Editor’s Note: This interview took place via zoom on 12/14/21.
Garrit: Can you introduce yourself?
Stormy: My name is Stormy Bradley. I’m a Christian, a wife, a mother, and a nurse. I’m a business owner. I’m a lifelong West Texan. I am a passionate conservative. I am a community leader. I volunteer. I serve on my school board in rural West Texas—a small town called Coahoma. I believe talk is cheap, and I take action. A little trivia fact about myself is I love fishing, hunting, and reading. I read probably five to eight books a month. If I don’t know something, I think that is the best way to educate myself.
Garrit: Can you talk a little more about how your background in business and nursing will play into your role as a state senator?
Stormy: Absolutely! I manage and negotiate with people and businesses daily. I have worked in the ER, med-surge, and occasionally the ICU as far as nursing goes. Being able to have critical thinking is crucial—it is quite literally life and death in some circumstances. So pulling from that, I am a quick and adaptive person. In that, I will be able to stand up for the diverse needs that our district requires. I understand those needs firsthand from my business experience. As an employer, I listen to my team, and I listen to their challenges. In the hospital, we were sisters and brothers. I mean, you get so close to people in these critical situations that you can’t help but move as one unit. I know what they’re doing, and they know what I’m doing. What I’m trying to say is to know your role, own your role, and thrive in it. I have taken that to heart in my business. That’s partly why I read so many books. Business owners in this great state of Texas know what it means to struggle, stress, and be stretched out of our elements. We grow and thrive because of it. So, that’s something that I know some people may think is a limitation because I am not a politician. I don’t know how things work in Austin. However, I consider that a blessing because I’m not easily swayed into just ‘going with the flow. I think for myself, and I have been forced to figure things out in business. I am a quick learner.
Garrit: Why have you decided to run for state senate?
Stormy: Because I care about doing what’s right–not just what’s politically correct. I think we have forgotten the role of government, and we need people with integrity to fight for those limitations to be restored. The government needs to do what should be done based on our constitution only–nothing more. It’s our businesses and citizens’ jobs to drive our economy and our way of life–not the government’s.
Garrit: Was there any particular event that got you into this race?
Stormy: Not specifically. As I said earlier, I serve on my school board, and just seeing the constraints, limitations, and mandates placed on schools in Texas pushed me into it a little bit. You know, as well as I do, once your eyes are open to the world of politics, you see many things that go on that aren’t ideal or beneficial to the actual citizens. That’s what’s kept me in this race. Knowing that I have the integrity and accountability to represent these people in district 31 entirely has kept me in this fight because I firmly believe it is true.
Garrit: Going on with that. You also have some primary opponents in this race. When you first entered this race, you were running against incumbent Kel Seliger—he is retiring now. So, now you’re going up against Kevin Sparks, Jesse Quackenbush, and Tim Reid. President Trump has endorsed Kevin Sparks in this race. So, how do you convince Republicans to support you over Kevin Sparks?
Stormy: Well, I am a Trump supporter, and I firmly feel that if he were to have interviewed the both of us, he would have chosen me. To be candid, I’m not sure that he did any interviewing process before making his endorsement. I feel the reason that I am best suited for this role is that I’m more in tune with the voters in this district—more than any other candidate in the race—because of my upbringing, because of my self-made business background, my integrity, my grit, and my accountability. As far as the other candidates and their endorsements, we all know there are problems in Austin. The voters in district 31 are more qualified to choose their representation than a long-term politician in Austin or anywhere else. I feel that if established politicians endorse you, it’s because they think you will go along to get along. There are plenty of endorsements that I would refuse. I believe these career politicians endorse soft people that they can control, not people with grit and heart that genuinely want to improve the great state of Texas.
Garrit: Moving on then to some specific policy positions. As you said earlier, you served on the school board. What do you think needs to be done to improve education in Texas?
Stormy: First and foremost, we need to limit and revoke government overreach. We have federal and state government overreach in education. I feel that local governments across the board are being given mandates and no resources to achieve those mandates. Educators with the room to work can educate just about anyone. The closer we bring government and education to the people we serve, the better.
Garrit: Is there anything specific that you plan on doing or getting rid of? Are there any particular mandates or overreaches that you would like to see gone?
Stormy: I don’t have any specific mandates at the current time. Once I get elected and sit down with the State Board of Education, discuss how things are going, budgets, TEKS, and those kinds of things, I think we can better come to a resolution on what needs to be changed. I believe we are all aware that changes need to be made. I think it’s a little cluttered now. Every year with new regulations on teachers, administrations, and counties, I think it’s a little chaotic just to have a clear-cut solution. School districts are all unique, and we are cookie-cutting them. I don’t know if that helps our students.
Garrit: What are your thoughts on critical race theory in education?
Stormy: There is no place for it in schools. I think we have a bias on how we are presenting the curriculum. I’m not going to say that it’s everywhere—I can’t vouch for that. Some people would say that it is everywhere in every grade level. We need to get back to Christian values in our education system and focus on primary education, reading, writing, and arithmetic. I think Texas is ranked 29th in education. We live in the greatest state in the nation. We need to be great in all things—our education system is one of those things.
Garrit: In the school district you live and serve in, have you seen examples of CRT in any of those schools?
Stormy: I have not. I have students in school, a second-grader, and a first-grader. I am also on my school board, and I pay very close attention to the books that my sons bring home. I’m close with their teachers and their principal, and I feel confident in the school district that we have quality educators that love their students and are passionate about Christ.
Garrit: So, you’re running in district 31, West Texas. I understand that the oil industry is very important in West Texas. So, how do you plan on supporting the oil industry whenever you get to the State Senate, and how do you plan on protecting Texas oil from federal government overreach?
Stormy: I would love to answer that. I want to point out that district 31 spans 46 counties, and it is the Permian Basin—that is oil country. I would also like to point out that we also have other industries—we are number one in cattle production and a huge producer of corn, cotton, and lumber. So, I want to make sure that you know that district 31 is a West Texas district, but it is also in the panhandle—which is primarily agriculture-based. As far as how I plan to support the oil and gas industry, we are constantly told that fossil fuels pollute our environment and make our climate unlivable due to carbon emissions. As a nurse, I know that CO2 is essential to regulating pH levels in our bodies. We have a breathing machine that revolves around CO2—not oxygen. I think you can have too much CO2, but I don’t believe we are at risk of that. Without carbon dioxide, we would not be able to breathe. We fix that because we need to start re-educating politicians in Washington about the benefits of fossil fuels. We have to remind those ivory towers that American engines run on oil and gas. We also need to educate our students about how the economy and science work in early education. Fossil fuels are here to stay as they should be. It is our job to protect that industry.
Garrit: Continuing with this topic, as you said, there are other industries in your district. Are there any things that you plan on doing or any things that you would like to see done to protect those industries and boost the economy?
Stormy: Well, I think reviewing the budget and holding into consideration the industries that we represent here in Texas such as agriculture, energy, manufacturing, infrastructure—I know a massive thing in this district is our roads and water systems—and being able to represent them and advocate for the people in this district is going to be a huge proponent in this upcoming election and term.
Garrit: What are your thoughts on other energy sources like wind and solar?
Stormy: I think there’s a time and a place for them. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket. Though wind and solar are not as reliable as oil, gas, nuclear, and coal, I think that wind and solar do have a place in our energy sector. However, earlier this year, we almost had a shutdown here. We need to have enough coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear stores. We need to have generation and storage units for those because, as we saw in February, windmills can’t function, and solar is covered by snow. I think that is part of why we got into that predicament—we have a stigma on oil and gas. As I said earlier, everyone wants to be carbon neutral. The facts are that oil and gas clean the air and our water by providing cheap and reliable energy sources to help support those… if you look at third-world countries, they burn fires in their home, have a shorter lifespan, and have unclean water, and it’s coming straight from rivers and streams. We have water treatment plants powered by fossil fuels. We have all of these things available to us in our country and our state provided by the great citizens of district 31. We need to acknowledge that and work on a better plan to support us instead of restricting us.
Garrit: Do you have any idea of what needs to be done to strengthen our power grid?
Stormy: I think adding power plant generators that… so, wind and solar have battery generators, right? Well, a battery can only store so much power—when it’s cold, it wastes away faster. So, relying on our natural gas, coal, and nuclear resources, we can turn those on with a switch. We cannot do that with wind and solar. So, being a little more heavily reliant on our oil and gas industry will help in this.
Garrit: What are your thoughts on the Heartbeat Bill?
Stormy: I applaud the Supreme Court right now. I know that they recently voted to uphold the Heartbeat bill. I think we are taking a step in the right direction in overturning Roe vs. Wade—which would be one of the most significant accomplishments in our lifetimes.
Garrit: Would you favor an outright abolish abolishment of abortion? Secondly, there’s also the issue of gender modification in children. Would that be an issue you would take up if you were elected as a state senator?
Stormy: Yes! We are born with a biological makeup, and you can think anyway and act any way that you want, but you can’t change genetics. I firmly believe by doing that; we are opening up a terrible can of worms—for lack of a better word. I will do everything in my power to restrict, throw out, and turn down any legislation that promotes something like that.
Garrit: Do you have a specific plan or any ideas on improving border security?
Stormy: I wouldn’t say that I have a specific plan with every line item worked out. However, I think this requires guts on the state level from all branches of government in both Washington and Austin. We have got to start with passing legislation to close our borders. Then we need to build a strong fortified wall closing our border. Then we need to improve on legal immigration into this great nation. I believe we are a nation of immigrants, and I would never want to stifle that. But we need a legal and efficient process that doesn’t encourage dangerous criminal activities such as drug/human trafficking into Texas.
Garrit: Do you have any other issues that you would like to discuss that we haven’t already discussed that you think are incredibly important to your senate district?
Stormy: Not specifically. My district is a rural district, with Amarillo and Midland being the largest counties and cities in the district with close to 200,000 population a piece. I know it’s been argued that Midland and Amarillo bring their candidates, which, as you can see, they have done. Two are from Amarillo, and Kevin is from Midland. If you look at our district map, there are 46 counties, and 44 of them are rural districts with populations less than 40,000. I think Amarillo and Midland are both outstanding, and they provide a lot of resources to our rural communities, but I think it’s time for someone that is a rural Texan to represent rural Texas. I know what it’s like to have to drive 20 minutes to the grocery store—an hour to the grocery store when I grew up. I know what it’s like to have energy issues. I know what it’s like to have fuel issues. Whereas suburban and urban areas like Midland and Amarillo, I feel like they don’t quite understand some of the hardships in rural Texas.
Garrit: How do you plan on taking on the establishment in Austin?
Stormy: Well, you and I are both aware of an establishment. The way that I am going to stand up to them or for us as citizens and take on the establishment is I’m going to rely on the diverse needs of the district. It’s time that district 31 has a real conservative representing them. As I said earlier, I hinted that Midland and Amarillo have close to a 200,000 people population, and they don’t necessarily pay any mind to the cities around them. Oil and gas are responsible for about 13% of employment in this district. Agriculture is at 12.7%. Manufacturing, real estate, and aerospace are also high proponents of job generation in this district. So, I think that we need to pull on those resources and accommodate everyone in those industries on a state level. With my business experience, where I live, and how I grew up, I feel that I am more than capable of doing that.
Garrit: My final question to you is, do you have any last words as we end the interview?
Stormy: I believe that talk is cheap. I take action. I have integrity and accountability, and I hope to prove that to the folks in district 31.
Editor’s Note: Go check out Stormy Bradley’s website at stormybradley.com.