Derek Baker is an eighth generation Texan who has found a unique way to help advance liberty: real estate.
Baker’s story began in Agana, Guam, where he was born on the U.S. Air Force base while his father served in Vietnam. Their family soon moved to Sherman, Texas, where Baker spent his childhood.
Baker started growing interested in government when he was in high school, after he had to write a letter to one of his elected representatives for a class assignment. He chose U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, who, to Baker’s surprise, wrote him back. After graduating, he moved to Maryland with his step-dad and applied to work for Gramm’s office.
“I had no experience and only had a high school diploma,” Baker said. “I had no reason for them to hire me—but I was a really fast typist.”
Baker got the job. “And I’ve been hooked ever since,” he said.
From there, Baker went on to spend 30 years working for Gramm, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling and then-U.S. Representative Mike Pence, and he also worked as a lobbyist for Americans for Limited Government. During that time, Baker said Gramm helped shape his entire political philosophy of fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, and government accountability to citizens.
When Baker returned to Texas in 2012 and became a real estate agent, he started seeing some fiscal responsibility problems, especially in his local community governments.
“I immediately became aware that we had a broken property tax structure,” Baker said. “And at the city level, government is out of control. We’re in a conservative state, but at the local level we have many progressives running the city councils. They raise taxes every year and no one knows about it.”
Baker got involved in numerous community organizations to start educating his friends on what was going on, to help protect and promote the pro-liberty policies that have made Texas a place for prosperity. He became a board member for the McKinney Tea Party and president for Collin County Conservative Republicans, among others.
On top of that, Baker found a creative way to use his real estate work to help bring in reinforcements for the cause of liberty: he co-founded Conservative Move, a brokerage that helps out-of-state conservatives move (escape) from liberal blue states into Texas and other red states.
“Better jobs, low crime, great schools, freedom, low taxes and more,” the website reads.
The McKinney-based service has been featured by NBC, Fox News, The New York Times, and a host of other media.
“We’re trying to bring good folks to Texas to keep it red,” Baker said. “It blends my two passions of real estate and politics. We also help people move locally and within Texas!”
Baker said his current top priority is property tax relief, which would not only empower citizens with their elected officials but let them keep more of their hard-earned money.
“House Bill 2 would be a huge win,” Baker said, referencing a newly proposed statewide reform that would give citizens more control over their property tax bills. “We must empower voters over local elected officials.”
When Baker isn’t advocating for pro-liberty policies in the state, he enjoys spending time with his wife of 18 years and his three children and also competing in triathlons and marathons.