Editor’s Note: the interview took place over Zoom on 9/13/21 and has been edited for length and clarity.
Garrit: So, starting off, can you introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about yourself?
Adam: Yes, my name is Adam Salyer. I’ve been involved in politics pretty much all of my life. I was on the Universal City Council for four years. Backtracking on that, I’m actually 14 years Army — injuries cut me short. And I found myself sitting at home going “what can I do?” I still wanted to be active. Hence, me going to city council. But politics has always been my world. I mean, obviously, in every aspect, whether it’s the government or just civil service. I have a wife and four beautiful boys — 16 years old down to 10 years old. With that said, my family is a big thing for me. When my wife was pregnant, she carried me up and down Sergeant quarters when I was going through surgeries. That’s just a testament that there are still good people out there. She helped me get back to where I was. With that said, thank you for bringing me on. I appreciate you just talking to me and giving me the opportunity. My wife is a huge testament to helping me out. She’s just the foundation of our family. She really helps us out a lot, but that just inspires me to do more. I don’t know if you are familiar with campaigns, but it takes an army. These races are indicative of everybody coming together, and my race, in particular, is crucial because we had a guy that was there, and he abandoned the district. He abandoned us, and that’s a common theme I am hearing on this campaign. Democrats are coming up to me telling me that they feel abandoned. I have Republicans that feel abused. I have Independents that feel that they’ve never had a card in the game. Nobody has really had equal representation anywhere. And that’s got to stop. I mean, look at the districting that we have. Now I don’t know if you’ve divulged into looking at the actual district of 118, but the scope of this district is 87 miles. Now as important as the Alamo is to Texas (the star to Texas), the missions that literally harbored the women and children of the Alamo — it’s in my district — and nobody even knows. This election is predicated on conviction. Do I want to do this? I’m not going to get paid a lot of money. This is essentially a position where you can help. Not just me, but the masses of everybody. And that’s what’s different between me and every other candidate. I don’t profess to know it all. I’m not a polished politician. I will sit down at the table and talk with you. That’s why I’m sitting with you right now today. You were willing to talk to me. That’s how we get this done. I’d be a fool if I didn’t sit down and say “hey what do you think we need?” We’ve got to get creative. The northeast side of this area, I’m going to tell you, they’re landlocked, they can’t grow, and they can’t do anything. The only way they can bolster the economy is to build up within. That’s the only way they can do it or try to barter with somebody else. There’s a lot of land out there. There’s a lot of development opportunities we can do something with and help out. That could bolster the economy. Look at Covid. It hit us hard. But how much of the Covid bill money actually went to Covid? Look at the numbers. It’s astonishing. If you’re going to call it something, call it what it is. Don’t call it bipartisan, let’s get along, make ourselves look good. No, let’s get some action behind that motion. Let’s figure it out. I’m sick and tired of the same old solutions. And it’s not becoming a solution. It’s becoming part of the problem. I want to be the guy that goes in there and formulates a solution. Let’s get it done. One thing I will do is figure it out. My first endorsement, here as an avid Republican, was The Mexican-American Democrats of Texas. What? Who does that? God does that, man. That’s because the people need a difference. They need something different. I’ve got Republican groups coming out. Yesterday, I just got endorsed by Abby Johnson. She’s the biggest right-to-life activist out there. Unbelievable. We need something different. This can be done. Citizens are a voice that needs to be heard.
Garrit: First off, thank you for sitting down and talking with me today. It’s always a pleasure of mine to talk to grassroots candidates. Also, thank you for your service. So, you kind of touched on this already, but why have you decided to run for State Representative?
Adam: Well, to be honest with you, a lot of people don’t know this, I had a family member in Victoria, Steve Holzheauser, he was a State Representative. So seeing what he was doing, and seeing the impact he made, wow, that’s pretty interesting what legislation can do for a city, municipality, and for the state level. There’s so much that can be done because you write the rules and regulations that they can actually atone to what we need. So it’s very intriguing to go into it more and to look more in-depth. And it’s not just standing up there and saying “hey, I’m doing this” and “I’m going to propose this bill and this and that.” It’s a collective effort of trying to get things accomplished. It’s crucial. We have certain things that are sitting on the table right now, I can tell you, I believe it was HB 1486; we were sitting there looking at it over and over again, it went through the House, it went through the Senate, it was literally going to be pushed forward, everything was going to be great. Everybody was happy. But then the Democrats decided to run away, they went to Washington, DC, and proposed to take a stance, which is fine, if that’s what you want to do. But we still have to take care of the citizens, you have to do it. I don’t care if you leave. And I’m a firm believer, if you work hard, you should be taken care of. That’s the bottom line, what the country’s about. So in that scenario, they neglected to realize there were some of these bills that were sitting there that needed to be passed. Now they passed, but they sat in committee and never passed. And the reason why I’m mentioning that one, specifically, is it was a proposal to give virtual education to kids. Now, there’s a lot of desolate areas on the south side, all throughout this region, on the northeast side, there are all kinds of areas that could utilize those abilities. Take those opportunities and build them up as you can. We have to be mindful. The pandemic stepped in and we weren’t prepared. So a lot of people were hurt because of the Covid. The Constitution means something — it means something to me dramatically. Everything else does mean something to me, I served this country for 14 years, I want a decision. So I can make it. I don’t want to be forced to have to do this and that. But if you’re going to give me a reason to actually have to do something, you better give me a sound medical excuse behind it. I better see it. I want to see the proof. And these halfhearted answers… that’s not how you get things done, buddy. You need to give me everything on the table. Don’t lie to me. Don’t sugarcoat it. Don’t make it sound all pretty and this and that. Give me the truth so I can make an informed decision for myself. That’s my right. It’s your right as a citizen. As an American, you have a right to decide what you want to do. So the issue is not the mask — the issue is the right to choose that mask. And that’s what a lot of citizens are getting mad at — on any side. Any side, whether it’s Democrat or Republican, they’re in the same boat. They do believe it’s an evident thing. Covid is an evident thing. We know this. But with all this money we’re throwing at it, why aren’t we accomplishing it, combating it, or completely eradicating it? There is a solution, but we’ve got to find it. We have to find a real solution. And that’s what I’m trying to do. Let’s find a real reason to get this done and figure it out. But me running, again, is really for one reason and that is to help, and I know it was a long way to get to that answer but that’s how I feel.
Garrit: So, you’re running in the 118th District, and you’re running in a special election. Can you explain the nature of this election? Why are you having a special election, and will you be on the same ballot as the Democratic candidates?
Adam: Yes, I will. So, what has happened is that the incumbent Leo Pacheco (D) decided to resign and his position became vacant. Well, we’re still currently under a term right now. It’s midway through the term. So the governor must declare what they call a proclamation. Once he declares this proclamation, he gives you a timeframe to run. Well, with this special election, early voting is going to be from September 20-24 and then the 28th is Election Day. Whoever gets 51% will pretty much take the seat. But mind you, we’re not out of the weeds yet, because we still have to run the very next year. There’s no primary to this. Everybody’s on the same ballot. Matter of fact, on the 14th, tomorrow, we’ll find out what our place on the ballot will be.
Garrit: Continuing with that, former Republican Representative John Lujan has decided to get into this race. Is there any reason why voters should reject Lujan and vote for you?
Adam: I’m going to honestly say that he’s a good man. I have nothing bad to say about it. I absolutely love the guy. But mind you, he endorsed my campaign last election. He knows I’m good enough for this district. I want this race to be conviction versus persuasion. If people are telling you to run, okay, so be it. You’ve got to be wholehearted into this, you’ve got to want this. I’m not doing this halftime. I’m not doing this as a part-time job. I’m doing this as a lifelong goal. I want this. And it’s not for me, it’s because I’ve prayed about this. I’ve talked to my family, I see the impact that this position will have directly. I live in this district. I know I will do better than anybody else. I know because I know what we need. Now, moving forward, as I said, I’m not going to say anything bad about the guy. But what I will say is that if I was good enough, then I’m good enough now. In the scope of this, I can’t refuse those 23,000 that voted for us, man. That’s a lot of voices that need to be heard. And I feel they get it, right? So I can’t tell you there’s one reason that I’m better than him. I can tell you there are 23,000 plus reasons that those citizens deserve this. And I mean it. I mean, they need it. When you go through this district, you look at it. School boards are failing. There’s a lot of places where they’re losing things right and left, people are quitting jobs right and left. There are workers out there homeless, there’s sex trafficking. It is an evident thing. I know because I’ve seen it, it’s in this district. It’s phenomenal how many opioids are coming in. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous to see what’s happening. So I need to get to the point where we can speak up and speak up to what happens. Somebody needs to tell the governor and everybody else: this district needs to be heard. Don’t be afraid because it’s Bear County. It’s always been listed as this kind of district or whatever. It still voices that need to be heard. Listen to him take the opportunity. I hope I answered your question.
Garrit: You did, yes, and going off what you just said, District 118 has historically been a pretty heavily Democratic district. Do you think that Republicans or yourself have a real shot at winning the district?
Adam: Yes, I do. And let me tell you why. I went to a library in Universal City. I walked right next to an elderly woman that was about to pass out and all drenched in sweat. After I saw her, I gave her water. Common courtesy of just here’s some water. She looked at me and said, “oh my God, thank you. I can’t believe you did that.” And I said, “you’re a person in need.” It makes sense. She gave me a hug. The next week, we went to church together. What? The church was freaking out, “whoa, do you know he’s republican? This is crazy.” In the end, she’s the vice-chair of the Mexican-American Democrats. That’s not me, man. That’s God stepping in saying unite people and bring them together. That’s what we need. It’s about time. Unity should be the word that’s ringing right now. Everybody should be unified as a nation. So that’s how it needs to be done. That’s how we can win votes. Don’t outcast anyone or call any names. Just get plugged in and sit at the table with everyone and talk. If 9 of my 10 platform items are matched up, why can’t we get one thing done? I’m going to tell you right now, I will not vote for abortion anytime in my life. Ever. The last time I checked, a Christian and a Catholic, and half the other people I’ve met with different religions don’t want that. Now, you got to look at it in depth. There are means and other reasons for the things we can do. But I just look at it like no, certain things are just right. That’s just how I feel. I’m a humble man. But I’m going to sit at the table, I’m going to talk to you. I’m going to hear your side. Give me sound reasoning. Let’s look at it. Let’s think about it. That’s the meaningful process behind it.
Garrit: Okay, yeah. So, moving on to the specific policy positions you’ve listed on your website. Two of those goals are to stimulate economic growth and encourage small businesses. So firstly, what economic policies do you support?
Adam: I’m going to tell you right now, we got to scrub through, we got to look at what we’ve got already on the table, and we’ve got to look from top to bottom. Some of it’s working, some of it’s not. That’s the happy medium, we got to find the ones that are working. Now, I will tell you this. When I was running for mayor, I was trying to formulate a grant program for small businesses. I said, why don’t we have the business ideal? Let’s think about it. We’ve got some of the most brilliant minds here in the municipalities. So why not have them fill out an application, let’s literally build an avenue to kind of help your business out. Let’s do a three to five-year projection. Let’s think about it. Let’s literally formulate a platform, and help you establish your business further. Give you the mindset of how to do it. So now this goes back to “I’m going to teach you how to fish so you can live forever,” right? That’s what we’re doing here. Let’s give you a business goal. Let’s treat you, but not just throw money at you all day long. The stimulus was great and it helped a lot of families. That’s fine and dandy. But now that the stimulus is done, when we look at a lot of businesses, they still can’t sustain themselves. So give them a three to five-year projection, give them a portfolio, and give an idea on how to build your business. When these businesses are vetted to come into a city. That should be their first ideal. What’s your business plan? What’s your portfolio? Can you do this? We’re not trying to take governmental control. What we’re trying to do is just help you sustain yourself. Establish yourself. It’s not strong regulations. Deregulations are going to be our key. I mean, Reagan said it best, you look at it over and over again, deregulations are key. So we’ve got to look at those elements. So that’s one thing I’d like to do is establish maybe a grant program that actually formulates a thought process for businesses. We’ve got a lot of stuff out there already. Some of it has failed and been misleading. It’s not helping out. So going into that aspect for small businesses, let’s have a thought process that way. Teach them how to grow. Does that make sense?
Garrit: Okay, yeah. You mentioned that the district that you’re running to represent is landlocked. Is that what you said?
Adam: A bit, yeah. See, this district actually runs through several cities. I mean, go down the list, you’re talking 87 miles. So it’s several cities, certain regions of San Antonio are not landlocked and certain regions are. So take Universal City. We’re currently landlocked. They don’t have the ability to grow. Look at Schertz, Cibolo, Selma, these are all the tri-city regions in the area. You’re talking maybe a 50-mile radius with 19,000 citizens. Schertz has more than 45,000 citizens. So you just have to look at them as municipalities, and a lot of the bigger cities tend to have room to grow, and smaller ones don’t because they’re landlocked. So that’s what I meant by that. Being landlocked, it’s going to be a crucial thing for how we can create ourselves. And again, that ties back into the business ideal: structure these businesses. Because I’m telling you that their heartbeat is essentially the mom and pop shops, the startup businesses, and the aspiring young guy who wants to do graphic design. I mean, all those little efforts are what’s thriving in smaller municipalities, because they don’t have a chance to really combat the bigger corporations. So you have to find a way to help them sustain themselves and become better. Make sense?
Garrit: Yeah, okay. Moving on to the four goals that are needed to improve education. So, first off, what ways can education be improved across the state or in your district?
Adam: Well, I mean, I remember back in the day, I did cursive writing. Come on, we’re missing a lot of the small elements we had growing up. And when I say we, I mean my grandfather, my great grandfather, they had some elements where they stopped and literally prayed before the flag. The respect value. I mean, when I saw you, you were respectful to me the first time we met. What happened to the good old days when you said yes ma’am and yes, sir? That’s lifelong. And the problem we’re having right now is, the respect value is not there anymore. So we need elements of that. When was the last time we gave an etiquette class to a kid? Teach them the life skills they need. We gotta get back to the basics that just help us. And critical race theory is not the solution. I mean, that’s just fabricated. This is what we’re gonna do, really. That’s not what we’re supposed to be about. This country was founded on aspiration and aspiring to be more in life. Why have we lost the very essence of what we’re doing? So how can we go back to our Founding Fathers’ constitution? Kids don’t even know what it is. Some of our kids are like, who’s that? That makes no sense. It makes no difference. You need to know it. Martin Luther King and his speeches, learn them. He spoke volumes, and through a critical time in life. Now that’s how we learn, but we must learn from our past to be able to move forward in our future. We’ve got to. If we do not take those steps today, we’re no different than just sitting on the couch doing nothing. And that’s the nation we’re becoming. It’s more out of convenience than let’s go get stuff done. If you’re a hard-working citizen, you should be able to capitalize and become something more. That’s just what it means to be. We’re forgetting to teach that value to our kids. Half of our kids don’t even know what Washington, DC is. Simple things, like home economics. Those kinds of things. What I mean is that we need to stop bolstering these events that are constructing some nonsense, right and left. That’s not what we need. We’re molding the minds of our kids. Let’s not forget the very essence of what made kids so pure, to begin with. Eager to be good.
Garrit: Absolutely. Moving on to the other goal that you’ve stated: public safety. So several things. First off, you mentioned sex trafficking is what you stated earlier, particularly in your district. Can you elaborate on that point, please?
Adam: And see, I don’t know troop numbers today. Because guess what, they don’t talk about it. That’s the problem. But I know it’s sad. I’ve had families tell me that their daughter has been involved. I’ve had this scenario and that scenario. One gentleman I met had the Angels Foundation as his organization. And he goes in and rescues families that are in domestic violence and sex trafficking. That’s his job. So I went to talk to him and heard his stories of various cases. Now, I was oblivious, I had no clue until they actually told me that these are surviving victims. I was floored. It’s like, are you kidding me? That’s the problem. We don’t know the numbers, and we don’t know the problem. And it’s not until something drastic happens. We understand it’s a problem. We need to get ahead of the race, instead of behind it. The problem of not getting ahead of it is that it keeps festering and keeps getting worse. It’s like cancer that keeps building and building. We’ve got to eradicate it one day. And how you do that is getting law enforcement to be a big part of stopping this. A lot of people don’t understand, it’s going to take our municipalities getting a firm hand on it. A harsh reality needs to come into play. You got to look at it. And again, this is where I go back to what I said at the beginning. We’re going to have to scrub through a lot of stuff. And I’m not going to sit here and say I’m going to do a million things under the sun. We’ve got to look and find the right things that are working and mold the other things to come in the same way. We have to say that there is so much this nation’s hurting for today. If we don’t, we’ll crucially find ourselves in a bad way. So as far as sex trafficking is concerned, we’ve got to stop it. A lot of people don’t even know about the illegal immigrants coming in right and left. We’re in a harbor city, San Antonio. I mean, honestly, it seems like every time we have a problem, overflow this net, they ship them here. And AT&T Center and everywhere around is a harbor. Well, who’s paying that bill? Where do checks and balances come into play? The average citizen, that 167,000. Is it that they don’t speak up? Guess what? It’s not that they’re not speaking up. They’re not getting heard. Because they had a representative jump ship. That’s got to stop. They need to be taken care of. And those are added votes. So all these people want to get elected. They better come to talk, but they’re not. And it’s about time that it stops. With that said, the citizens are going to be taken care of. That’s what it needs to be. And in this scenario, sex trafficking is a big thing. But opioids are coming in, oh my goodness. It’s ridiculous the kind of drugs that are being confiscated out here. But you’re not hearing it. You’re not hearing it because he’s keeping it hush. Don’t make it an issue. Don’t make it a big deal. We don’t need to worry about it. If we don’t step up and speak out, we’re going to lose. We’re losing the war. Big time.
Garrit: Okay, continuing on with that and the opioid crisis. This is actually an issue that I find really nice when you hear a candidate or somebody talking about because, as you said, nobody ever talks about it. I’m here in Austin right now, but where I’m from originally, in East Texas near Arkansas and Louisiana, the opioid crisis is really bad there. So what do you think needs to be done in order to combat the opioid crisis?
Adam: Well, first of all, for this opioid crisis, we literally have got to crack down on it. And I’m saying that it’s got to go, old school. Beat the door down, figure it out, if we have to make harsher punishments, then let’s do it. We’ve got to figure out a way right now. Pretty much everybody’s getting a little slap on the wrist. You’re in jail. You’re good. Have a nice day. Nobody’s really taking a firm stance on this. You’re gonna mess with that, mess with large missing people. Guess what? You’re gonna. You’re gonna fit the crime. One of the biggest issues we’re facing today is determining the ramifications behind it. Honestly, if you’re putting out life in danger, isn’t that no different than Covid? It’s putting a life in danger. Where’s the accountability? These people bring it in. Don’t just get the guy ponying it up and bringing it in and sneaking it in right and left—get all of them. Let’s go old school, beat down doors, and take people out. We’ve got to take things out instead of allowing them to come in and fester like a soul. And that’s what’s happening. And in the end, isn’t our goal to help others like our kids? Isn’t that our goal? But if you let this stuff gravitate around, what happens? They get into it. Now they’re in harm’s way because of our neglect. Why? Because we didn’t take a firm stance. That’s where we’re at.
Garrit: Okay, moving on. So we met at an event in Austin a few weeks ago with Robert West, Don Huffines, and Chad Prather. I’m interested to see what your thoughts are on the governor’s race.
Adam: Okay. Well, I want to tell you first and foremost, let’s just put it out there. I’ve been on a waiting list for 11 months to meet with Governor Abbott. 11 months. That is a travesty. 11 months you’ve had a candidate fight in the trenches as a Republican for you. You don’t even pick up the phone. You don’t even call. Okay, so that’s where I stand on that. God bless you. I wish you well, and I’m still going to pray for you. But I won’t forget it. I promise you that. Now as far as the other guys, I was actually pretty happy to see Don Huffines and all of them together. Man, it was beautiful. That’s how you unite a party. When everybody’s together on the same platform, not bashing each other. When I ran my race, I didn’t say one bad thing about Leo, God bless him. I even invited him to several prayer meetings. He never took it up. I still ended up praying for his family. He didn’t realize it. But with that said, you’re going to have unity come together, even with so much friction in this country and a party divided across like crazy. And in the end, we all come under God. We’re all united in one big way. I don’t know why we forgot this. It’s got to stop. Black, white, brown, whoever you are, we’ve got to come together on one accord. In the eyes of God, we’re all equal. So seeing the unity there with them at the race, really touched me, man. And I reached out to all of them, gave them all the same accord. Hey, look, I’m in a special election. I talked to them all when I was there. Hey, this is your opportunity. Come help out a fellow candidate. We’ll see. When it comes to the table in Hill. Colonel West. I’ve spoken to him several times. Absolutely love the guy. But no different than I love everybody else. We get along just fine. I don’t see why we can get along behind the scenes, but when it comes out in front of the camera, you tend to take a stance differently. It shouldn’t be like that. Because what you see with me is what you get, I will not hide behind it. So that’s what we got to do moving forward is to have this approach. So, I’m gonna treat you exactly how I treat you every time. Don’t put a camera on me and change, just be you. Make sense?
Garrit: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I guess one more thing I’d like to ask is if you have anything else to say before we end the interview?
Adam: Yeah, one final thing. I want y’all to know, this is a race where we can right a wrong. This race was truly stolen from us. Whether it was machines, whether it was faulty, it was truly taken away from what needed to be done. So I want to give you all the opportunity to let people know. Clear out in Austin, let people know, clear out my area, let people know, we could come together and do what’s right, for 167,000 people. And this is the very scope of ethnicity across the board. Black, white, brown all the way across. This is what it’s about. This district has mighty fine citizens. And each and every one of you could change those lives. So I’m asking you humbly, go to forsalyer.com or my personal number 210-685-9110. Call me. Let’s pray for them. Let’s help them. I aim to be the guy that wants to go up there and sit down and pray for them and be there for these people. They deserve it. They need it. We got the missions to Randolph Air Force Base, military city, USA. Let’s take care of it. Let’s prove it. And what we write today is going to impact, if we do it right, the state. If you do one good thing right, they’ll piggyback on it. Everybody gravitates towards it. You could make that call. So humbly take care of these people. Be part of their voice. Don’t get caught up in the “I live in this district” or “I live in that district”. That can’t help. You can help. So I humbly ask you to help 118. In the end, we are 118. God bless you. Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, man. I appreciate that, buddy.
Garrit: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Once again, thank you for taking the time and sitting down with me. It’s been a great pleasure.
Adam: You’re being a good soul. I appreciate you, buddy. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done. And it really is a blessing. I’m honored, and I’m looking forward to building a friendship with you, buddy. I really am. You just stay in the mix. Keep involved because I’m not giving up. I promise you that.
Garrit: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. Have a great rest of your day. And good luck in this race.
Tags: Adam Salyer, Interview, District 118, Texas, Special Election