Letter From Vance
My name is Vance W. Boyd, and I am a fifth-generation West Texan, cattleman and former pro bull rider. I was on the rodeo circuit for 18 years, then a rank bull decided to do a tap dance on my femur and Life took me in another direction.
I am — proudly and resolutely — a Republican. I truly believe in, and do my best to live by, conservative values; in particular, West Texas values, which place a premium on straight talk, hard work and action-oriented responses to daily challenges. I am a man of Faith. I’m also a man of my word.
Unfortunately, many of today’s politicians don’t share our West Texas values. They talk big and throw around a lot of promises, especially at election time, but they never seem to back that up with meaningful action. They’re All Hat, No Cattle, as we say in West Texas.
That includes the guy I am running against: Jodey Arrington. He doesn’t even live here anymore. Right after he was sworn into office in 2017, Jodey ditched West Texas and moved to Washington with his family. And I guess the place agrees with him, because Jodey still lives in DC to this day.
Living 1500 miles away from the people you’re supposed to be representing — for almost six years now — can’t make it easy for Jodey to do his job. When he was asked this very question by The Texas Tribune back in 2017, Jodey said he planned to commute back to Lubbock every weekend.
We love Lubbock around here — it’s a great city, the home of Texas Tech and a financial engine of the region. But the 19th District has more than 700,000 people, and they live and work in 33 counties that run all the way to the New Mexico border. Each of these counties has its own history, character, challenges and needs. And every one of them matters.
Is Jodey Arrington visiting those places every weekend — or ever? Of course not. And his lack of attention shows. In the years since Jodey’s been gone, our region has endured a growing list of mounting problems, including: ailing hospitals, health care policies that punish those who are struggling, labeling regulations that disadvantage Texas beef producers, rules that let biological males invade the personal spaces and competitive sports of females, education policies that encourage the sexualization of children by adults, and other wrong-headed “solutions” that keep flying out of Washington on Jodey’s watch. These challenges negatively impact all of us who actually live and work in West Texas, more than 1,600 miles away from Jodey’s home in Washington D.C.
Like everything else in my life, my early years are deeply rooted in West Texas. I was born in Abilene; my mother was still in high school when she had me and my brother — he’s one year older than me. We grew up in nearby Anson; it’s a small town of about 2500 that sits just north of Abilene. Early on, our family struggled financially; there were also long stretches without basic comforts, like electricity, running water and regular meals. But we got by, and the lean years eventually passed. Those hard but valuable lessons stayed with me.
Today, home for me is a ranch in Jones County, about six miles north of Anson. In addition to my cattle operation, I have owned and operated a general contracting business for the past 25 years. Our main office is in Anson. I renovated the building some years ago — most of the downtown buildings date back to the turn of the century. I also renovated and own The Palace movie theater. Built in ’29, the theatre had fallen into a heap of disrepair by the time I purchased it. I restored it and turned it a free community center. I also host movie nights throughout the year — everything is free of charge, including the popcorn.
My political life has been in the making for a while. I am a devout believer in the U.S. Constitution. I also respect the American tradition of civic duty, which holds, generally, that we should all do our part to better our communities. I served one term as the mayor of Anson. Prior to that, I was a Councilman. The experience was informing, in the sense that I got to see, on a very local level, how government works. Or doesn’t work; those experiences can also be lightning bolts that stay with you.
My tour of local government opened my eyes to many things, including the dangers of out-of-touch, absent landlord politicians like Jodey Arrington. If I am fortunate enough to be elected as his successor, I’ll do it a lot differently. Every issue, for me, will boil down to a single question: How does this affect the 19th District? And it goes without saying, I hope, but I’ll say it anyway: I would never ditch West Texas for DC full-time. This is my home, after all. This place is also in my blood. I was born in West Texas; I raised my family here — I have three grown sons — and God willing, I’ll draw my last breath here.
As for Jodey, he’s done well for himself in DC these past six years. His career in Washington is obviously going well, because he’s picked up some important-sounding titles. He’s also becoming a regular on the media circuit. Lately, Jodey has been making the rounds on the talk shows — talking about the U.S. budget that just passed, the one that will eventually give the IRS funding to hire 85,000 new agents to go after taxpayers. To hear Jodey spin it, the budget deal was a great accomplishment. In fact, it’s a lousy deal for America, and regular working people in West Texas and other places will wind up paying the price — as they always seem to do.
I’m not sure how any of that helps our part of West Texas, but what I do know — and sincerely believe — is that the time has come to elect a new U.S. Representative for the 19th District. A leader you can count on who actually lives here — not an absent landlord like Jodey Arrington who is out of touch with our constituency, our concerns, our issues, and our region. West Texans take care of each other; that’s a golden rule that Jodey seems to have forgotten.
My name is Vance W. Boyd, and I am running for Congress. Please join us — together, I believe that we can truly make a difference in the lives of thousands of hardworking West Texans in the 19th District in the Great State of Texas.
Republican Candidate For United States Congress
19th District of The Great State of Texas
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Giving West Texans a Bigger Voice
As your Congressman, I will establish a special West Texas Advisory council with representatives from each and every West Texas county. This will help ensure that each county and constituency has a direct pipeline and bullhorn into the Congressional office.
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