Editor’s Note: This interview took place via zoom on 4/22/22. Chabot is a Republican who is in a runoff with former Mckinney City Councilman Fred Frazier. Chabot’s website can be found at defendtexasnow.com.
Garrit: Can you introduce yourself and talk a little bit about your background?
Paul: Yeah, absolutely. My name is Paul Chabot. I’m 48 years of age, and I live here in McKinney, Texas with my wife and four kids. My background is primarily military and law enforcement–two big passions in my life. I moved to McKinney, Texas from California about five years ago. I’ve lived in a lot of different places like Virginia, DC, and South and North Carolina. The military has taken me to Iraq, Japan, Australia, Canada, and many other places. My background is about fighting for America. When you look at the disaster of what we have in our state right now, the bigger concern is with electing conservatives–not Republicans–that know how to get things done and don’t negotiate our values or morals to public service. I’m also an adjunct professor. I’ve got a doctorate degree in organizational leadership, and I teach at a faith-based university. I started off teaching American government to undergrads in the classroom. Now, I teach doctoral students looking to get their DPA (doctor in public administration) degrees. I’m also an executive speaker with Executive Speaker’s Bureau traveling around the country doing presentations on leadership. I run some nonprofits– Coalition Drug-Free McKinney and Coalition Drug-Free Texas. A big passion of mine is keeping kids off drugs. I went through drug rehab when I was 12. I’m now 48, and I still go through NA and AA meetings. I’m going to Austin not just to be able to vote because somebody says so, but because I have the real-life experience to explain a position. A big one is why we should never have Democrats chairing our committees in Austin. It’s shocking to me that people are still okay with that on the Republican side. I don’t get it.
Garrit: To touch on your experience in California. What are some of the things that you’ve learned since moving to Texas? What are some things that Texas does that is different from California?
Paul: So, Texas is like the nice kid on the block. It has a lot of great things going on, great values, and great morals. But the nice kid doesn’t understand that there are other kids in the neighborhood that pretend to be nice and they’re ready to pounce and destroy the state. So, what I’ve seen since moving to Texas is that I have great concern about this sense of complacency in the Republican Party–”it’s a red state, and it’s going to stay red.” Another thing is the innocence of Texas. That Texas is the nice kid that has no idea that evil outside the house wants to pounce and destroy the state. One of the biggest wakeups for me was the 2018 exit polling between Beto and Cruz. Shockingly, more native Texans voted for the Democrat. I looked at the data, and it showed that more of those that moved here voted Republican. In fact, had it not been for all the conservative transplants, Beto would have won. What I’ve seen in Texas is that conservatives like myself that move here are like a bull in a china shop. We have a bit of blue state PTSD. What Native Texans need to understand directly is that we’re the Calvary coming in. You all are under attack from George Soros and Beto money and everything else. We have experienced this on the battlefield. We’ve watched our red states turn blue, and we’re worried that if we do not do things differently here in Texas, from a leadership perspective in the Republican Party, we’re going to look like those states that we just left. So, my reason for running is to make sure we keep Texas red. I didn’t move here to watch this place turn blue or to watch RINOs, as I saw in my other state, give away the state. It’s very concerning with what I see here in Texas with some in the Republican Party who run as an R simply to get on the ballot. The issue of our time is making sure we get conservatives elected who will work to make sure that not only will they keep their seats red but that they work throughout the state based on real-life experience.
Garrit: What are some specific things that you see going on (maybe from a policy perspective) that Texas is doing that is making us turn blue?
Paul: Yeah, so number one is to vet your candidates. I’m here in Collin County; it’s one of the wealthiest counties in Texas. It’s 1.1 million people, and there are about 40 Different Republican groups. They have great dinners and great speakers. I’m a member of many of them, but when it comes time to transitioning those people that show up for the dinners to actually go sign-waving at an intersection or writing editorials to the local paper, you don’t match the same numbers. That’s where we’re losing. The Democrats are better funded and better organized. That’s a huge concern and we have got to be able to show up on the field in equal numbers. It’s much like a pastor in a church. You got to get out from behind the pulpit and out in your community. As for the Republican clubs, some of them here do a great job. They log hours of people. We’ve got groups here that are going to school boards. We are getting trounced and outflanked, and if that continues here in Collin County, we will turn blue. If we turn blue in Collin County, no Republican can win statewide office–it’s impossible. You need the votes here. Number two, if you lose Texas, no Republican can win the White House. So, you literally lose the country at the same time. Other things that are concerning are unions. In my election specifically, you are seeing police and fire unions come in from outside the district and putting up signs. We have the Dallas Fire Union helping my opponent. Dallas isn’t in my district. So why are they here? Look, I’m retired law enforcement. 21 years, Deputy Sheriff reserve, and I never joined the Union. My concern is that I always support the rank and file. I have significant concerns with the leadership of public employee unions. This is what we saw in California. First of all, many Republicans go towards getting the law enforcement or fire support, but, at the end of the day, most of these organizations are run by labor thugs and all they care about is pension protection. So, here in Texas, if we keep courting these unions, eventually it’s going to become about pension protection. Soon you’re going to see nurse unions and teacher unions. We’re a right-to-work state. So, how do we as conservatives better organize against organized labor–which will undoubtedly fund millions and millions of dollars as we see now in blue states. So, it’s happening in my race where I’m running against somebody who lists themselves as a “conservative.” The other challenge is property taxes. This system is broken. My plan on my website is based on real-life experience, failures, and successes. There’s a model out there called Prop 13–out of California–that was passed when Republicans were in charge. There is a portion of that model that I’d like to bring to Texas. It’s modified, and it will not apply to commercial property–only residential. It allows homeowners to go back five years, take an average of what they paid during those five years, and then lock in that cost for life–as long as they stay in their home, they pass away, or they sell. You won’t be able to pass it down to your kids. It does not apply to commercial. Quite honestly, the bulk of the tax base and burden should fall on commercial, not residential. I’ve hit 7,000 doors in my district, and it’s the number one concern. To the issue of Border Security, I think it’s great that we’re sending buses to DC–let’s keep doing it. But as we all know, that’s more symbolic. That puts pressure on the Biden administration. How do we really fix the border? We have a lot of guards right now in Texas activated along our border. Most of them are just standing there looking out, but I’d like to do a much different context of border security. I wrote a book, my dissertation was on drug cartels, and I worked in the White House doing drug policy for six years. I’m very familiar with the impact of these cartels on our communities. What we want to do very simply here in Texas is a State Active Duty of our guard. 90 days on, 90 days off, voluntary, not required as we currently have now. You want people there who want to be there, and we know we have a lot that want to be there. The focus should also be on building the wall and looking at the techniques we use in the Navy Seabees and Army Corps of Engineers to get it done. I was in Iraq, and we built beautiful walls out there that can stop mortars and trucks. We can certainly do that. Number two, how are we going to pay for it? Well, because it’s State Active Duty, unfortunately, Texans have to pay for it. At the same time, I want to build 26 toll booths along the Mexico border. So every vehicle that goes across those legal checkpoints, it’s about 120,000 a day, back and forth, pays a toll. If I got to pay a toll out here to ride on 121, we’re going to charge folks going to and from Mexico. That money is going to go to help pay for the wall. That way, taxpayers across Texas don’t. Those are just some of my ideas. These are real ideas with real plans as well. Also, when elected, I’m going to join the Texas Freedom Caucus. I’m supported by Mayes Middleton and Matt Schaefer. In this group, I don’t work for the governor. I’ll work with him when needed, but I’m elected by the people and that is where I’m going to align myself to do work for Texas. Lastly, I’m going to work hard to push RINOs out of our party. We need staunch conservatives that understand what’s at stake. Lastly, I’d like to work with moderate Democrats across this state and ask them, quite honestly, why in the hell are they a Democrat? Is it because you were generationally a Democrat or because of Kennedy? Well, that party is completely dead. Look at what they’re doing today in Texas. Beto O’Rourke, who’s running for Governor, just today announced his fix for property taxes in Texas is to legalize pot and gambling. Ladies and gentlemen, if there isn’t a moral difference between us and that radical left, I don’t know what is. So, these are some of the items I’m going to bring to the forefront as your next rep in the 61st District.
Garrit: Moving on to the issue of drugs. On your website, you talked about how you’ve had some history with drugs. You also have some law enforcement experience with assignments to the narcotics and street gang division. With that, how do you think we can deal with drugs in this state. Some people–like as you just talked about with Beto–want to legalize marijuana or other drugs? Do you think that’s a good course of action to address this issue?
Paul: It’s a good course of action if you want to turn Texas blue. I feel like in California they’ve got more pot stores than they do Starbucks. The average pot store makes over a million dollars a year. They unionize together, and they fund Democrats at the local, county, city, school board, and state levels. Just google marijuana legalization and corruption throughout California and look at all the politicians that have already been locked up. All you’re doing is bringing the cartels into your own state now to operate. It’s a huge corruptive influence. Not only that, it’s a destruction to communities. Regarding drugs, the thing that I’d like to do here in Texas is..and I’m just disappointed with ISDs across the state. There is a survey that is done at Texas A&M. It’s called the Texas School Survey. It’s a survey that costs on average about 25 cents per kid. This survey is done anonymously, and children fill them out across our school districts once a year–at least they should. This school survey gauges mental health, drug, alcohol, tobacco, all these different variables of what they see on their campus. The problem here is that most school districts don’t participate in the survey. The bottom line is how can we fix a problem unless we acknowledge that one exists? I have four kids in public schools; I have two teenagers. I guarantee you today some of these drugs are at the highest level we’ve ever seen. One out of every four seniors is using 10% of what our middle school kids are using today. We talk about the impacts of COVID. Yeah, absolutely huge harm with masking. We talk about these radical issues of pornography in books in our school. It’s got to be addressed. However, nothing tops out the massive concern right now with drugs. So, what I want to do in Texas is that any school that is getting public funds will participate in the Texas School Survey. The reason right now is it’s voluntary. Let’s just say the school district next to me, the reason they don’t want to participate in the survey is because the district next door isn’t required to do it either. If one school district does it those stats are public record, and all of a sudden the school that does it has a drug problem, but the one next door doesn’t–only because they didn’t participate in the survey. If we really care about our kids, as Republicans, we need to look at this from the whole life of the child. The number one thing that impacts kids right now, without a doubt, is drug abuse. So, that is not a silver bullet, but it will give us a strong benchmark of where we are to begin to put in real solutions to address these issues.
Garrit: How do you think we can go about helping people who are addicted to drugs?
Paul: It’s about education, prevention, treatment, enforcement, and recovery. If you look at the drug problem like a bubble, we’re never going to make it go away. We’re never going to make homelessness go away. We’re never going to make crime go away. But what you want to do is measurably reduce to make this problem smaller and smaller. So, one of the most successful programs in the country for low-level offenders is called the drug court program. It’s hugely supported by Democrats and Republicans. It’s the most effective program out there at getting people off drugs. So just briefly about the drug court program. If you’re arrested for minor possession, you’ve got an opportunity to go to a real judge and talk about your crime, or you can go to a drug court program. You have a year of mandatory assessments, evaluations, and drug testing. You got to show up before the judge and the drug court program, you got to get a job, you got to be clean, and you got to get your life on the right track. What research has shown consistently is that this program is phenomenal and it works. I encourage everybody to go sit in on a drug court graduation to watch these addicts. It’s amazing. We have to look at drug abuse as a disease. It’s treatable. Some of the most remarkable people that I’ve ever met on this planet are those who are alcoholics or addicts. They’ve gone through something that is extremely difficult to kick. So, we need to take away the stigma. We need to understand that this is rampant in our communities, and we need to hold up and elevate those who’ve been through treatment as role models because we’ve all got skeletons in our closets, and we’ve all made mistakes. We want to lift up those in recovery. We don’t want to legalize drugs. We want to go after cartels, after drug dealers, and absolutely put the hammer down on those. So, there’s a difference here between locking up drug dealers and not locking up drug users. We need to get them help and treatment the best that we can. We also need a better education campaign across the state. I’d like to see billboards and digital ads about the healthy aspect of living life away from drugs, but also showing people, for example, what methamphetamine does to the body. Meth is a cheap drug, and it eats your body and your teeth out. Kids worry about having nice cars or nice jewelry. They don’t think about what things are doing on the inside. The border is a big part of this. Drug overdoses in Texas are up 30% just from last year alone. Fentanyl, an amount similar to the tip of a pen, can largely kill you. So, our kids are not just smoking pot. They’re doing meth, and they’re doing a lot of different drugs. So, it is about this five pillar process: education, prevention, treatment, enforcement, and recovery. We need that to make this drug problem smaller. Texas right now is not leading the way at all. And I believe this is a way this is a measure where Texas can lead the way to be successful.
Garrit: Moving on to the issue of the border. I’ve heard from some people that the border issue is more of a federal issue and that the state can’t really do much. Do you think Texas can step in and protect its own border with Mexico?
Paul: Absolutely. Just imagine this. You got the border. All right, how wide is that border? Three feet, four feet, or five feet? What is that border, and where is Texas territory? Where does Texas territory begin at? Here’s an idea, don’t build it on the border. Build it five feet in on Texas territory–we own that. That is ours, and it’s our responsibility. The number one role of government is to protect the people and stay out of the way. Military, defense, law enforcement, and fire are the basic necessities of providing protection. If the federal government is failing at its job and not doing what they’re doing, we should have been doing this long ago in Texas. We need to forget the traditional border of however wide that border is on the ground. Like the toll booths that I want to put in, I don’t want to put them on the border itself. I want them on Texas territory a few yards from where we get off the federal border. It’s ours. We should be able to control toll booths, control the border, and build our own wall. If the federal gun wants to build another wall that’s great. We’ll have two walls. We need to have our own and maintain our own because clearly the federal government is not doing it.
Garrit: Would you support Dade Phelan for Speaker?
Paul: I would have a conversation with him. If he is going to put Democrats to chair committees then no.
Garrit: Speaker Phelan made headlines recently. Dan Patrick recently talked about the whole issue of Disney, what’s going on with Florida with the parental rights bill, and expressed interest in doing something similar in the Senate, however, Phelan came out and said that the House is going to focus on more “serious kitchen table issues.” Do you think this gender theory grooming that is going on in public education is a serious kitchen table issue?
Paul: it’s a huge issue. It’s an issue of our time if we’re talking about protecting our kids. They are at prey every single day. As a Christian, we know there’s good and evil in this world. We know that evil preys on the innocent and the weak. We know that our children are susceptible to that. Their minds continue to develop at the age of 25. We know, right now, what is happening on the dark web with children with access to apps–which is what parents need to grasp. I’m guilty of it too. I mean, I don’t know half the stuff out there. At the same time, when we put our kids into public schools, from a parental perspective, we need to have 100% trust in schools doing what they can to protect their kids and teach them the way that we would expect. It’s also upon us as parents to do the same in our homes. On top of that, it’s important that we’re engaged in our local school boards. I find it fascinating and concerning that in Texas, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to have a recall on school boards. I guess it boils down to local charter issues. If you’re in a district and there is no recall ability, you need to change that. If somebody feels as if they can stay in power without recall, that’s a dangerous, slippery slope. We want to make sure that people are accountable. We need term limits on our school boards as well. Quite honestly, I feel as if you really shouldn’t be on the school board unless you have school-aged kids in the school system. Generally speaking, I think school boards should be made up of parents that have young kids in the school so they know what the heck’s going on as well. We’re here in McKinney, and I think there’s somebody on our school board that has been there for 30 years. I don’t understand that. You’ve got to pass the reins on to those who have kids and are seeing and hearing these things every single day. To me, that is such a critical component. It always does come down to our kids. As conservatives, we will bang the drum on pro-life. I get that. I’m 100% pro-life at conception, but what do we do in the discussions talking about these kids after they’re born? If we’re not talking about the negative impacts on their brains from the corruption of what we see happening on the dark web, in schools, pornography, drugs, whatever it may be, then we’re hypocrites on being pro-life because children are developing all the way through until they hit the door and leave the home. So, we need to look at the whole child–from beginning to end–about how to positively impact that child’s life so they can be successful. As faith-based people, we have got to accept the fact that there is good and evil. We as Christians have got to be that light in that darkness. It’s not always easy, but it’s who we are. It’s what we do. If you’re not the fighter and can’t be on the front lines, then find another way to get engaged. Never put your head in the sand because when you do, you’re going to get outflanked, surrounded, and extinguished.
Garrit: Your opponent Fred Frazier has been endorsed by President Trump. How do you plan on convincing Republicans in your district to support you in the runoff?
Paul: I have been going door to door to voters since day one–over 7,000 doors. Voters in my district have a clear difference between myself and my opponent. I jokingly say Trump couldn’t pick out my opponent from a lineup. I think Trump has endorsed about 170 candidates across this country and sometimes Trump makes bad choices with his endorsements. He made a horrible choice in this race as well. But that happens, and I can’t really focus on that too much. I don’t run a union to be able to horse trade police union endorsements throughout the state–which is what my opponent does. He swaps endorsements for police support with those at the higher ranks here in Texas politics. That’s how they want to operate, but the voters will see through this. Look, some voters might look for a moderate in this race–rightfully so. That’s their choice, but if you want a moderate then I’m not your candidate. My yard signs say “conservative” because that’s how I’m running on those values. So, the differences between my opponent are clear. I think the biggest one that is shocking right now is that he (Frazier) is under investigation by the Texas Rangers for a felony–ABC News broke that story. You can’t hold office in Texas if you’re convicted of a felony. This cloud is going to hang over my opponent. Should he eke out a win against me in this runoff, go forward, and get indicted in this race, you’re going to hand the seat over to a Democrat. That’s something we can’t allow to happen. Another thing is property taxes. As I have talked about, property taxes are a huge concern. My opponent–who was on the city council for less than one term–raised property taxes two out of those three years. That’s a concern to voters here in this district. My opponent also helped elect a Democrat to McKinney City Council. As conservatives, we know that Democrats start out at the local level by getting their people elected to the school boards and city council, and then groom them to rise up. Well, how can any conservative in their right mind work to elect a Democrat to serve on city council. We can certainly be friends and cordial but the policy positions are polar opposites. Constitutional carry is another huge issue here in Texas that I love and support. My opponent–on behalf of his union–lobbied against constitutional carry. Here again, he raises the lobbying issue from unions in Texas. That’s a huge misstep in Texas. I’m endorsed by gun owners, Texas Gun Rights PAC, and I have an AQ rating with the NRA. My opponent has no such rating or support from any of those organizations. It’s a major difference between us. Also, my opponent is on record supporting Phelan appointing Democrats to committee chairs in Texas. If there isn’t something more deal-breaking than that, along with the other five, I don’t know what else can be. We, as Republican conservatives in Texas, are elected to lead. Therefore, we must lead in these committees. Nancy Pelosi is not going to put Republicans on committee chairs in Washington, why are we doing it here in Texas? The bigger point here is that we were elected to lead. The majority has elected Republicans here in Texas to lead. If we can’t lead, then we need to get out of the way and let the Democrats do it because that’s largely what we’re doing. We put Democrats in charge of committees that can block legislation. We need our own on there with our own agenda, marching forward, so we can show Texans that we can lead. That’s probably part of the roadblock problem we have in Austin right now. We’re not leading by our conservative values and principles.
Garrit: Do you have anything else you’d like to say as we end the interview?
Paul: I encourage voters across the state to go to my website defendtexasnow.com. The reason I picked that website domain is because that really is what this is about. Regardless of where you are reading this interview, my goal is not simply to get elected to the 61st District to represent the great people here, but to help conservatives across this state to get elected and to defend our values, to defend who we are, what we are, and why we’re here. If we do that, collectively, then Texas as the Lone Star State will be the shining star across this country that holds America together. If we lose this state, and we are less than one generation away from losing this, at the current trajectory, we literally lose our country. America is one of the newest republics still on the planet. It’s still an experiment that other nations like China look at us and say, “it’s a fleeting country. I’ve seen many empires come and go.” Texas is the heart of this country. We’ve got to lead with our conservative values, to ensure that our children have a great state to continue to live in. It’s up to us. So please visit my website at defendtexasnow.com.