Texas House District 94Members of the Texas House Appropriations Committee have faced constant criticism for last year's budget, which included deep cuts in public education, higher education and human services.Some constituents complain that the cuts were too severe; others say legislators didn't go far enough in trimming the "fat."Appropriations Committee member Diane Patrick, who is seeking her fourth term to House District 94, had the challenge of closing a $27 billion budget shortfall while remaining committed to not raising taxes and not raiding the state's rainy-day fund.Patrick, a former schoolteacher, said she's proud that she fought to restore more than $5 billion to public education funding after the original bill called for a $10 billion reduction.Her other priority was to secure funding for the nursing school at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she was a faculty member.Patrick, 66, whose district includes most of Arlington, Dalworthington Gardens and Pantego, also takes pride in authoring an anti-bullying bill last session and continues to work on community colleges' developmental education programs for students who need additional help to be successful in the classroom and in the workforce.Patrick's primary opponent is Trina Lanza, a nurse practitioner whose campaign focuses on generalities of less federal government intervention, a return to constitutional principles and a reduction in spending without raising taxes.The state is likely to face another tough budget in the 2013 legislative session. This is not a time for inexperienced politicians with more slogans than solutions.The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Diane Patrick in the Republican primary for Texas House District 94.Texas House District 93The Republican field for state representative in District 93 is underwhelming in terms of deep knowledge about key issues that the Legislature will face next year or inspiring proposals for dealing with them.But Rep. Barbara Nash, 67, a former Arlington City Council and school board member, has the advantage of having held elective office and having been involved in a tough 2011 session in Austin.Nash is a member of the committees on insurance and pensions, investments and financial services, so she's been through briefings on the Affordable Care Act's potential impact on Texas and discussions about fiscal issues that will require attention in 2013.Nash, who works in real estate investments, said she has never voted to raise taxes and "we won't raise taxes in Texas until every penny is counted."District 93 has been redrawn to include Haltom City, Haslet, parts of Fort Worth and a swath of Arlington to the Six Flags Mall area.Matt Krause, 31, grew up in San Antonio, left Texas for college and law school, then moved to Tarrant County in 2007.His campaign seeks to "bring the Texas Capitol back to the people" -- as though state government hasn't been in GOP control for years.Krause lives in far north Fort Worth and is a lawyer for Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit that files lawsuits involving religious and pro-life issues.He advocates zero-based budgeting over the sunset review process to weed out inefficient state agencies and wants to revamp pension plans for public employees.He also advocates spending education dollars more efficiently and effectively but said in a recent phone interview that he hadn't yet talked with superintendents in District 93.Pat Carlson, 63, of Fort Worth, a former Texas Eagle Forum president, is a familiar advocate in Austin, but on a narrow range of issues. She didn't, for instance, follow what happened with education in the last session, though the challenges of 2013 will stem directly from lawmakers not adequately addressing school funding then.The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Barbara Nash in the Republican primary for Texas House District 93.