During this season that honors mothers –the pillars of our community and the givers of life and lessons– I can proudly boast that I was raised by a strong Black woman. In fact, I was reared by a family of strong Black women.
As a longtime champion of equal rights for all, I believe I got to this point in life because of the women who kept me grounded firmly. I learned from women the value of hard work, truth, honor and integrity. These are, indeed, the values of Texas.
To know me, is to know the story of my mother, Joan, who grew up in the small Texas town of Pelham. Born in Pelham, of modest means, she worked for the U.S. Postal Service for a decade in Denver, Colorado while my father, John B. Love, Jr. spent his career there. As she worked her way through the ranks of the Post Office, she dreamed of starting her own business. She took the values taught by her family to start two businesses: Joan A. Love Insurance Agency in 1985 and Paperwerks in 1990. Although she closed the insurance agency in 1988, she grew Paperwerks from a medical billing company into a tax preparation and accounting business.
Joan Love laid the groundwork for her children – David (deceased), Kenny, Cary and me – and planted the seeds of service and entrepreneurship for us. My path led me to graduate with honors in 1986 from Midland High School, attend the University of Texas at Austin and graduate Summa Cum Laude from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, in Economics.
For many years, I have been a mainstay of Midland’s political, civic, and social fabric. My journey has taken me from my birth in Denver, childhood in San Angelo and teen years Midland to representing Midland’s District 2 for three terms on City Council.
It’s not just politics for me. It’s personal – a testament to my mother, who passed away just two years ago. It’s about the invaluable lessons imparted by the women in my life. I also credit my grandmother, Addie Johnson, and her sisters – my great aunts Katherline Joiner, Faye Wilson and Mozelle Johnson – for laying a solid foundation for me. I learned from them all that a strong work ethic combined with compassion and a keen sense of responsibility to help others builds a healthy family and a healthy community.
In Midland, we work together to get things done. Our state and nation’s leaders need more of the straightforward and honest way we do things in Midland and the way the women in my family did things in Pelham. We have too much at stake for backbiting and refusing to work together.
Using the principles passed on to me through my mother, I’ve given great thought to how I would represent the citizens of Texas, given the chance. I’ve also thought long and hard about what my mother would say about those who govern us now, particularly Senator Ted Cruz. She would be livid that he ignored the plight of Texans who needed him during the winter storms as we huddled freezing and without vital resources. She would be disappointed and angry that he chooses party over people time and time again, whether it be voting rights, access to health care or women’s equality. My mother would remind me, “John, be the best that you can be so that you can help others.”
I am a wealth-management advisor with several securities and insurance licenses. My company Love Wealth Management was voted “Best in Midland.” I have had the opportunity to do good things for good people through my work and in my service on the Midland City Council, as Mayor Pro Tem and as President of the Texas Municipal League. I’ve kept an eye towards a future where all of us — with the tenacity, common sense and entrepreneurial spirit of my mother — work side-by-side to make Texas and America live up to their greatest potential.
I hear the whispers of Joan Love speaking to me, and I am not content to sit on the sidelines. I want to serve my country and make her proud. So, I am challenging Ted Cruz and running in 2024 to represent Texas in the United States Senate. I’m running because people need a Senator with integrity and strong values in Washington, D.C. I’m running for the love of my community and country. I’m running for the love of Texas. I’m running for Joan Love and all that her memory embodies.
What started in Pelham and was nurtured in Midland just may transform a nation. Because the women who raised me are counting on me to give back and pay it forward, I boldly step into this arena to fight for a return to Texas values.
Thank you, Momma, and Happy Mother’s Day.