Frank Pomeroy, the pastor of the Sutherland Springs church where the 2017 fatal shooting took place, announced Sunday he is running for Texas Senate.
Pomeroy said he will run as a Republican for District 21, currently held by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. It will be a uphill battle: The district is solidly Democratic, and Zaffirini has served since 1987.
“If I can bring civility and godliness and help stymie the downward spiraling of the great state of Texas, that’s what I’m choosing to do try to do, Pomeroy said Sunday afternoon at his church after the service there. “I feel as though that morality and integrity is disappearing rapidly and I feel as though the direction Texas goes — if Texas falls, the country falls.”
Pomeroy was out of town on the day in November 2017 when a gunman opened fire inside First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, killing 26 people and injuring 20 more. Among those killed was Pomeroy's 14-year-old daughter.
Pomeroy's candidacy was not unexpected. Last week, he filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission indicating he could run for SD-21.
Zaffirini has easily defeated Republican opponents in the past, and she faced no opposition in her 2016 reelection campaign. Zaffirini's office confirmed Friday she is running for reelection next year.
Pomeroy admitted Sunday he was a political neophyte but said he has already surrounded himself with political professionals and believes his faith will guide him to victory.
“This is totally out of my wheelhouse, but I'm totally trusting the Lord to show me how to do the things I need to do,” Pomeroy said.
District 21 stretches from Austin down to the Rio Grande Valley, wrapping around San Antonio, jutting out to near Corpus Christi and taking in Laredo to the south.