What compels a man or woman to run for public office? Good question. One way to find out is to go to the source.
“Basically, I’ve been in public service my whole adult life as a peace officer and game warden. So, this was just a continuation of that,” said Texas State Sen. Peter Flores.
Is it that simple? Not exactly...
“There was a senator in place (federally convicted felon Carlos Uresti) and a machine in place that I didn’t agree with and so when you do that...there’s two things you can do: You can stand by and take it or you can stand up and throw in. So that’s what I did, threw in,” he added.
Flores, who represents District 19, which includes Val Verde County, defeated Uresti in a September 2018 election after losing to the former state senator in 2016.
A few years ago, Flores had been giving speeches around the Pleasanton area where he lives and people began to take note of what was being said. A seasoned public speaker, he soon got the attention of a group of Republicans in Atascosa County who approached him about running for office.
“I just happened to be at hand when it came up...and it happened to be what the Good Lord put in my path,” he said.
The former game warden believes he possesses a life- experience toolbox that contains what is necessary for the legislative worksite.
“I’m from a military family, I grew up on the border...I worked my way through college...a state game warden, I served all around the state,” Flores explained.
He had stops in San Antonio as a captain and regional director of the far west and 10 years in Austin as the top administrator of the law enforcement division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
“I worked with the House and the Senate and state government here (Austin),” Flores said.
He said he established relationships on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate which could prove invaluable as he heads into his first legislative session as an elected official.
“While I’m not a special person, I was specially prepared,” he expressed with humility.
Flores grew up on the border in Laredo and then matriculated to Aggieland before embarking on a career path with the state. He ended his 27-year career as the Director of Law Enforcement, Colonel Warden.
He’s been married to Elizabeth Flores for 37 years and has two daughters and two grandchildren.
Flores is adamant about the issues that are most important to his constituents and Texans. He indicated that property tax reform and school finance reform are the top priorities for the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house.
“And they certainly are for myself and most of my colleagues in the Senate,” he commented.
Flores insists that sticking to the major issues and refraining from tangling with the periphery is best practices-legislation.
“Stay with the basics, stay out of the weeds and let’s take care of the foundations of the house,” he asserted.
And what does Flores hope for after his days in office have run their final lap?
“I hope that my great-grandchildren will not curse me for the work I did in the Texas Senate,” he said unaffectedly.