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Pastor who lost his daughter in 2017 Sutherland Springs massacre is running for office
Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images

Pastor who lost his daughter in 2017 Sutherland Springs massacre is running for office

He expressed his concerns over how 'integrity and morality are degrading,' especially 'within the Democratic Party.'

Frank Pomeroy, pastor of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, is running as a Republican for a seat in the state Legislature.

Pomeroy's daughter, Annabelle, 14, was one of more than two dozen people killed in a 2017 massacre that took place inside the church.

What are the details?

Pomeroy, 53, launched his campaign on the heels of two mass killings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which took place earlier in August.

According to reporting by The Associated Press, the massacres were part of a "'trajectory' that led him to run for the state Senate."

The outlet reported, "The shooting at his church compelled him to have more conversations with people about guns and other leading political issues ... while the El Paso attack troubled him in the way the victims were used by others to score political points."

"I felt like something needed to be brought to the conversation, like civility and real intelligent discourse," he explained, expressing his concerns over how "integrity and morality are degrading," especially "within the Democratic Party."

Pomeroy — who has never held an elected office — also insisted that gun ownership in the U.S. is not a problem, and that the focus should be aimed at mental illness.

He is running in a district considered "safely Democratic," according to reports, against the incumbent, Judith Zaffirini, who took office in 1987.

Zaffirini complained of Pomeroy's "harsh comment[s]" against Democrats when she heard the news that he is planning to run.

"I always treat every challenger seriously and every challenger respectfully and that is how I hope to engage with him," she said.

What else?

In May, the new First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs held official worship services for the first time in its new building.

The new building features a memorial room for the victims of the massacre, as well as increased security measures.

"We don't want to look like a fortress, but also wanted to make sure that everybody could feel safe on the inside," Pomeroy told the Associated Press at the time.

The building also has a new bell tower, which stands taller than all the buildings in Sutherland Springs.

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