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North Texas Is 'The Great Last Hope' For Conservatives, Says This Former Californian

Paul Chabot campaign/Flickr
Paul Chabot on the campaign trail during his second run for Congress in California.

Paul Chabot has a sales pitch for conservatives across the country: Move to Texas. After losing his second bid for Congress in California, he uprooted his family and settled in McKinney. He started a company called Conservative Move to get like-minded folks to do the same.

"North Texas, to me, is the great last hope," Chabot said. "I think California has fallen. It's the canary in the coal mine for the rest of America of what not to become."

His business matches families with conservative realtors in Republican states. Chabot then gets a commission from any home sales. He estimates about 2,500 have signed up for his service.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Interview Highlights: Paul Chabot...

...On how he pitches Texas to people:

"The pitch actually sells itself. People are coming to us; we don't have to sell the concept of Texas. My wife and I, having come from California — born and raised, 43 years — [it] used to be a great state...But today, sadly, I think California has gone in a very different direction, and it's harming [a] family's ability to earn a good wage or living."

...On how his political philosphy has evolved:

"People look at me in a suit and tie think I'm some wealthy, Republican silver spoon kid. I'm not. I was raised by two single parents. My grandmother was a blue-dog Democrat. My first ballot cast was for Ross Perot. I evolved into a Republican over time because of my experiences in law enforcement and the military."

...On why he wants to help families move:

"California has gone from a safe state, a beautiful state, and then a liberal wing of the Democratic party took control. What you have largely in California now are very radical laws that basically legalized drugs, minimized offenses from burglaries to other offenses. Now, you have tent cities popping up all over California. We used to have some of the best schools in the country. They've now fallen to the bottom percentile. California, in my opinion, is more interested in a radical ideology than families."

...On what he would do if Collin County turned purple:

"If by chance, Texas does turn purple and it is by the old-school, blue dog Democrats, I would embrace that. I think for the most part, we would have good conversations across the table. What I worry about is the far-left wing of the Democratic party, which is well-funded by George Soros. My message to the Republican party out here is: Don't get caught sleeping at the switch. California was a Republican state, but the Republican leaders during that time rested on their laurels. And, Texas: You should not always assume that you're always going to be a red state. You're a prime target. From a Republican conservative perspective, if we lose Texas, we'll lose America. We'll never hold the White House again."

Paul Chabot is a recent North Texas transplant and the founder of Conservative Move.  

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.
Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.