Who is Alex Kuehler? If you asked him, he’d respond in a classic Texan manner and say the most important things in his life are “family, friends, football and faith” - in that precise order. Although the natural course of his life has taken him through several unexpected adventures nationwide, Alex is a Texan through and through. Even when traversing the country as an aide for prolific politicians or hustling for a leading public affairs firm in Washington, D.C., the Lonestar State has always been the end goal for the self-starter.
For Alex, it all began in College Station, Texas - the home of his father’s alma mater and the first place his newlywed parents settled down following a serendipitous meeting at Yellowstone in 1991. It was in Aggieland that the seeds were planted and Alex’s love for everything Texas and Texas A&M would start to flourish. From that point on, Texas would always feel like home - even years later when his family said goodbye to rolling plains and rural stars in exchange for presidential homes and the Chesapeake Bay.
“I was raised with maroon blood, and I was brainwashed from an early age,” says Alex, with a chuckle. “Eventually, we moved to Virginia when we were in grade school. I don't think my brother or I ever got tired of telling our friends we were born Texans and that eventually when we could we would be going back.”
Influenced by his mom’s strong opinions and habit of keeping the news on, Alex developed a knack for politics from an early age. As soon as 6th grade, he was debating policy and social issues with his family - although they often agreed. When it finally came time to achieve his lifelong dream of attending Texas A&M and deciding on a major, like most young people Alex wasn’t definite about what his future looked like. But, one thing was for sure, politics had to be part of the equation.
“I was interested in politics, I always had been. And so, it was just a natural fit for me to continue studying it and learning more about it,” says Alex. “It was something I felt I had a good pulse on, so I went that route frankly not knowing what was around that corner job-wise or what I would do with it afterward.”
Four years later, Alex had a fresh political science degree in hand and college tailgates in his rearview mirror. Before diving into the “real world,” he adopted his parents’ lifelong advice to “go to the wild” and learn the meaning of hard work as a ranch hand in Wyoming. What followed after summer’s end was a flurry of exploits that jump-started his career in politics, assisting big names in securing big wins as a political director. Campaign trails and patriotic dreams steered him through Austin as well as Missouri, Florida, Indiana and beyond, leaving behind landslide victories for every officeholder he bolstered. What Alex truly hoped for, though, was to eventually make it to the big leagues.
“The mystique of the capitol in D.C. had always attracted me,” says Alex. “I had family who lived in the region, so I’d been there a few times. Growing up in Virginia, I was able to go visit D.C. a few times on field trips and things, so there was certainly always an interest in mind to possibly get there one day.”
In the controlled chaos of the capital, Alex continued to perfect his talent for persuasion and communication and landed the position of legislative correspondent to Congressman Bill Flores. Eventually, he translated his skills to a public affairs firm, Firehouse Strategies, where he worked with corporate clients on making noise about niche issues. Despite constant excitement, the luster of the capital began to fade, and the comfort of southern hospitality came calling.
“Someone once told me that if there’s ever a day where you walk past the United States Capitol and it doesn’t give you the same sense of wonder that it did when you first got there, then that’s the day that you know you should probably leave,” says Alex. “Wildly enough, I walked past it - I would walk past it almost every day - and almost every time it would make me step back and be thankful for the country that we have and what I had in D.C. … and there was just a day where I was like ‘no, I think I’m ready to go.’”
For the last time, Alex packed up his bags and headed home. In Austin, he traded posh fundraisers where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Paul Ryan for something that felt more familiar. He secured a respected position at The Monument Group, a local public affairs firm that prides itself on being “expert communicators” and “fluent in Texan.” From day one, Alex had made a solemn commitment to return to Texas, and as a gentleman, his word is as good as his bond.
“Our ancestors were conquerors of the frontier, and that spirit lives on,” says Alex. “Texans are friendly and welcoming and prideful for sure. We love where we come from. You also know that there is no BS when you meet someone from here. There's a certain trust people immediately feel when they meet a Texan - that their word is something you can count on.”
Alex’s love for Texas transcends the abstract and is translated into the clothes he wears, like the Texas Guayabera in Benavides and the Standard Short Sleeve in Nolan. As an experienced traveler, he knows better than anyone that “Texas is Texas.” The difference is evident not only in the quality of people but also in the devotion to making things that last.
“There are a lot of brands that have popped up over the years that I've liked. I've enjoyed their marketing and the way they brand it for men, but I think Texas Standard one: has the Texas influence, which I love, but two: actually has the quality,” says Alex. “The first time that I took the shirt out and wore it, I was really impressed. I love the collars. The collars stay and they don’t wrinkle and it looks like a dress shirt from the first wash to last.”
Life is a little less hectic since relocating back to his roots, but in typical fashion, Alex still keeps himself busy. In between launching two burgeoning football blogs with his brother (“Biscuits and SEC” and “The Junction Blog”) and launching a real estate business, there is more than one reason to stay right where he is.
“I plan to be in Texas for the long haul. Since graduating from A&M in 2014, I've been all around the country working in politics from Florida to Missouri to Washington, D.C. I'm glad to be back in Texas and plan to plant my feet here,” says Alex. “I don't see myself leaving anytime soon.”