It is simply a fact that Donald Trump is going to be the GOP nominee. While I take great pride in knowing I supported, contributed to, voted for, and endorsed Ted Cruz, voters have taken a different course.

Yet, Texas conservatives simply cannot afford to sit out this election. Staying home is not an option.

There are those who swear they will be “never Trump.” That’s a decision each man and woman must make for themselves, but they cannot allow their animus towards the party’s presidential nominee to harm “down-ballot” races.

Staying home might give some Republicans the satisfaction of being “#nevertrump” but will give Democrats an opportunity to pick up seats in the Texas Legislature at a time when taxpayers can least afford it. With the oil and gas industry in a slump, and some forecasting budget shortfalls, the last thing Texans need are more tax-and-spend liberals working under the Capitol dome in Austin.

Whether it’s delivering on the elimination of the gross margins tax, reducing property taxes, reforming education, or blocking the growth of labor unions, the people of Texas expect conservative outcomes in 2017. Conservatives won’t accept half-measures.

If you’re one of those Republicans who thinks a Trump presidency will lead our nation down the path to a political hell, that’s fine…but remember, we’re in Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have laid out 2017 plans that will let the Lone Star State shine brighter than ever, regardless of who occupies the White House. A Trump Administration – and the nation – will always need an example of practical conservative governing, and Texas can provide it only if Texans step up.

Trump wasn’t my candidate, but he might be our president.

Our fortunes or failures as Texans don’t rest with a president, but rather with ourselves. America, more than ever, needs a strong Texas. And a strong Texas requires the active engagement of all Texans.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."