Married for 48 years, Roy and Carolyn Willis have become a power couple in Texas conservative politics. Residing in northwest Fort Worth for the past 27 years, Roy hails originally from Brownwood while Carolyn grew up in Coleman, Texas.
Roy and Carolyn Willis have two children and five grandchildren, to which Carolyn is a full time grammie. Roy runs the family business that contracts trucks to pull FedEx ground trailers across the country. Carolyn volunteers at Community Link Mission food pantry, and the couple also enjoys traveling together.
Roy and Carolyn were inspired by the “Reagan Revolution”, but they say what really got them involved in grassroots activism was the election of Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) by the House Democrat Caucus and 11 of the most liberal Republicans. Frustrated at seeing conservative bills pass the Senate only to get killed in the House, Roy and Carolyn decided to get involved in local and state politics, volunteering for candidates who shared their values.
Additionally, the couple was motivated by the importance of keeping their home county Republican. Tarrant County is the third most populous county in Texas, and the largest Republican County, so keeping it out of Democrat hands has been critical to keeping Texas red.
The couple remembers living through the Cold War when communist Russia was the enemy. However, they believe the threat now is much more insidious. The country has compromised most of the moral values and freedoms upon which it was built, and big-government politicians are feeding the people “tiny doses of socialism”.
Roy describes his and Carolyn’s political involvement as “hand-to-hand combat.”
“Most of our active involvement in campaigns has been in what I call hand-to-hand combat, reaching out to people who know us across the state.”
They started working on their first campaign for State Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth), knocking on doors and informing voters. The couple believes voter outreach and education are critical:
“There are a lot of good people that make bad choices simply because they don’t know the truth. Good people want to get it right and will if they are armed with knowledge.”
Roy and Carolyn have worked to become the go-to source of information about local candidates for people in their circle of influence and encourage other activists to do the same. “If election time comes and you aren’t being asked by others which candidates they need to vote for, you aren’t doing your job,” said Roy. “Everyone knows a few good people they can influence.”
When asked what advice he had for people just starting out in politics and wanting to make a difference, Roy noted that in a predominately red state, real change is made by voting and getting involved in primary elections, as opposed to the general. “Finally,” he concluded, “quit separating your religion and your politics.”