Fort Worth

Former Birdville schools employee joins GOP race to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz

Thomas Dillingham and wife Rhonda.
Thomas Dillingham and wife Rhonda. Handout

A self-described political “rookie” and “huge” supporter of Donald Trump from North Richland Hills announced Thursday he will join the field of GOP candidates challenging Texas Republican Ted Cruz in the March primary.

“I’m a huge Trump supporter and I plan to support Trump’s America First agenda,” said Thomas Dillingham, 43, a technology professional and father of three, who has worked for the Birdville school district.

Dillingham said he is seeking office because he is frustrated with government waste and incumbents who don’t engage with constituents.

“I have no doubt that the contest against Ted Cruz will be an uphill battle, but I think there are enough Texans who are as frustrated as I am,” he told the Star-Telegram. He said he is still a fan of Cruz’s political platform, but believes his campaign will send a message to lawmakers.

Dillangham said he wants to prevent waste of federal dollars and ensure that local entities that receive money from the federal government keep it in the local economy. He said too much federal money earmarked for technology ends up in the Silicon Valley and is eventually used for outsourcing.

Dillingham, who voted for Cruz, said he’s dismayed by lawmakers who don’t respond to constituents. He said he faced this issue when he reached out to lawmakers about gays in the Boys Scouts of America and the future of Confederate symbols.

Dillingham, who is originally from Dallas, has been a critic of openly gay membership to the organization.

Dillingham was also a supporter of Richland High’s Rebel mascot, which was challenged in 2015 after the Charleston, S.C., church killings. Dillingham created a Facebook page called, “Save Our Richland Rebels.” He had a daughter attending Richland High School at that time.

The field of GOP candidates has been growing since candidates started filing for the March 6 primary ballot on Nov. 11. Dillingham is not the only candidate from North Richland Hills seeking the U.S. Senate seat. Christian TV executive Bruce Jacobson Jr. is also seeking the seat.

Other candidates listed by the Republican Party of Texas 2018 filings, as of Thursday, include former La Marque Mayor Geraldine Sam and Mary Miller, a CPA who grew up in the Austin area.

This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Diane A. Smith: 817-390-7675, @dianeasmith1

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