BEAUMONT, Texas — Southeast Texas community leader and pastor Michael Cooper announced he's running for governor of Texas.
He's a former Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor and the US Senate. The local pastor has deep roots in Southeast Texas.
Cooper is well known for his 30-year career as automotive executive manager. Currently, he's the local NAACP president.
He said during a Thursday new conference that he wants to run to help Texas teachers.
“I want to make sure that our teachers come first, because our children come first. We should have the best, not the second best. Education used to be a ministry, a calling, but now they’re being called away from. So, I am making sure education is in the top of the ticket when I go into office, the first hundred days.”
The Texas gubernatorial election is in November of 2022. The primaries will be next spring.
When the time comes, Cooper will face incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott, the most-funded governor in recent Texas history who's seeking re-election, according to the Texas Tribune.
Despite the sitting governor or any new candidate, Cooper says he's running for the position.
"I am a candidate, as of this day, to be the governor of the great state of Texas," Cooper said. "Is there anything too hard for God? No, there’s not, absolutely not. I don’t care who’s there now. All I know is that the ones that have been there before, have let us down."
Cooper joins a handful of other Southeast Texas candidates running for office.
Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick announced Thursday he's seeking another term for his position.
Currently, five Beaumont residents have announced their intent to run for mayor of the city for the upcoming May 2021 election.
Beaumont businessman Roy West, Jr. announced his plans to run for mayor on July 15, 2020.
Beaumont business W.L. Pate, who has served on the Beaumont City Council for 13 years, announced his intentions to run the next day.
In December 2020, Beaumont businesswoman Biguita Hernandez-Smith announced her plans to run for mayor.
Councilwoman Robin Mouton, who currently represents ward four on the Beaumont City Council, filed to run for mayor of the city on Feb. 2, 2021.
Businessman LaShon D. Proctor announced he's running for mayor of Beaumont on Feb. 2, as well.