WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - A longtime Wichita Falls resident is running for Texas governor against another former Wichitan, Governor Greg Abbott.
Lee Weaver held a Meet the Candidate Forum Friday night in Wichita Falls.
Weaver met with a handful of voters and talked about his campaign that aims for a government that represents all Texans, and how his time in Texoma impacted his political views.
The democratic candidate grew up in Duncan, Oklahoma and spent 14 years in Wichita Falls.
"It forced me to shape my thinking and the way I talk and think about politics, typically in the areas of individual liberties, freedom of religion and social justice," said Weaver.
Like issues impacting the LGBTQ community, minorities and women's rights, he said.
He adds working for two newspapers in Wichita Falls for eight years helped him develop a political voice as a journalist, but he never thought he would go beyond just being a commentator.
"Events of the last year got me thinking about using my talents a different way," said Weaver.
He also talked about the lack of jobs, not just in Wichita Falls, but all over the state.
"There are no careers here, and it's no different than any other rural community, small city," said Weaver. "There is no economic opportunity."
He said public-private partnerships, a higher minimum wage and the government investing in projects can help bring jobs to Texas towns and create better communities.
Weaver adds investing in education will also create a better workforce and stronger economy.
His wife is a teacher, and she taught in Wichita Falls.
"But I don't think a person needs that close of a relationship with a teacher to understand the disconnect in Texas with regard to education," said Weaver.
Other political issues he wants to take on are gun safety and guaranteed nutrition.
He said this point in his campaign is the hardest, the second is going to be the primaries.
Weaver said after that, beating Greg Abbott will be easy.
"Because I will have six to nine months to tell the state and the world what he and his philosophy has done to Texas," said Weaver.
According to the Texas Tribune so far eight Democrats are running for governor of Texas.
As of Friday, Weaver has not paid the filing fee to run just yet, but said he will pay it before the deadline on Monday.
The last day to register to vote is Monday, February 5, 2018, and early voting begins February 20th.