LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - New Deal ISD teacher David Speer has announced he is suspending his campaign for Representative of District 83, in the Texas House of Representatives.
Speer’s campaign sent a news release, in which Speer says he’s struggled with language in the Texas Constitution, Article 16 Section 40, that states: “(d) No member of the Legislature of this State may hold any other office or position of profit under this State, or the United States, except as a notary public if qualified by law. (Amended Nov. 2, 1926, Nov. 8, 1932, Nov. 7, 1972, Nov. 6, 2001, and Sept. 13, 2003.)”
According to the release, Speer states his family and his love for teaching students in New Deal are things he values “too greatly to sacrifice at the altar of public service.”
Speer says he believes, most likely, his role as a State funded public school educator "would be considered as being in a ‘position of profit.’”
In his release, Speer states: “I do not want to lead supporters on knowing that my ultimate priorities may cause me to leave the race.”
Speer announced his campaign in August of this year to run for representative of District 83, on the Republican ticket, challenging incumbent Republican Dustin Burrows.
Read a complete copy of Speer’s statement in the release below:
“The most common question I field when speaking about my campaign is “how are you going to do this as a teacher?” I have to say that the past couple of months of campaigning has indeed taught me quite a few things about politics and the things in life I cherish more than anything.
A wise friend (and pastor) once told me of his journey into the ministry; he wanted to tell God what he was willing to sacrifice in order serve the Lord. Naturally, God expected much more than he was initially willing to put “in the circle,” but once the withheld parts of his life were finally yielded, God blessed his new ministry.
Before and during this campaign, I have always believed in two things that I value too greatly to sacrifice at the altar of public service: my love for my family and my love for teaching students in the New Deal community. My hope has always been to find a balance between those values and serving the people of Texas.
I have consulted with many people while researching sources for guidance in my quest to find that balance-for now, my best understanding leads me to believe that I will not be able to teach and hold office as a State Representative.
The Texas Constitution, Article XVI, Section 40 (d) states that a Representative may not hold any office nor be in a “position of profit” under this State. Most likely, a public school teacher such as myself would be considered as being in a “position of profit” since part of my employer’s funding comes from state revenue.
While I personally do not believe the authors of this provision intended to prohibit active teachers from serving as Representatives, I have not discovered a clear path for me to serve as a Legislator while continuing my treasured career as a public school teacher. I have always accepted that it would obviously not be possible to draw any kind of salary from teaching during legislative sessions in Austin, but it would appear that continuing to work as a teacher would be Constitutionally inappropriate as long as I was in office-regardless of whether or not the Legislature is in session. While there may be legal remedies available, I am not sure that I want to drag my precious family and beloved school district along for that kind of journey.
I do not want to lead supporters on knowing that my ultimate priorities may cause me to leave the race. Given this analysis (along with copious amounts of prayer for guidance), I believe the best thing for my family, community, and the Republican Party is to suspend my campaign while I continue to consider any options prior to including my name on the ballot in March. I also hope that in suspending my campaign, another conservative candidate might rise to promote the grassroots values and integrity the people of Texas (not just District 83) expect from our Representatives. Like many of you, I will whole-heartedly support such a candidate!
I cherish all of your prayers, support, and love for the Lone Star State!”
Republican Candidate for TX House District 83