In our story last week on out state House candidates, gay Republican Michael Cargill wasn’t mentioned.
Cargill, who’s running in the special election Nov. 5 to fill Mark Strama’s unexpired term, has been a business owner for 10 years. He currently owns Central Texas Gun Works in Austin.
He’s the only Republican who’s filed to run in the special election, and will be up against lesbian Democrat Celia Israel, among others. If he doesn’t win in November, he plans to run again in the Republican Primary and to seek the Victory Fund’s endorsement.
A vocal gun rights activist, Cargill said upholding the Second Amendment, along with being pro-life and his belief that retiring military should get better mental health treatment, made him pursue public office. He said he focuses on women and the LGBT community when he teaches concealed handgun classes.
“People forget it’s not about school shootings,” he said. “It’s about sexual assaults and gay-bashings.”
Asked about if he could be influential on GOP lawmakers to help them support LGBT issues, he said he doesn’t want that label to define him.
“I don’t like the label. I like to get things done,” he said. “I want to accomplish a lot.”
However, he said he benefits from being on his longtime partner’s health insurance plan and he supports other companies adding domestic partner benefits.
So, on issues of insurance, discrimination and same-sex marriage, he does think he could be an influence if elected because other Republicans will “have to deal with me,” he said.
Cargill is one of two openly LGBT Republicans running for Texas House. The other is former State Board of Education member George Clayton, who’s seeking the District 102 seat.