For Tarrant County voters, the most important election this cycle is in Texas Senate District 10.
The District 10 senator speaks for Fort Worth and Arlington on the floor of the Senate. As one of only 31 votes in a chamber that requires a super-majority to consider any bill, the Tarrant County senator holds tremendous power.
For Republicans, Arlington business executive Tony Pompa and Fort Worth doctor Mark Shelton both present impressive records of hard work and dedication to the people of District 10, Pompa as a cost-cutting Arlington school trustee and Shelton as a two-term Texas House leader on both healthcare and education.
Pompa has support from Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck and state highway Commissioner Victor T. Vandergriff. Shelton has backing from Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson, a Kennedale resident.
Both have a record of defending conservative faith, life and children, Pompa in the demanding role of at-large trustee in a school district of 64,000 students and Shelton both as a pediatrician and in a board leadership role with the Lena Pope Home.
In many ways, Pompa represents the future of Texas’ Republican Party. He was born in Michoacán, Mexico, and brought to the U.S. at 11, went to college, founded a business assembling retail displays, became a citizen and now argues proudly for citizenship, free enterprise, entrepreneurship and values as the path to success.
His business fell behind paying some federal and county taxes during the Great Recession, but he caught up.
Shelton is one of the most well-rounded Republican leaders to emerge from Fort Worth. As a pediatric specialist at Cook Children’s Medical Center, he sees healthcare and Medicaid needs up-close and also the impact of federal immigration policy. As a House member on the Public Education Committee, he was among the first to argue for career education and other reforms that became House Bill 5.
He lost the last election narrowly to Davis. His background of growing up in Arlington and leadership in Fort Worth gives him an advantage over any Democrat this fall.
The race also includes three Colleyville Republicans.
Of the three, chiropractor Jon Schweitzer presents the most comprehensive positions on issues. Former City Council member Mark Skinner brings expertise in economic development.
Colleyville Republican Konni Burton, a former Tea Party Caucus advisor involved in raucous Tea Party protests in the Capitol last session, is trying to cut corners. She wants to go from the Senate gallery to the floor without demonstrating prior service to the community.
Of the two standout leaders, Shelton presents the longest and deepest record of loyalty and service in both Fort Worth and Arlington.
The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Mark Shelton in the Republican primary for Texas Senate, District 10.