RNHA Interview with Texas Senator Peter Flores
Today the RNHA had the privilege to interview former Texas State Senator Peter “Pete” Flores of Pleasanton, whom represented Senate District 19 from 2018 to 2021. Today, Mr. Flores is running for the newly redistricted 24TH Senate District situated in Central Texas, now containing the city of Pleasanton, and curves West around San Antonio and Austin.
Why are you wanting to run for SD-24?
Mr. Flores answered that he was motivated “to serve the public…to make a difference, be present, and offer [my] services…”, a quality he says was ingrained within him throughout his childhood as a part of an Air Force family, and approximately 30 years of public service.
Two motivating factors which emboldened Mr. Flores to run were his enjoyment of public service, but, he notes, his belief that he has “the skillset to make a difference in people’s lives, and there is still much needed to be done.” For Mr. Flores, this skill set comes in the form of the varied capacities he has upheld throughout his life, from serving as a peace officer for 27 years, a state game warden, appointed as one of two people to a state education commission representing Texas nationally, and most recently as a state senator for Senate District 19.
Our discussion then lead to what factors may have ignited these two significant traits in his life to run again, but in SD-24. For Mr. Flores, running again meant maintaining “the values that Republicans hold dear, and quite frankly that most Texans hold dear, but in order to do that you must take opportunities to help others, which, at this moment, I believe I have the skillset to address the issues important to us in the property tax realm and public safety.”
Government Authority and COVID-19
In a previous RNHA article, we discussed the expanded authority of the government in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, but many Americans and scholars have begun to question the long-term implications. When asking Mr. Flores his thoughts on the concern shared by many on this matter, he said “There were many unknowns surrounding COVID-19, much like yellow fever, and there was much that was not done that we have learned from, like holding more public officials and edicts accountable.”
Pressing this point further Mr. Flores noted, “the government is not the be-all and end-all… the government was created to provide general needs, such as defending our nation and its people, but not rule every aspect of people’s lives, instead it was meant to improve the people’s quality of life through the rule of law. The basics of our Constitution protects people’s individual liberties through limited government, not to create a supreme government, where the people are the kings.”
Why do you believe your background makes you the best candidate for SD-24 versus your opponents?
Mr. Flores reflected on his history contributing to the public, beginning by saying that “my background, growing up were the values that are very similar to SD 24, very conservative family values, believing in our country, the rule of law, and public service.”
Moreover, he notes that not only through shared life experiences but also as a state game warden, he has had a shared cultural understanding of rural communities “through small towns and rural areas… I understand first-hand, by growing up in rural areas, the issues of my potential constituents, stuff that you do not learn from books…I am comfortable in show barns, cafes, and stock shows, and am a big supporter of community agricultural programs for our children, like FFA and 4-H because of the great benefits they offer, and will continue to support them by my presence and activity in the legislature.”
When asked about his time as a state senator he noted, “I learned a lot more about serving as a state senator representing and advocating for the issues of very rural and medium-sized cities which I believe my opponents lack in the breadth of experience… as a longtime advocate of these communities I will make certain to remain so as I run for SD-24 and will continue to do so into my term.”
If elected, what is the role you hope to play within the Senate, both in policymaking and temperament?
“As I have and will, I will represent the needs of the district. I will continue to be an instrument for my constituents, utilizing subject matter experts from the district themselves, such as citizens, and local leaders in where they want their district and state to go, and the resources they request. As the constituents’ instrument, a state senator should work to obtain such resources as passing those guaranteed by statutes, appropriations, or FEMA necessities, and they should be governing by the way the people want their legislator to govern, not the other way around.”
As a testament to his work in the 2018-2021 Senate, Mr. Flores noted his commitment on behalf of his constituents since “I was certified for being present 100 percent of the time, and when I am there so are my constituents… and I base my work on what my people want.”
Regarding his plans for comity within the Senate chamber, Mr. Flores, said “I have been well known to work across the aisle into the House, because you have to have a relationship with the House to get bills passed, and the Senate… you have to work effectively with relationships that are mutually beneficial to your constituents and Texas, and my record reflects that, but at the same time governance with Republican policies.”
“Bipartisanship has been important in the Senate, bipartisanship was during my time in the Senate, which is important to governance in order to effectively represent your constituents… if you were a bull in a china shop, making issues across the board, then your effectiveness is shot… but you do not concede what is important to you, you note what good policies you stand for, and protect the interests of your constituents.”
“On the whole, my record shows that I am able to effectively bring forward resources, doing so civilly, because there is no need for being vulgar, that is not statesmanship. You need to be honorable, and you want to be effective, and when you speak you want others to want to see that you are wise council and not hot air, which is not how I roll.”
“Number one rule you must remember in the Senate is that you vote your district first, no matter what, always. I have and I will.”
When asked about what he believes are important areas to be addressed within the district he may potentially be representing, Mr. Flores said that “making sure that our budget is balanced, and all tenets of government are being checked, that the Constitution is upheld, that our government and Texas responds to new potential overreach from the Biden administration, to ensure that Texans do not have overburdensome government and that it is limited so as to allow us to live free and go on to live in the path that does not enact regulations which hinder the flourishment of our businesses and economy for our district.
Also, the border is secure as well as the communities, where the rule of law is held, especially for families and parents of children. Most importantly, at the district level, is determining that property taxes and appraisal districts are equitable and fair, but not high. Of course, above all we need to make sure Texas remains Texas.”
What do you believe is or are the biggest problem(s) facing the Texas Senate in 2023?
“The number one reason we meet every two years is to discuss the budget, what will the economy look like, and to determine the state budget which meets the guidelines of pop growth and inflation, but are we adequately going to have enough funds to govern and address the issues of the border, and where investments go in protecting our state and nation by working with homeland security. Much of state funding comes from oil and gas funding, which the Biden administration threatens, thereby threatening the funding of technical schools and education.”
When discussing how the Republican lead Senate will respond to these concerns Mr. Flores noted, “We should be able to maintain our majorities in the legislature to effectively keep Texas on the right path, to maintain the ninth largest economy in the world, but also challenge that and make it better through conservative policies. The number one issue any legislature faces is a balanced budget, as per our Constitution as according to population and inflation. Moreover, for Texas especially, maintaining the security of our borders and upholding the rule of law, even if the federal government will not.”
On a personal note, Mr. Flores stated his background before running for office as both a peace officer and game warden, where he “patrolled the border as a patrolman, I have engaged in homeland security as a state law enforcement colonel state law enforcement officer at the state leadership level. Later, as a state senator I voted for over a billion dollars in homeland security border security monies to enforce border security, and state law enforcement leader. My voting record as a person and senator have reflected that to improve the rule of law and quality of life, and will continue to. My public record and personal record can be attested.”
Is there anything else you would like your electorate to know about you?
“When I worked as a senator in SD 19, that was my full-time job, I am a retired state game warden, which was my primary source of income, and I am committed to continuing to doing so in SD-24. I am only working for SD 24, no one else. I am very fortunate to be in the position to do that, I did then, and I will going forward. This is important, not for the money, but being able to provide effective representation at the right time, and place, with the right skill, sets to get things done, and most importantly I will be a full-time voice for my constituents.”
To keep up with or donate to Mr. Peter “Pete” Flores’s campaign, please visit his campaign website: