Diane Patrick deserves House District 94 votes

02/12/2014 5:55 PM

02/19/2014 3:21 PM

By 2006, when Diane Patrick challenged an entrenched incumbent for the state representative seat in Arlington’s District 94, she had served 11 years on the Arlington school board, four as its president, and four years on the State Board of Education.

She had been active in her community since she and her husband, dentist Ned Patrick, moved there in 1973.

Now Patrick, 68, is the four-term incumbent facing a determined challenger in the March 4 Republican primary. Early voting is Tuesday through Feb. 28.

Tony Tinderholt, 43, retired last year after 21 years in the military, having served in the Air Force and, after 9-11, the Army. His Army service included a year of combat duty in Iraq.

Tinderholt says he and his wife give back to their community through volunteer work with Spirit of Hope, Catholic Charities, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and St. Jude Medical Center.

His military service is impressive, and the people of District 94 should be grateful to him and all the other men and women who have sacrificed so much and served their country so well.

That’s not the same as voting for Tinderholt as the person to represent District 94 in Austin.

Far and away, Patrick is the better person for that job. Her extensive experience in public office, meeting the needs of her constituents one-on-one and as a group and working with other members of the House to meet the needs of the state, makes her a valuable representative.

On his website, Tinderholt speaks about stopping overspending, securing the border, being pro-life, defending the Second Amendment and fighting Obamacare, all buzzwords to attract conservatives.

His only specific policy suggestion is a reference to private school vouchers.

Patrick, a lifelong educator, helped pass powerful, conservative education reforms last year. She’s vice chairwoman of the House Higher Education Committee, an influential leadership post where she can help look out for the interests of UT Arlington.

Her biggest challenge is voter complacency. Constituents know her and trust her. They must go vote for her.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Diane Patrick in the Republican primary for House District 94.

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