WHARTON, TX - Remember Debra Medina? She jumped into the Texas governor's race back in 2010 and held her own against long-timers Kay Bailey Hutchison and Mr. Oops! himself, Rick Perry.
Medina ended up getting nearly 20% of the vote that year and her star was on the rise. But after a failed run for Comptroller four years later, the self-proclaimed Constitutionalist seemed to disappear.
Where'd she go? Out to pasture-- literally. She, along with husband Noe, refocused her life on farming her ranch in Wharton.
Most mornings, you'll find her tending to chickens or herding goats. It's about as far from the politics as you can imagine... or maybe not.
"We attest to our political ideology in everything that we do," she says, "And you can look at my life and understand what my political beliefs are. I believe in small government, I believe in individual responsibility, I believe in taking care of yourself and your family... and being an integral part of your community."
This month, Medina opened a bistro and market in the heart of downtown Wharton called Provisions. "I grew up farming. I've always gardened. I've always processed chickens," she says, "always prepared dinner, seven days a week for my family."
And that's what she hopes to do now for the Wharton community-- bring what she's learned about food and nutrition on the farm and as a nurse, to heal and nourish her neighbors.
"Maybe the answer to the ailments that they have aren't found in a supplement or a bottle, but they're found in real food, cooked in a traditional way, so that the nutrient that's in that food is available to your body," she explains. "Something that, I say, nourishes the body and the soul."
Visitors can also purchase locally sourced products, from seasonal fruits and veggies to bug-repelling essential oils. Even soap made of milk gathered from Debra's own goats.
For more on Debra Medina, pick up a copy of this month's Houstonia.