TRA Political Action Committee

The TRA Political Action Committee (TRA PAC) pools our industry’s funds together to make a bigger impact in state and federal elections. A group of restaurateurs serve as PAC trustees, volunteering their time to diligently stay informed on the issues that affect your bottom line. TRA PAC trustees screen candidates and contribute to those who will support the pro-business, pro-growth policies we need to expand the sector in Texas.

During the most challenging time the Texas restaurant industry has ever faced, we’ve worked together to accomplish some of our greatest triumphs. Now is our time to build on this progress to ensure the industry recovers stronger than ever.

Only non-corporate funds can be donated to the TRA PAC. Most people base their decision to contribute on the size of their establishment, and on how important responsible government is to them in their personal and business lives. There is strength in numbers. Get involved and support the TRA PAC today!

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Support TRA PAC

Membership Levels Levels of Support (per year)
Supporter $1 - $999
Member $1,000 - $4,999
Leader $5,000 - $9,999
Partner $10,000 - $24,999
Champion $25,000 and above


2021 Letter from TRA PAC Chair

June 2021

Members of the Texas restaurant community: 

I’m writing as the Chairman of the Texas Restaurant Association Political Action Committee (TRA PAC) to update you on our advocacy progress and to encourage you to remain engaged as our critical work continues. We’ve had an incredibly successful year and a half when it comes to restaurant advocacy, but now more than ever we must maintain our momentum. 

Thanks to the leadership of Emily, Kelsey, and our entire TRA team, we had a terrific legislative session that ended this past Memorial Day. As the enclosed flyer highlights, we passed six of our eight priority bills, passed another 13 bills that will strengthen Texas’ business climate, and ended the session with a 100% success rate at blocking bills we opposed because they would hinder restaurants’ recovery from the pandemic. And all of this took place while the Texas Legislature was preoccupied with many different priorities and, as a result, passed several hundred fewer bills than they typically pass. 

While we have much to celebrate, many challenges and opportunities remain on the horizon. Governor Abbott has already indicated that we will have two special legislative sessions in 2021. Also, the next campaign cycle has begun, and it’s promising to be more competitive than Texas has seen in many years. At the same time, our work in Washington, D.C. is heating up once again as we advocate for a replenishment of the RRF, immigration reform, and pro-growth taxation policies. And of course, there are always issues popping up at the local level that can derail your business. 

For all of these reasons, we cannot rest on our laurels. Our advocacy work must be an enduring commitment at the local, state, and federal levels. 

The TRA PAC plays a critical role in this work, pooling our industry’s non-corporate funds together to make a bigger impact in state elections. A group of industry leaders serve as PAC trustees, screening candidates so the PAC contributes to a diverse group who champion restaurant growth. I’m proud to say that during our last cycle of giving, the TRA PAC contributed to 35 elected officials — none of whom lost their election. Combined with our other advocacy work, TRA PAC contributions undoubtedly help us create and strengthen the relationships we need to succeed at the Texas Capitol. 

If you have not contributed to TRA PAC this year, I strongly encourage you to sign up today so we can recognize you at TRA Marketplace this July. You can set up monthly, recurring contributions by contacting Ben Knorr at Recurring contributions help the TRA PAC to plan and manage cash flow, which is critical with the cyclical nature of elections. They also divide your contribution into smaller, more manageable installments. Alternatively, you can make a one-time contribution online here. Please remember that state law prevents the PAC from accepting corporate funds. 

If the past 16 months have taught us anything, it’s that advocacy must be a central tenet of everything we do as an association and as an industry. Please help us build on our record of success for the Texas restaurant industry by contributing to the TRA PAC today. 

Thank you for your consideration, and for your engagement with TRA. If you have any questions, please reach out to me or our PAC Treasurer, Kelsey Erickson Streufert. 

John Gessner 
Chairman, Texas Restaurant Association Political Action Committee