The following was sent to Dallas Voice by the Payne campaign. On his campaign website, Jeffrey Payne shows he’s campaigning in the Valley through the weekend. We’re expecting to hear from the Valdez campaign today and we’ll post her latest update when we do.

Running the long race

Sometimes labeled a “dark horse,” Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate, Jeffrey Payne is used to running a long race. Starting his campaign in July when he informally announced his run for Governor of Texas, he gained media notoriety because he was an openly gay man running for the top of the Democratic ticket.

“The Democratic Party was not delighted to hear our plans,” says Jeffrey. “They never said it directly, but they did everything in their power to discourage me from running.”

“That only gave me more resolve.”

Since then Jeffrey has worked to make his name better known in Texas. He has traveled over 29,000 miles so far, visiting Democratic groups from the largest cities to counties with only a handful of residents and Texans have responded well.

“We have a well-developed platform and succinct policies that we talk about and Texans appreciate it,” says Payne. “So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The campaign has focused on several issues, among them Texas education, health care, women’s rights and the state’s crumbling infrastructure. More importantly, voters want a candidate that shows up. Some of the smaller counties have never had a gubernatorial candidate visit, and that counts a lot.

“Voters in some of the small towns we visit are very appreciative that we bothered to take time to visit,” says Jeffrey. “I let them know that every Texan is important to me and as Governor I will be there for them. That goes a long way.”

Jeffrey continues his campaigning through March 6, when there will be an election watch party at campaign headquarters in Dallas.

— David Taffet