DALLAS - When it comes to politics, we all know Texas is a red state, but according to Jeffrey Payne, it’s time for the Lone Star state to go blue.
The 49-year-old is openly gay and is the owner of a popular gay leather bar called The Dallas Eagle, and that's not all; Payne has entered the Texas governor's race as a Democratic candidate.
"There are people who have an issue with me being gay,” Payne says. "When I go home at night and sit across the dining room table from my husband and ask him how his day was, that’s our personal life."
Payne is running against the O.G.; the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott. He plans to go head to head on issues like gun safety, the educational system, Medicaid and undocumented individuals.
"I’m just tired of seeing what is coming out, and I’m ready to actually step up and change that culture so that we really are working on our true value system," he said.
Payne plans to fund his campaign with $2.5 million of his own money. And yes, it sounds like a lot, but compared to Abbott’s $41 million, some ask, 'Is it enough?'
"We know it’s a grassroots campaign; we're not looking for any PAC [Political Action Committee] money. We will not accept PAC money.”
Along with less funding, Payne knows that his inexperience in the world of government might be a challenge, but he says his background in property management, retail, court reporting, and overall expertise in business is going to get him the win.
"The governor and the government should be focusing on what is best for our state when it comes to business, when it comes to the economy, and when it comes to making our state shine."
The last Democrat to sit in the governor's seat was in 1991 with Ann Richards, but with Payne’s tough as leather attitude, he just might have a chance!