Kilgore Wants out of the US

Texas has an unusually named (and, well, unusual) candidate for the GOP nomination for governor.

I was looking at some news about the upcoming Texas primaries, when I spotted something interesting on the Republican primary ballot:

As an elections nerd who finds ballots far more interesting that the vast majority of people, I am amused and intrigued when candidates try to draw attention to themselves on the ballot itself, which can only be done in the US by changing one’s name (in some other countries it can also be done with logos and party names).

In this case, Mr. Kilgore did draw some attention to himself as his call to SECEDE (nice that he shouts it) led me to this story from the Fort Worth Star-TelegramA Texas candidate calls for a ‘Texit’ secession, biblical law, executions — but no wall .

Kilgore, 52, is well-known to Texas voters. In 2012, he changed his legal middle name to SECEDE.

He still believes in executing adulterers and LGBT Texans and anyone else out of step with his decidedly Old Testament view of society.

But that’s not his primary point in this campaign. SECEDE Kilgore version 3.0 calls for a new, independent Republic of Texas that will punish abortion as felony murder, close public schools and do away with Social Security.

Well, then.

In other words, as puts it, Abbott Faces No Serious Primary Challenge For Texas Governorship.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2018, US Politics, , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:

    He also wants transvestites to be flogged, and vows not to cut his hair or beard till Texas bans abortion.

  2. Stormy Dragon says:

    Isn’t Secede Kilgore the villain in The Avengers: Infinity War?

  3. de stijl says:

    Is his last name “Trout?” “SECEDE” as a first name looks fake to my eye.

  4. de stijl says:


    He also wants transvestites to be flogged, and vows not to cut his hair or beard till Texas bans abortion.

    Okay, I am officially conflicted.

    German language speakers, pay attention, we will need your input later.

    I am amazed and sad and a little intrigued and kinda happy that we can produce a SECEDE Kilgore to run for the R Governor of Texas race.

    I am proud/happy/sad/annoyed/amazed/befuddled. There needs to be a word for that.

  5. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Until the end of my days on this glorious planet, I will have in my back pocket the fact that I identified a human emotion that was heretofore unnamed.

  6. Kathy says:

    While the existence of such people is sad, we can take some comfort on the fact that even in red Texas, his life must be pure hell.

  7. de stijl says:


    Pure hell would be reinHölle

    I’m going with sad/happy/bemused/proud, but the “proud” bit has to have an implied nationalistic element.

    As in, “I’m weirdly proud of the fact that our f*cked-up country produced a person like SECEDE Kilgore who had the balls and the moxie to make it onto the printed ballot for governor. That person is an idiot, but I will proudly stand with aforementioned idiot in his defiant battle against the Evil Doers.”

    Dude is an idiot, but he is a Bad Ass idiot.



    I literally have no idea where the spaces go or how to capitalize so I’m just going to jam it all together for now.

    Now let’s just pencil in the “befuddlement” and call it a day.

    I am feeling TraurigglücklichverwirrtStolz Verwirrung because “SECEDE Kilgore” is on the official Texas Governor ballot as a candidate.

    My name is de stijl (actually that is untrue) and I stand by this comment (also untrue).

  8. There’s the door, Mr. Kilgore – please to let the door hit you on the way out.

    His Facebook page is amusing:

  9. grumpy realist says:

    @de stijl: Take out the capitals you’ve put into the sausage-word, then you should be fine.

    (If it were Japanese, you’d be taking out half of the Kanji as well. Which is why it’s ridiculously difficult sometimes to figure out what certain Japanese references mean.)

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I am amused and intrigued when candidates try to draw attention

    Did you ever pick up on Chief Wana Dubie? Bet you can’t guess what his signature issue was. Really sorry to see him die, a true character.

    I finally got to vote for him in ’16 when he ran against Blunt. It was a privilege.

    ETA: looked it up, he ran in the DEM primary for that race. Kander was a shoe in so I voted fro the Chief.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl:

    I am proud/happy/sad/annoyed/amazed/befuddled. There needs to be a word for that.

    “Fvcked up”?

  12. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Waay back in time my college GF lived in the all-girls dorm. Manor Hall had a German (well, maybe Dutch) head housekeeper. She (the housekeeper, not my GF) would post these really passive-aggressive notes in the common areas and bathrooms like “put Tampons in garbage, Do not Flush!” Random words were just randomly capitalized or not; there was no discernible system.

    I did not realize it at the time, but later I came to understand the Germans (and the Dutch too) can be unnervingly direct sometimes. Our first reaction is to perceive it as rude or intrusive, but within their culture they are behaving in a perfectly cromulent manner.

    This lady wrote a lot of notes and put them up everywhere.

    The old dining hall had been converted into a study area because all meals were now served at Soren Hall. Do Lightswitch Off when leaving if Empty

    Just plain and bold on a 8.5×11 sheet taped up next to the exit. Random capitalization (seemingly so to my eye at the time) and random underlined words.

    I devoured her notes. I wanted her notes. I imagined story lines for her. I couldn’t actually take the notes down and keep them as my precious because that would be rude, so instead I took pictures of them. Because there had to be a system at work here, some secret Illuminati Pyramids forbidden knowledge sh!t.

    Alas, no.

    She was a woman in a job she kinda hated picking up after self entitled kids and she was looking to move on to a new job. She should have been matronly and wise and stern, but also cuddly like a Tolkien character. Instead she was ~32 and perpetually pissed off at the whole world.

    It was like finding out that Santa is just your grandfather in a red suit and a fake gut prosthesis.

  13. de stijl says:


    “Fvcked up”?

    There is a distinct possibility I was drunk at the time I wrote that.

  14. de stijl says:


    So a guy named Chief Wana Dubie? was running against / on the same ballot as an opponent whose last name is “Blunt”?

    Was Blunt’s first name “Dank” and was his middle name “Bud” perchance?

    If there was a luchador square-up throw-down between Chief Wana Dubie? and Dank Bud Blunt I would have no idea who to root for. They both have awesome names! I guess I would hope for a draw and then the inevitable rematch.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Sadly, the Chief never got out of the primary against Jason Kander. 🙁

    We have a saying here about our not so good Senator: Blunt is not sharp.

  16. JohnMcC says:

    I have often wished (as I suspect some others have) that Mr Kilgore does in fact get that part of his program enacted. The U.S. without Texas would have several improvements over our present state.

    I’ve also thought that the bargain struck by that Alien (in the movie whose name I can’t recall – darn!) with the character who told him that his rifle would have to be ‘pried from his cold dead fingers’ had lots to recommend it. With only the slightest of pauses this Alien says: “Your proposal is accepted.”

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl: I’ve long had a fondness for unglaublich, literally “incredible”. I love the sound of it. It sounds like way past “incredible” to “I can’t believe even Trump did that”.

  18. al-Ameda says:

    At least they want out – completely out. That is, they do not want to become yet another red state, with 2 senators and 1 representative.

    I’m wondering if they’d build a wall – a beautiful wall, the most wonderful wall – around their country to keep the rest of us out, and the rest of them in? You know, a kind of N. Korean operation?

    Bring it on, Kilgore, I dare you to secede.

  19. Tyrell says:

    What is his real first name? What does he look like? Where can I find more about him? I have tried some searches, but it usually comes up some sort of southern history stuff.
    “God Bless Texas” (the incomparable Alan Jackson)

  20. @Tyrell: The first link in the post goes to a news story with a photo.

  21. Stormy Dragon says:


    I also love the German word for “uncanny”, which is “unheimlich”. Literally “the feeling of not being at home”.