Editor’s Note: The interview took place via zoom on 12/14/21.
Garrit: Can you introduce yourself and talk a bit about your background?
Chad: Yeah. So, I’m Chad Miller. I’m currently running for county judge in Wise County. I’ve been in business for 24 years. I’ve always been politically opinionated, involved, and informed, but I never considered running for office because it seemed like it wasn’t possible. I’ve been married now for 24 years—it’ll be 24 in June—and since the day my oldest daughter was born (she’ll be 18 in January), my wife has quit working. From that point on, we have been a single-income family. So, the thought of running for office never even crossed my mind. Since we’re a single-income family, I can’t quite work and go and do all the stuff that I’m doing right now—which has been quite a whirlwind. It’s weird how it worked out. So, my wife and I had homeschooled our children. We have a 17-year-old daughter, a 15-year-old son, and a 13-year-old daughter. We homeschooled them, and then they went into public school when my oldest was a freshman, my son was in fifth grade, and my daughter was in third grade. They go to public school here in Decatur, which freed my wife up. So, she started thinking about what to do with her life and went to nursing school. My wife’s going to go back to school, she’ll be getting a nursing degree, and we’ll finally have two incomes—we may finally be able to get a boat. Then 2020 happened, and my political awareness and involvement increased…like most people who understand the importance of freedom, how foundational that concept is, and how under attack it’s always been. Then in 2020, when everything happened with our Republican governor…I voted for him…whenever he did what he did—granted, we were all scared those first 10 – 15 days. I don’t know about you, but I was wearing the mask because we didn’t know what this virus would do. I mean, this thing could be indiscriminately killing everyone with equal opportunity. I’ve got kids. I’m relatively young. I’m not taking a risk with this. Then the data started coming in, and by early April, we knew what the demographics were—you had to be over 70 with at least 2-2.5 comorbidities of obesity, diabetes, heart, lung, and kidney disease. We knew this. This was a fact. So at that point, I thought, “well, we’re done.” But, as you know, we’re still not done. We’re still dealing with it. That really set me off and got me concerned about what was going on. It’s crazy. This was a global panic. That’s what essentially got me more into local politics. Before that, anytime I thought of politics, I always thought about the President, Congress, the Governor, and the Attorney General. I hadn’t looked as much at the local level as I should have. Whenever Abbott instituted those orders, and they perpetuated for another 12 months, it just crawled all over me. In May of 2020, Ron DeSantis opened up Florida, and he apologized—that was the kicker for me. I was like, “man, now that’s what leadership looks like.” Of course, if you remember, he got criticized by everybody—even Donald Trump said he opened up too early. Well, DeSantis did the right thing. We didn’t have that in Texas for another nine months. I originally thought that this was all because of Greg Abbott, but then I realized that the county judges in Texas have more authority than we may realize. COVID revealed so much to many people about the thoughts and motives of people—it also revealed how things work. It revealed the motives of people and how the government and corporations work. That’s essentially what got me prompted. Something needed to be done locally. Our county judge didn’t censure Abbott. Then, on August 10, he extended the disaster declaration—there was 25 cases out of a county of 70,000 people. So, what made it concrete in my head was in July of this year, when Greg Abbott said, “now is the time for personal responsibility. No more mask mandates in Texas.” That’s funny on its own. If you go to Dallas right now, with far-left Democrat Clay Jenkins, there are still mask mandates because their county judge overrode Abbott and issued a declaration of his own. So that’s when I realized that the county judge has more authority on this. What if every Republican county judge in the state of Texas, in April of 2020, defied Governor Abbott’s executive orders and said, “you’re not going to lock down my county, you’re not going to tell which business is essential and which isn’t, you’re not going to close our churches, and you’re not going to shut down the schools.” I can’t help but think that if more Republicans had stood up for limited government, we wouldn’t be where we are right now with these vaccine mandates and the madness that’s enveloping the world and is showing no signs of stopping. What if our county judge had done it? Now, our county judge is a nice guy. He is pretty universally well-liked in the community. But I got to looking at what he has said via social media, and I noticed he never talks about any of the ideological threats that are facing us—which have their roots in Marxism, socialism, communism, leftism, all of these ideologies (which are now essentially adopted by the Democrat Party). He never says anything about any CRT in our schools or HR departments at every corporation. He never says anything about any of this stuff. He didn’t speak up about the vaccine, the business closures, or the mask. This is a problem because the county judge is the voice of the county. He’s the leader of the county. Frankly, most people don’t even know what a county judge is. All of this starts at the local level. If we want to fight this, we have first to fight it at the local level. This ideology of Marxism is not our grandfather’s Marxism. Back when Marx was writing the Communist Manifesto, and before the Bolshevik Revolution, the poor in Russia were poor. So, that mindset of the oppressor and the oppressed, those with power and money, oppress those of us who are poor, and the working class needs to rise, it resonated with them but that doesn’t resonate with people now. Because I’m not saying there isn’t poverty, the way poverty used to be is very rare, especially in America. If you’re poor in America, now you’ve got a cell phone, you’ve got a place where you can live, air conditioning, a refrigerator, and you can get food through food stamps. So that doesn’t resonate with people. You’re not going to lead people to get riled up because they don’t necessarily feel as oppressed as those in Russia did at the time. What they’ve done now is the Marxists have merged with the post-modernists. The post-modernists view everything as a power game. So, with this melding of Marxism and postmodernism, now everything becomes an oppression game. You’ve got white who oppress people of color. You have men who oppress women. You have straight who oppresses gay. You have a natural-born who oppresses immigrants. You have cisgender who oppresses transgender. The only way I know to counter a lie is with the truth. To fight that lie with the truth, you have to speak it. The left is putting these ideas into actual policy. They’re shouting it loud and proud. Meanwhile, the Republicans have played this soft defense for decades. We have to focus on where we can have influence—at the local level. We need a voice in the county judge position in Wise County who is willing to speak the truth in a world full of lies. I’m willing to do it. Of course, a county judge has other responsibilities, whether it’s the financial aspect of it like budgeting—I’ve got 24 years in business, and I know how to do all of that stuff. I can do that. It’s working with a team and with the other elected. You’re also an ambassador for the community, and you got to show gratitude to those who give to them. Our current county judge does a good job of that. You have to be grateful. You can’t view yourself as a victim. You have to be thankful for everything that you have. So in my job, I’ve always been grateful to my customers and my employer. In this job, where I’ll be an elected official, my customer and employer are the same things. Once I realized that I was qualified and capable of handling all aspects of this position, I felt like this was what I’ve got to do.
Garrit: You’ve touched on many of the questions I was going to ask you! But, let me ask you this: so, you’re a first-time political candidate, and you’re running against a very well-liked person. What has been the reaction to your campaign, and how has the campaign life been for a first-time candidate?
Chad: So, the reaction at first was shocking. A lot of people were surprised that I would run against JD Clark? “He’s so nice.” Once I explained to people why and pointed out what he didn’t do during the COVID shut down, they were like, “oh, yeah, that’s true.” A lot of them don’t realize what he could have done. I also pointed out his silence, and people started to connect the dots. He doesn’t talk about this stuff—even in the midst of just recently with Wise Health System (which is the largest employer in our county) issuing a vaccine mandate. I worked with Phil King, our current state representative, and made sure people knew we were fighting. I did it on social media, but JD didn’t do anything. Not only did he not do anything, but he didn’t even say anything about it. I mean, we’ve got people in our community who are facing the end of their careers—that’s a serious thing. That’s essentially what the response has been so far. Now, with the campaign life, I didn’t expect how overwhelming it is to be a full-time employee, a full-time husband, a father, and run a full-time campaign. I’m doing pretty much everything myself—as far as the coordination. I’ve got a lot of people who are helping, whether that’s volunteering their time or their skills, but I create my videos, edit them, and put all this stuff out there. I’ve had help on logo design and things like that. But it’s been as grassroots as it gets, and it’s a tad overwhelming, but it needs to be done.
Garrit: What are some of the pressing issues facing Wise County that you want to address if elected as county judge?
Chad: First and foremost, we need to make it clear that our county needs a strong voice. On the business side of it, Wise County is growing. We’re in one of those counties where there’s urban sprawl, and it’s not going to slow down. I think we’re where Collin County was probably 15 years ago. If you look at all of these areas surrounding any major city in Texas, you see the spread happening. I mean, I can get to downtown Fort Worth in 35-40 minutes, and as time goes on, traffic will pile up. So, we have to be ready for the growth from an infrastructure standpoint—which is a massive undertaking. We also have to be prepared for what all of those new people coming into the county will bring with us. Some of them bring an ideology with them. So, we have to be able to protect our values. Depending on which numbers you read, we’re 82-86% Republican in Wise County, but we’ve all seen that the demographic changes whenever you have a growing voter bloc that comes in. So, we have to make sure that we keep that base intact because that affects our schools, our policy at the local level, the tax policy, everything. So, we’ve got to make sure that we keep that in place. We’ve got to be vocal about what our values are. We can’t just use political speech and be generic. We have to boldly proclaim and explain our values. People need to know that Marxism, leftism, and socialism have no place in Wise County. But again, it’s not about establishing a theocracy or anything. It’s just about speaking the truth, being gracious, and planning. So, I think it’s leadership from an idea perspective and a business perspective—they’re both just as important. I believe that we, as Republicans, have made mistakes for decades by primarily focusing on the money and the fiscal side and ignoring the cultural/ideological side. So, in Wise County, we need to have a sound solid ideology of conservatism and merge it with our fiscal policy. People think, “how does that apply to public works, the sewage system, or the landfills?” In certain ways, it doesn’t, but in other ways it does, because you’ve got to have the infrastructure in place, but you have to do it with as little tax revenue as possible. Landfills are going to be huge—you have to have enough space for landfills. You also have to have enough infrastructure to support the coming growth. It’s all crucial. So, those are the kind of areas that I’m going to focus on. But we have to start with leadership. By the way, I’ve only got eight years to do this. I just shared on social media today that I signed a term limit pledge. I’m only going to serve for two terms. I believe that term limits are important—they protect me, the voters, and the office. So, I’m looking at eight years. If I haven’t left this county better than it was, if there are no people in the community who see what they can do to serve the community and step into that position, I didn’t lead very well. So, that’s where I am as far as the issues facing Wise County and what we need to do.
Garrit: My final question to you is, do you have anything else to say as we conclude the interview?
Chad: Well, one, I appreciate you taking the time to do this. I don’t know how many of these you’ve done for the local office, but I do appreciate it because you didn’t have to do it. So, I appreciate it. I want people to know that my whole platform and mindset are speaking the truth, being brave, and leading from the front. That’s what it takes. Every elected office has other responsibilities. So, as long as I’m competent enough to handle the business side, the diplomatic side, the ambassador side, and being an actual vocal leader who speaks the truth in a world full of lies, I’m thinking…I just got to get the message out there. When I talk to people, they understand this guy means what he’s saying. I do mean everything that I’m saying. If there’s a business that’s going to be shut down in Wise County, I’m going to be on the front of their doorstep with them—so if you’re going to arrest that guy, you’re going to have to hogtie me as well. Because they’re going to stay open, they’re going to engage in the free enterprise system that is foundational of America. I’m going to stand up for personal liberty. That’s my slogan, “the L stands for liberty,” because I know that the left wants to take our freedoms and our liberty at all costs, and if we lose that, we lose everything. All you have to do is look at the world around you right now. We can all see it. This medical tyranny, it’s just tyranny. They’re just using the medicine as a reason to do it. Right now, we’re seeing overwhelming evidence that this virus is endemic. We know how to deal with it. If you want to get the vaccine, get the vaccine. If you want to wear the mask, wear the mask. That’s your decision. But this tyranny that’s happening from a government and corporate level is unacceptable. The only way that we can fight that is at the local level. It starts there, and then we can build up from there. That’s what I’m trying to do.
Garrit Blizzard is the Editor-In-Chief of The Texas Horn. He is a senior studying government at the University of Texas at Austin. Garrit enjoys reading, listening to music, and discussing politics and economics.