5 min read

A Q&A with Brother Anthony Cristo About Running for Congress in Texas and How Lambda Chi Helped Prepare Him

Photos courtesy of Anthony Cristo, a Scoring Director for Pearson Education Assessment.

Brother Anthony Cristo is running for Congress in Texas’s 15th District.

Cristo was initiated in 1991 to the Phi Upsilon chapter at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he studied history. While at UTSA, he served as the High Rho of his chapter. He graduated later from the University of Incarnate Word of San Antonio in 2002 with a degree in communication arts and theatre.

We caught up with him to learn more about what he has been up to since college, why he decided to enter politics and what being a member of Lambda Chi Alpha means to him. 

IHQ: Tell us about yourself. What have you been up to since college? 

AC:  I am a Scoring Director for Pearson Education Assessment. What that means is I oversee the scoring of various state standardized tests and a few national exams. These are the tests used by states to assess the educational production of their educational system or colleges to assess college applicants. Usually this pertains to scoring essays. However, I have worn many hats since I joined Lambda Chi Alpha in 1990. I was a seminarian for the Archdiocese of San Antonio in 1993 studying to be a Roman Catholic priest. I was a disc jockey and production director for KIKY radio station in 1994. I was general manager for Diversions Gamerooms of San Antonio from 1995 to 2000. I returned to school from 2000 to 2002. From 2003 to 2004, I worked as a Cancer Information Specialist for the American Cancer Society. I started working at Pearson part time in 2004, while I also worked in Hollywood and Austin on major motion pictures and TV shows (IMDb profile). Finally, I took time from 2007 to 2011 to help with OIF and OEF  as an 8404 Navy Reserve Corpsman.

IHQ: When did you decide to run for Congress and why? What do you hope to accomplish if you win the seat, and even if you don’t? What platforms are you running on?

Brother Anthony Cristo is running as a libertarian candidate for Congress in Texas’s 15th District. One of his goals is to put an end to the two-party rule in the United States.

AC: I never wanted to be in politics. I only decided to run for Congress in November of 2017 because I wanted to do something more than (gripe) about our current political climate on social media,. That is why I decided to run as a Libertarian. The main reason why I chose to run is to put an end to the Two Party Rule in America. Currently, we are experiencing multiple government shutdowns because the two sides are too busy arguing and simply not listening to each other. They both have some pretty good ideas. They both also have some pretty bad ideas. The key is hearing each other out without prejudging what they are about to say and go from there. Even if I don’t win, I hope I make a strong enough showing at the polls to make the two main parties realize that most Americans are sick of their petty bickering and want someone who will listen. 

If elected, my main focus will be to fix our current educational system. Having directed the scoring of various state standardized tests since 2004, I have seen the downward digression of our educational standards. No Child Left Behind was intended to help more students pass. More students are passing, but the quality of their education is way lower than it used to be. My father was an adjunct professor at a community college in San Antonio. His job was to teach reading to high school graduates wanting to go to college who couldn’t read. You would be shocked at the number of students who graduate high school who can not do basic math and analytical reading. A hundred years ago, only 30 percent of the U.S. population had a high school diploma. However, in order to earn that diploma, you needed to know reading, writing, arithmetic, science, history and have a basic knowledge of Latin and Greek (the basic foundation of the English language). Today, we have students graduating high school with AP classes under their belt who don’t know the Cherokee were a real Native American tribe.

IHQ: Why Texas?

AC: I was born in San Antonio and raised in Kirby, TX. I have lived in other parts of the country so my life experiences are not limited to where I grew up. I have lived in Santa Fe, Seattle, Austin and Los Angeles. My wife and I currently reside in Cibolo, Texas. I travel around the country for my job. 

IHQ: What advice do you have for current undergraduates or fellow alumni who may be interested in going into politics? 

Set partisan politics aside and do what’s best for your people. You may not be the most popular member of your party, but you will be a more effective leader to those who elected you.

IHQ: In what ways did Lambda Chi Alpha help you get to where you are? In what ways did its values help shape you into the man you are today?

AC: Lambda Chi Alpha helped me to be able to open up to others and hear others out. Our chapter was a diverse mix of ethnic backgrounds. Everyone of us thought of each other as genuine brothers and keep in touch to this day. I think the fact that our exemplar is Jesus Christ speaks volumes. He did not care who you were, he reached out to everyone. That is what I try to do. I am just as comfortable sitting with a celebrity and eating lunch as I am sitting with a homeless person sharing a two-for-one meal deal at a fast food restaurant. 

IHQ: What does it mean to you to be a Lambda Chi?

AC: Being a Lambda Chi means being there for others and giving of yourself. Whenever I leave a city at the end of a job, I take my left over canned goods to the local food bank. On days when lunch is provided for me, I use my per diem to buy pizza or some other sharable food for the homeless. Finding ways to help others, especially those less fortunate, is what brotherhood is all about.

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