Christopher “C.J.” Grisham, the founder of Open Carry Texas, filed a treasurer’s announcement, the first required step toward possibly filing his candidacy for Texas Senate District 24.
Grisham has not formally filed as a candidate to run for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Troy Fraser, but plans to do that locally in mid-August, he said Tuesday. He opened his campaign account Tuesday, Grisham said.
Randy Shelton will be Grisham’s campaign manager and Lance Cargill, a former Oklahoma state speaker of the House, will be his consulting firm, Grisham said.
Grisham decided to run when Fraser announced his retirement, he said.
“I’m excited and a little overwhelmed,” Grisham said.
Counties making up District 24 are Bandera, Bell, Blanco, Brown, Burnet, Callahan, Comanche, Coryell, Gillespie, Hamilton, Kerr, Lampasas, Llano, Mills, San Saba and parts of Taylor and Travis.
Reducing Texas’ dependency on federal dollars in order to create a freer and stronger state government is one of Grisham’s goals, he said. He also wants to look at farm reform and cut down on the red tape farmers have to go through because of needless and redundant laws, Grisham added.
Judicial reform is another goal on Grisham’s list, such as making the State Commission on Judicial Conduct more accountable, and stopping the abuse of the Open Records Act.
“Most importantly, I want to find out what people care about and what’s important to them. My purpose is to serve the people, not myself,” Grisham said.
Grisham is still trying to clear his name and his record in connection with a March 16, 2013, arrest by the Temple Police Department.
Grisham and his son, Chris, were hiking when Grisham was arrested by Temple Police while he was carrying an AR-15 and a concealed handgun for which he had a permit. Grisham was first charged with resisting arrest, which was later changed to interfering with the duties of a public servant.
After two misdemeanor jury trials, Grisham was found guilty of interfering with the duties of a public servant and fined $2,000. He paid the fine a bit at a time and almost totally in nickels to Bell County Attorney Jim Nichols’ office.
Grisham said he made his final payment in November 2014.
“Since banks don’t keep a lot of nickels, I had to order boxes of them $100 at a time, plus we saved our nickels, too. One time I took an entire piggy bank filled with nothing by nickels, dimes and pennies to make a payment, but the treasurer and I laughed and joked about it,” Grisham said.