning that are slimmer than slim, the Libertarian Party is still poised to capture some undecided voters in November. (So is the Green Party — if it gets on the ballot. The Democrats are currently fighting to keep them off.) Asked which party would be affected most by the presence of a Libertarian opponent, Glass insisted that voters were disenchanted enough that it could impact more than one.
“I think the Libertarians will take votes from Republicans, from Democrats and from Independents,” she said.