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Susan Hamilton wants Texans to sign a petition calling for a Convention of States in the hopes that enough will want to limit the federal government’s power with a constitutional amendment.

Hamilton is a Texas district captain for the national effort, and she was one of two guest speakers at Thursday’s meeting of the Republican Women of the Red River Valley. She spoke about the grassroots effort, urging her fellow Texans to actively promote the online petition and spur national action.

“Our convention would only allow the states to discuss amendments that limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints and place term limits on federal officials,” Hamilton told attendees.

A Convention of States is a process outlined in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. It takes 34 states to call an Article V convention and 38 to ratify any proposed amendments to the Constitution. The process exists to give power back to the states if enough Americans believe the federal government is abusing its power, Hamilton said. So far, there hasn’t been an Article V convention called by Congress despite hundreds of attempts through the years. Information on the Convention of States can be found at conventionofstates.com.

The evening’s first speaker was Lamar County Judge Brandon Bell, who discussed a desire for less “big government.”

“If you don’t like what’s happening, get someone to run for office and change it out,” Bell said.

One attendee engaged with Bell, saying the judge made conflicting statements in offering that Lamar County is having money problems but has good commissioners. Bell said that he and the commissioners get along, adding the attendee was correct that the county was spending more money than it’s bringing in “and sooner or later, you’ve got to pay the bills.”

“But that’s a fragment of it, and I don’t have the answer to it. But you know what? You’re in power,” Bell said.

Cynthia Rice-Tims, president of the Republican Women of the Red River Valley, joined Bell in calling voters to action.

“Republicans are divided, and that will not stand. We must unite,” Rice-Tims said after the meeting. “Well, it is a bit like church. Some of us are middle of the road conservative, and others are very conservative. I myself am very conservative.”

Lamar County Republican Party Chairman Ray Null wants to see more young people involved in politics.

“I think young people are just so busy starting their families and their jobs they don’t really think about politics. I know that’s how I was when I was young,” he said.

On the topic of immigration, which attendees expressed concern about, Null said Republicans don’t want people coming into America and starving to death.

“That is why we want them to be citizens. Letting them just starve in the street is a cold worldview, when you have actually seen people dying and starving, like I did in the military, you feel different about it,” he said.

Jessica Waller is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6965.

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