Pastor Frank Pomeroy Whose 14-Year-Old Daughter was Killed in 2017 Sutherland Springs Church Mass Shooting Announces He will Run for Texas Senate

The pastor at a Central Texas church that was the site of a mass shooting in 2017 will run for state Senate against a Democrat who’s held the seat for more than 30 years.

Frank Pomeroy, a Republican, announced after Sunday morning services at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs that he’s challenging Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. He had a “burning bush moment” in which he decided to run, Pomeroy said, after reading the Bible, praying, and consulting with “several godly people.”

“I have many reasons why not to do this. But I feel like out of duty and out of obedience to what the Lord has called me to do, and then, to use the talents that I just shared with you guys, the talents that God has given me to glorify him. I feel compelled,” Pomeroy said in a video of the announcement. “Win or lose or draw, at least I can say I did my part to the best of my ability to bring civility and hopefully intelligent discourse into the political arena.

“If we do what God’s called us to do, he says leave the results to him.”

The election is November 2020.

On Nov. 5, 2017, a gunman attacked the church, a small congregation in a rural area about an hour east of San Antonio; 26 people were killed, including a pregnant woman and Pomeroy’s 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle. The gunman fled the scene and was found dead soon after from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Pomeroy was out of town and wasn’t present for the shooting.

After the shooting at Santa Fe High School the next summer, Pomeroy and others took part in roundtable discussions with Gov. Greg Abbott and elected officials. President Donald J. Trump also invited him and his wife, Sherry, to the White House.

In an interview with The News, Pomeroy said he was angered by the response of some politicians to the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. He specifically mentioned Beto O’Rourke, saying the former El Paso congressman and current presidential candidate politicized the event.

“Rather than putting their political ideologies aside for a while, they turn people into political pawns,” Pomeroy said. “That wasn’t the time in my mind. …Those people need grace, they needed hands, they needed hugs.”

Senate District 21 stretches from the Texas-Mexico border up through the Rio Grande Valley and ends in southern Travis County. It snakes from Laredo to Corpus Christi and from San Antonio to Austin. The district has long been a Democratic stronghold. The Texas Senate currently has 12 Democrats and 19 Republicans.

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SOURCE: Dallas Morning News, Lauren McGaughy