Former AT&T executive to challenge Ralph Hall, says time for change is now
By J.J. Smith. A former technology and telecommunications company executive, who has held senior management positions at AT&T, Lucent and Avaya, has announced he will challenge fifteen-term, 86-year-old U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall for his Congressional seat.
Rockwall resident Steve Clark, who between 2004 and 2008 founded, built and sold local wireless internet company, NetPortUSA, says he agrees with Hall on virtually every issue except term limits, but believes it is time for a change.
Hall is now the oldest member of the House of Representatives and has served longer in Congress than just 19 others.
â€œI honor the many years of service Ralph Hall has provided to this area but it is time for a change,â€ said Clark, a U.S. Air Force veteran, who also speaks Chinese and Spanish.
â€œCongressman Hall was first elected to public office in 1950, two years before â€œI Love Lucyâ€ was broadcast in America, and today, nine years after â€œSeinfeld,â€ he is still in office. Our founding fathers never intended for the system to build a professional class of career politicians.â€
The Congressional candidate said that – like Hall – he is a strong conservative with the energy, experience and values needed to effectively represent Texas in Washington.
In his most recent executive position as Group Vice President of Avaya, an S&P 500 company, he said he profitably managed over 2,000 employees, generating over a half a billion dollars in revenue.
Clark was also AT&Tâ€™s senior executive in China from 1991 â€“ 93. During his tenure there he served as a Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in China and worked with U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills to open Chinese markets to American products.
He said that he and Hall have been friends for many years, dating back to when Clark worked in Washington D.C. as a Director of the National Association of Manufacturers, where he worked to enhance the competitiveness of American companies and create an environment for new job growth.
To show how serious he is about his GOP primary campaign, Clark said he has deposited $250,000 of his own money in his campaign budget, which he plans to use primarily for advertising. Heâ€™s also hired well-known Texas political consultant Jeff Norwood.
â€œI am running for Congress because I believe we need more conservatives with real work business experience in Congress,” said Clark.
â€œWith Nancy Pelosi as Speaker and Barak Obama as President, the stakes are simply too high to trust to the same politicians weâ€™ve had for many years.”
â€œIf we donâ€™t stop the liberalsâ€™ agenda for a more expansive government and protect our liberty, I believe our children and grandchildren will have less opportunity than my generation. We must act now to protect the promise of America.â€
â€œI owe allegiance to no organization or special interest.Â I will simply represent the people of the Fourth Congressional District. I have as my standard the Constitution and the magnetic North on my moral compass is aligned with Faith, Family, and Country. We will take our Republic back!”
Prior to his business career, he said he worked as a Texas and U.S. Government instructor at San Antonio College. He also served as Program Director of the AT&T Executive Education Program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
A native Texan, Clark said he earned a Bachelorâ€™s Degree Â in Political Communication from SMU in 1974 and a Master in Environmental Management from University of Texas- San Antonio in 1976.
He and his wife, Marlene, live in Rockwall and have six children.
More information is available at http://votesteveclark.com.