Joel Starnes isn’t a newcomer. He’s a fifth generation Texan born in Bedford, Texas, a quaint suburb in the DFW Metroplex. He’s a data-marketing analyst for a donor development company, but you wouldn’t peg him as a “numbers guy.” His friendly charm and welcoming smile is warm and contagious. Starnes makes friends easily.

A student of history and religion, his Christian faith guides him, a worldview he learned from his father, Phillip.

“Conservatism is not just ideology; it’s a lifestyle. My father instilled in me my love for God and for the inalienable rights He gave us – Life, Liberty and Property – Natural Law. It is for this state of nature that I fight.”

Starnes became politically active at the local level, specifically during a bond campaign for his school district. The process was eye-opening. He quickly learned how local governments promote massive tax-funded debt proposals, the bloated excess contained in many of them, and how few taxpayers actually participate in the process.

Local volunteer work doesn’t bring fame or popularity, but Starnes isn’t looking for credit or acclaim. To him, politics is just another opportunity for him to serve others in his community who do not have the time, desire or resources to effectively participate.

Starnes views political activism as a calling—a form of ministry.

“What I’d like to see happen…my vision…is for the church to be fully engaged and influencing culture and politics. Just as we stand fast in the Liberty by which Christ has made us free, no longer entangled again with the yoke of bondage…we need godly men serving in and around our government.”

Starnes believes Christians need to get actively involved in their community, especially the political process. He hopes to encourage others to get more informed and involved at all levels—federal, state, and local. When asked how Texans can encourage others, he offered similar advice to what he was given.

“There are two things I have learned. First and foremost, follow your passions and let no one steal your vision. Secondly, you can and will accomplish so much more if you do not care who gets the credit. For we have been called to Liberty. Not to use Liberty as an opportunity selfishly for the flesh, but through love, to truly serve one another.”

Starnes and his wife, Karen, reside in Fort Worth where they’ve lived for six years. They have three “very active” children – two boys and one girl.

An outdoorsman at heart, Starnes enjoys hunting, hiking, canoeing, mountain biking and he’s a pretty good rock climber. He studies history and believes there is “much to learn from those great men and women that came before us.”

Starnes says he works alongside organizations he trusts, such as Texas Eagle Forum, Empower Texans, Texas Homeschool Coalition, Texas Right to Life, and Direct Action Texas. He has served on the resolutions committees for both the Republican SD9 Convention and the Tarrant County Republican Party. Starnes says his “greatest work” has been helping his church engage in the political process by starting a politically-minded small group that registers voters and coordinates local and statewide voter guides.

Ross Kecseg

Ross Kecseg was the president of Texas Scorecard. He passed away in 2020. A native North Texan, he was raised in Denton County. Ross studied Economics at Arizona State University with an emphasis on Public Policy and U.S. Constitutional history. Ross was an avid golfer, automotive enthusiast, and movie/music junkie. He was a loving husband and father.

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