The Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center was decked out in red, white, and blue at The University of Texas at Dallas as local pastor and businessman Ryan Binkley announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election.

The Dallas Express and a crowd of more than 1,000 supporters were at the university campus on Sunday to hear Binkley’s announcement.

Binkley is the pastor of Create Church in Richardson. He is also the president and CEO of Generational Group, which focuses on business consultancy, mergers and acquisitions, and wealth advisory for business owners.

He told the crowd that the number one word describing America is “divided” and claimed that America would become unified under his leadership.

He calls his leadership “The Way to Freedom,” adding that it is time for America to believe and unite together again to create a brighter future.

“I’m running because God placed our country in my heart in a really strong manner. … He wants to unify our country and bring a message of freedom to every people group in our nation in a different manner than we do today,” Binkley told The Dallas Express following the announcement.

One of the first issues he would tackle as president is the federal budget.

“I want to balance the budget. It’s something we haven’t done in over thirty years, and we need to be able to have a budget that works for our country,” Binkley said. “We’re about $32 trillion in debt; 8% of our budget is paying the interest on that debt, and so we have to get our budget in line.

“And we have to do it prudently. We need a lot of care, and it’s going to need bipartisan leadership,” Binkley continued.

Binkley also addressed his concerns about the U.S. military. Although its armed forces are among the most technologically advanced and strongest in the world, the military is failing to meet recruitment goals.

In 2022, the Army fell short of its goal by 15,000 soldiers. That is a 25% shortfall, according to ArmyTimes.

The Army, Navy, and Air Force expect to fall thousands short of their recruiting goals in 2023, according to

Binkley told The Dallas Express that he believes young people want to be a part of something, but “woke” policies are unappealing.

“I believe that when young people see a nation that is caring for others and giving back to others, that they want to be a part of it all the more. I think our message from our defense perspective is that we need to be up there championing the message of liberty, but we need to be doing [it] in a diplomatic way,” said Binkley.

“Our message needs to be that we’re bringing security, peace, … strength, and success everywhere we go, and I think a lot of young people want to be a part of that. The woke policies are keeping a lot of people from that.

“We would correct that. We would bring common sense back in our military,” Binkley said.

Binkley is just one of several Republicans running in the 2024 presidential election. The crowded field includes former President Donald Trump, who is favored to win the Republican nomination, and Nikki Haley, the first female governor of South Carolina in 2010 and U.S. ambassador to the U.N. during the Trump administration.

Larry Elder, a conservative talk radio show host who ran for governor of California, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson have also thrown their hats in the ring.

Binkley told The Dallas Express that it is time to believe again.

“Let’s believe in God, let’s trust in each other, let’s believe in the greatness of America. I think if we can believe again, it can be contagious,” said Binkley.