Having been in law enforcement for more than 3 decades, I have acquired thick skin, and I’m very good at de-escalating volatile “issues,” which begin with putting them in context for all involved. Both of those traits are coming in handy as some are raising issues with a novelty concert tee shirt and my record as an El Paso County Voter. As I ask my fellow citizens for their votes in the upcoming primary election for El Paso County Sheriff; both deserve an explanation — and some context.
As a few folks have understandably pointed out, a photo of me at a country music concert early this year wearing an Aaron Lewis concert tee shirt with “Let’s Go Brandon” on the back was posted on social media … by my wife. Not knowing what the phrase meant, but knowing I liked the band that was selling it, she had purchased it in 2022, at an earlier concert we attended in Denton, Texas. When I put it on for a concert at the Toyota Music Factory, politics weren’t even on my mind. I was just going out on a date with my wife. To my wife, the photograph and social media post was entirely about “date night,” as titled in her Facebook post. No promotion for the slogan nor disrespect of our President was ever intended or stated.
Was it a mistake for this lifelong Democrat to wear that concert tee shirt out in public? Absolutely, and the tee shirt was never worn again.
Did it mean anything or was it a statement? Absolutely not. It was a really poor wardrobe choice that I sincerely regret. Nothing more. Nothing less. It was a novelty concert tee shirt, not a manifesto.
Those many friends and colleagues who have worked with me over the years in our Sheriff’s Office Labor Association as I fought for better pay and better working conditions, know where my loyalties and my heart lie. That’s what matters. Not some novelty tee shirt I threw on without thinking.
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I am not Aaron Lewis nor do I share his political beliefs. He’s simply a musician whose music I listen to. A concert tee shirt should not overshadow that I am a loving grandfather, father, husband, and son who loves El Paso. More importantly, a tee shirt does not define me, nor diminish my more than 33 years of stellar law enforcement service to protecting our community.
Questions have also been raised about my voting record. I’ll answer them. Like too many of us, I did let life and my work get in the way of voting in a number of elections prior to 2016. I regret that I was not more involved in voting and I’m not going to do a bunch of gymnastics trying to excuse that fact. I will say that my priority at the time was working to keep El Paso safe, not politics.
Given that we don’t have a political party registration system, we in Texas have to rely upon our record of voting in primaries to indicate our party preference and loyalty. As evidenced by El Paso County Elections Records, my record is that of a lifelong Democrat. I have always supported Democrat values and strongly supported labor, including serving 10 years on the Board of Directors of our labor association. I’m a Democrat. Always have been. But more importantly, my entire adult life has been devoted to effective, firm but compassionate, law enforcement in El Paso County.
I urge voters to focus on my leadership, experience, qualifications, and commitment to my community, and I would be honored to have your vote as your next Sheriff.
About the Author
Bobby Flores is a candidate for El Paso Sheriff in the 2024 Primaries.
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