Crowds cheered and raised their banners high Tuesday when Dan Branch finally and officially announced that he is running for attorney general. Friends, family members, and his constituents in state House District 108 packed into an auditorium at SMU’s Dedman School of Law just for the occasion.
The Republican from University Park took the stage following introductions by his wife, Stacey, and former Texas solicitor general Jim Ho. His five children were also in attendance, and they led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas State Pledge.
“As Dan travels our great state, I hope the voters will witness his moral compass, his keen intellect, and his passion as a public servant,” said Stacey Branch, who first met her husband while attending SMU.
When the man of the hour stood before his supporters, he kept his remarks short but powerful.
“As the people in this room know, Texas works,” he said.
Branch stirred his constituents with traditional, conservative rhetoric, making it clear he intends to fight for Texas freedoms if elected to the statewide office. He listed his defense of unborn babies, moments of silence in public schools, and limited government, to name a few.
“When I’m attorney general, my office will be filled with constitutional conservatives,” he said.
Throughout the speech, Branch highlighted that education, faith, and individual liberties would continue to be the beacons of his leadership. He credited his parents for teaching him the spirit of hard work, and gave a nod to the current attorney general, Greg Abbott, who announced July 14 that he is running for governor.
Branch took a strong stance against federal policies, such as President Obama’s health-care reform, that he believes infringe on Texas’ rights.
“As they said at the Battle of Gonzales, ‘Come and take it,’ ” Branch nearly shouted to end his speech, while the throng chanted along.
A rendition of “God Bless Texas” then played to celebrate. Familiar faces in the crowd included Highland Park Town Councilman Will Beecherl and Brad Cheves, SMU’s vice president of external affairs.
Also in attendance were three contenders for the District 108 seat: Court Alley, Morgan Meyer, and Chart Westcott.
“It was a phenomenal speech,” said Alley, who plans to make a formal announcement in the coming days. “It’s great to hear about his accomplishments and wonderful family.”
Now that Branch’s announcement is official, each hopeful is free to declare his own candidacy as he pleases.
“While this announcement has obvious implications for what will happen … I will leave that for another day,” Westcott said in a statement.
Meyer, however, cut right to the chase.
“I would like to go to Austin and work hard for our families as our next state representative,” he said in a statement released shortly after the announcement.