The pastor from an area church where 26 people lost their lives when a gunman opened fire two years ago is throwing his name in the hat for a Texas Senate seat.

Frank Pomeroy, pastor of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, recently announced his plans to run next year for the Republican nomination for the District 21 seat currently held by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo.

“I’d like to try to bring the civility and integrity back to the table and let’s get out of this idea of name-calling all the time and bringing back people into the picture,” Pomeroy said. “I think Texas is built on family, and family is a building block of this great state.”

Pomeroy, who is a Seguin resident, said it’s important for families to live in a place where they are not in fear all the time.

He also said it is crucial to be amongst the people and let them know how he intends to make changing legislation a priority rather than continuing to look at families and people merely as poll numbers in an election campaign.

“I would just like to come in and bring a conversation back to the table and let’s not talk about reelection and talking points,” he said.

First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs was the site of the November 2017 attack by a discharged Airforce airman who opened fire, killing 26 individuals, including Pomeroy’s 14-year-old daughter Annabelle.

Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, were not present when the event took place. Together as a congregation, FBC Sutherland Springs opened the doors to a new sanctuary in May, a year-and-a-half later.

Pomeroy felt compelled to run for the District 21 spot following the events that occurred in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month, he said.

“In my opinion, the people were pushed to the side as political pawns. People who had the authority and the voice to come in and actually bring healing chose to politicize it, and that just so angered me,” Pomeroy said. “Those people needed the human touch of hugs and love on them to let them know they can get through it, but they became pawns of the election machine.”

He prayed upon it, and the Lord told him what to do, the pastor said.

“This is what I’m supposed to do,” he said. “I want to really get in there and do what the people called us to do.”

Zaffirini’s office confirmed that the senator plans to run for reelection next year. Zaffirini has served District 21 as a senator since 1987. She was reelected in 2016 and is known as the first Hispanic woman elected to the Texas Senate.

Valerie Bustamante is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail her at valerie.bustamante@seguingazette.com .

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