Madrid Taxi Driver to Texas Congressional Campaign Manager: Thomas Beach, LI’s Graduate of the Week

Thomas Beach packed his bags and left his beloved Alabama for a new opportunity in the Lone Star State: managing a congressional campaign for James Kuiken in Texas’ 15th district.

“My main focus is on the Republican primary election in March and using what I learned about the science of campaigning at the Leadership Institute to win,” Thomas explained. This campaign is his fifth.

On his first political campaign, Thomas explained, “I was full of spit and fire, and thought I knew what it took…We won 16% of the vote. I had no experience and no training at the time, but I poured my heart and soul into that campaign.”

After his candidate lost, Thomas wanted to understand why. “In my search for answers,” he said, “I discovered the Leadership Institute. Afterward, I helped on various campaigns and organizations, and now I am in Texas fighting for the conservative cause.”

Thomas was raised by his Mexican mother and Jewish father. After several tours as a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger, he traveled the world by way of various jobs: Madrid taxi driver; English teacher in Brazil and Mexico; and fisherman in South Korea.

As Thomas’ international perspective grew, so did his conviction that liberty is the only solution. “I witnessed firsthand the results of centralized governments and their progressive policies,” Thomas recounted.

So began his involvement in the public policy process.

Thomas returned to the United States with his wife, a native of Brazil, and they now have a two-year-old daughter. “I went to school at the University of Alabama for a degree in political science,” Thomas said, “and entered the political ring to fight bare-knuckled for the conservative cause.”

Thomas first came to the Leadership Institute’s Steven P.J. Wood Building in Arlington, VA in December 2010 for several LI trainings: the week-long Campaign Management School; the Blogging Workshop; and the Public Speaking Workshop.

But that wasn’t enough. He wanted more.

Two months later, Thomas attended the Conservative Career Workshop; the Public Speaking Workshop for a second time; the On-Camera Television Workshop; and LI’s High-Dollar Fundraising School.

Within six months, Thomas was back. This time, for the week-long, intensive Future Candidate School and LI’s Online Fundraising Workshop.

“I would highly encourage folks to go to LI training if they’ve never been,” Thomas said.  “It’s a great place to network with fellow conservatives and learn exactly what it takes to win elections...Plus, there is a dorm which helps on keeping the cost of staying in the Washington, D.C. area down.”

Thomas said, “For anyone who has plenty of experience and assumes that they will not learn anything new, I encourage them to put their pride in check and take notes. You will learn something new. For anyone who is new to the conservative fight, take notes till your fingers bleed. Write down every word and then go home and type it all on your computer. Yes, do it exactly that way. Taking any course and stuffing the handouts in a closet till the next election cycle does not help the conservative cause.”

LI now offers campaign training like Thomas took every month. LI’s next week-long, intensive training is the Future Candidate School the week of December 5.  Come get trained. Register here.

To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate you know to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at