State Rep. Lon Burnam and local businessman Ramon Romero Jr. both think they know what’s best for Texas House District 90: Them.
The two Democrats are going head-to-head in the March 4 primary, each vying to be the one to represent the district in the Texas Legislature next year.
Burnam, who has represented District 90 since 1997, said he knows the issues that need to be addressed for this heavily Hispanic House district — and he knows how to do it.
Romero said he has served on countless city committees and commissions and believes he can better work with city leaders to improve the district.
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At issue is a two-year term that pays $7,200 a year to represent District 90, which includes several inner-city areas such as Worth Heights, Polytechnic Heights, Como, Edgewood and some portions of some Northside neighborhoods.
Early voting for the primary runs through Feb. 28.
Burnam is the dean of the Tarrant County delegation and 20th in seniority in the 150-member House.
Long considered one of the House’s most liberal members, the 60-year-old environmental advocate has forged a working relationship with GOP leaders and House members and has worked to help residents in his district address issues ranging from getting insurance to gaining government-issued photo IDs to vote.
“In the 17 years I have been a representative, I have learned how state government works and the best way to advocate for the interests of our people,” he said. “I know the issues, the people and the processes.
“I am the better candidate because this knowledge allows me to be effective, and also because I am doing this to serve. I am not trying to make a name for myself or flatter my ego or run for higher office, and I don’t feel entitled to this seat. I running because I care and because I think I can be the most effective person to help our people.”
Burnam’s most recent campaign finance report shows that he raised nearly $18,000 in January and has more than $70,000 in cash on hand.
If re-elected to the post, Burnam said his top priorities include pushing for better funding for public schools and better healthcare for Texans.
“I will also continue to add to the more than 15 healthcare workshops I have held in my district — half in English and half in Spanish — to help enroll people in health insurance,” he said. “A healthy, educated people are a thriving people.”
Romero, a 40-year-old Fort Worth native, has served as head of the city’s planning commission and as a member of several city committees, including the golf advisory committee, Zoning Commission and Air Quality Task Force Committee.
He made an unsuccessful bid to represent District 8 on the Fort Worth City Council 2012, losing in a runoff.
But the owner of A-Fast Coping Tile and Stone said he still wants to serve and give back to his community.
He said he’s running for this House district because he doesn’t see Burnam’s office and the city working together well “to solve some of the issues our community has.”
“I don’t believe Lon Burnam is connected to our community to the degree that he should be,” he said. “I can bring people together and do a better job than Lon Burnam has.”
Romero’s most recent campaign finance report shows that he raised $26,000 in January and has nearly $40,000 in cash on hand.
If elected, Romero said his priority would be education.
“It would be to focus on education and to look at it with a microscope and look at the things we are doing right and the things we are doing wrong,” he said. “In District 90, we have roughly one out of every two adults who don’t have a high school diploma. That has an effect on our economy and how much these people are going to make.”