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The race for Texas House District 97

State Rep. Craig Goldman wants to keep fighting for Texas House District 97.

The Fort Worth Republican said he believes he provides the conservative representation that voters want in southwest Tarrant County.

“I campaigned as, voted as, and am a Republican conservative and know that is what the people are looking for in their representative from this district,” said Goldman, 45, who was elected in 2012.

Libertarian Rod Wingo, 66, disagrees and believes that he offers voters a real alternative.

“I’m unhappy with the results the Democrats and Republicans have delivered, and that’s why I have decided to run for office myself as a Libertarian,” he posted on his campaign website.

The two face off Nov. 4 to determine who will represent the district, which includes Benbrook and Fort Worth neighborhoods such as the South Hulen corridor and Wedgwood and Candleridge.

At stake is a two-year term that pays $7,200 a year. Early voting runs from Monday to Oct. 31.

Goldman

Goldman, a real estate investor, is a former campaign strategist for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and adviser to Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas. He first ran for this seat in 2007 but wasn’t elected until 2012 after Rep. Mark Shelton left the district for an unsuccessful state Senate bid.

He said he believes the top legislative issue next year should be creating a “long-term funding solution for our state’s transportation and infrastructure system.”

“In order for Texas to continue to manage the substantial growth in population, we must create a funding solution that is capable of addressing current infrastructure and transportation needs yet is fiscally sound enough to construct and support long-term planning,” he said. “I will work to end diversions in transportation funding so the state and its taxpayers can count on the funds appropriated to be there through each biennium. We must work to find an effective solution to combat the congestion and overcrowding of our roads.”

Other priorities, he said, include finding a solution to school financing and border security.

Goldman raised $18,200 from July 1 to Sept. 25 and has nearly $97,000 on hand, according to the most recent campaign finance filings with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Wingo

Wingo, an air-conditioning contractor, lists on his campaign website that he has been a small-business owner for more than three decades.

He is a perennial Libertarian candidate in House District 97, having run at least in 2012, 2010, 2008 and 2006.

He said that his top issues are cutting taxes and government but that his priorities also include ending the war on drugs, providing relief for small businesses and finding “liberty for Latinos.”

“Although Republicans and Democrats often talk about freedom, they usually violate our freedoms and give us more rules and taxation instead,” he wrote on his campaign site. “I will support liberty on every issue. I hope you will help me change Texas for the better.”

Wingo has raised no money and has no cash on hand, according to a report with the ethics commission.

A CLOSER LOOK

Craig Goldman, Republican

Age: 45

Occupation: Real estate investor

Residence: Fort Worth

Contact: 817-996-7003 (cellphone); craig@craiggoldman.org (email); www.craiggoldman.org

Rod Wingo, Libertarian

Age: 66

Occupation: Air-conditioning contractor

Residence: Fort Worth

Contact: www.rodwingo.com

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