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Football, award winning BBQ, career opportunities, that “wildcatter spirit” – there are many reasons one might make the move to the Lone Star State. But for one former Yankee, the decision stemmed from something you may not hear of too often.
“I moved here so I could homeschool my children without government intrusion,” said Jim Baxa, a physical therapist in the Lubbock area. Baxa, his wife, and five children made the move from Nebraska to West Texas in 2011, where they found not only more freedom to educate their children, but felt encouraged to become more engaged in politics than ever before.
After moving to Texas, Baxa ran for precinct chair at the recommendation of a local judge. He won, and the new role allowed him the opportunity to meet numerous other activists in the area. Compared to the political landscape back in Nebraska, Lubbock revealed a new and more inviting political landscape.
“I realized that since I moved to Texas, I was no longer the only conservative around, and my viewpoints had the chance to win. When I lived in Wisconsin and then Nebraska, I was surrounded by other Republicans, but being conservative was so rare that I had given up on politics,” said Baxa. He continued to explain that being surrounded by other conservatives made the possibility of advancing causes he cared about more attainable.
Those causes include property taxes and fiscally responsible budgeting, gun rights, and the sanctity of life – which Baxa says is the primary reason he is actively involved in politics today.
With his passion for life issues and the help of other activists, Baxa launched West Texans for Life, a group focused on abolishing abortion in Texas. They do so by supporting pro-life candidates, engaging in policy, and connecting pro-life activists with others in the West Texas area.
In 2017, Baxa and other members of West Texans for Life didn’t shy away from making the 370-mile trek to Austin to fight for pro-life bills. Such bills include HB 948 by State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R – Arlington), known as the Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act. While it didn’t pass this legislative session, Baxa says they’re looking forward to fighting for the bill next legislative session.
In addition to engaging in policy at the capitol, Baxa has served ardently behind the scenes, volunteering for candidates at all levels of government. In particular, he has block-walked for candidates running for U.S. president, governor, state Senate, state House, county judge, county commissioner, city council, mayor, and constable.
The pro-life cause and overregulation of homeschooling sparked Baxa’s interest in political activism, and it seems coming to Texas fueled that fervor even more. For others who want to make a difference but are not yet active, Baxa recommends volunteering to block-walk for conservative candidates. He says, “They are usually shocked to get the offer and will be thrilled to train you. This is where one man can make a huge difference.”
When not volunteering and fighting battles in Austin, Baxa enjoys spending time with this wife and kids (ages eleven, nine, eight, six, and five) as well as traveling, hiking, and skiing.