As the co-host for the local talk radio program "Lago in the Morning" for nearly 10 years, Blake Farenthold was used to speaking out about political issues. The change came one day when he decided to stop talking about the country's problems and to start trying to address them. With that decision, Farenthold threw his hat into the ring for Republican Primary for the District 27 U.S. Representative seat.
"I've talked about running for office for a long time. I wanted to get out from behind the microphone, throwing wrenches, and do something," Farenthold said. "I took a look at (fellow Republican candidates) James (Duerr) and Willie (Vaden), and I didn't think either of those guys could win against Solomon Ortiz."
Farenthold is a Corpus Christi native who obtained his law degree from St. Mary's University and returned to Corpus Christi to practice law. He did so for 9 years, before leaving the legal profession to start his own computer consulting company. He ran that company for 10 years, before eventually selling it and joining the Lago program on the radio. He and his wife have two children.
Farenthold said of the four Republicans vying for a shot at Ortiz's seat, he is the only candidate with a chance at winning in November.
"(Duerr) is basically hapless on the things he's been elected to. He wasn't able to stop a tax increase; in fact he voted for it. And he wasn't able to get all that money he's bragging about getting back (at the Nueces County Appraisal District) until he came shouting to me and Jim Lago," Farenthold said. And although Jessica Puente-Bradshaw has said she is the best candidate to reach Hispanic voters who have traditionally sided with the Democrats, Farenthold said he has a better plan.
"She speaks Spanish, and none of us speak Spanish. That's her claim to fame," Farenthold said. "I have the media skills to use radio, television and the Internet to appeal to those voters."
Farenthold said the primary issues facing Republican voters in Nueces County are the economy, immigration reform and homeland security.
The first two, he said, have become a problem for the same reason.
"It's too hard to get into business, and it's too hard to get into this country legally," Farenthold said. "We have to create a regulatory and tax environment that is friendly to business. That means lower taxes and less government regulation."
Voters in Nueces County have the opportunity to make a change on the local level that can lead to changes in the national level, Farenthold said.
"You guys have been abandoned by Solomon Ortiz. Robstown used to be his big power base, but he's moved to the Valley now. He's done with us," Farenthold said. "I think it's critical that we get as many Republicans into Congress as is possible to send the Obama administration the message that their idea of hope and change is not our idea of change for the better."