Local

Nov. 4 preview: Legislative races

Here’s a look at the contested local legislative races:

State Senator, District 9

Republican Kelly Hancock (i)

Age: 50

Occupation and/or main source of income: Small Business Owner

City of your residence: North Richland Hills, Texas

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: kelly@kellyhancock.com; www.kellyhancock.com; 817-899-0892

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: 14 year leader in Bible Study Fellowship; Northeast Leadership Foundation; Birdville ISD Education Foundation; Numerous Chamber Organizations

Past public offices you have run for or held: Birdville Independent School District School Board- President; Texas State Representative- House District 91; Texas State Senate- Senate District 9

Why are you the best candidate for this office? Growing up, starting my own family and building a business in this community, I know the challenges and opportunities facing our region. From my service on the Birdville ISD school board and three terms in the Texas House of Representatives, I have a proven record of common-sense conservative voting and working for Senate District 9. Our district deserves a Texas State Senator who will make faith and family a priority, be fiscally responsible with their money, and understand that less government mean greater prosperity. These are all core principles that I stand by and will work to defend.

What are your top issues? The Texas economy has weathered the recession far better than the rest of the nation. We have added 900,000 jobs beyond what was needed to replace jobs lost during the recent recession. With this prosperity comes the responsibility to maintain our fiscal discipline by setting priorities and limiting government spending. While more money will be available, thanks to our robust economy, just like Texas families, our state government needs to prioritize and save. We must be responsible with taxpayer money, focus on priorities like good schools, water and roads and otherwise limit government excess to encourage jobs and private sector investment.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I believe voters have a chance to decide every election cycle whether their candidates are doing the job they were elected to do. This is a way of setting term limits. If they voters are happy with the job their elected officials are doing, they can re-elect them. If the situation is opposite, they get to vote against them and elect new representatives to office. This is why participating in elections is so important.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? I was recently appointed to the Legislative Committee to Review the Texas Lottery and the Texas Lottery Commission. Through this committee we will be evaluating this exact question. It will be important to figure out if the Texas Lottery is providing money in the areas that it was created to support, like public education.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? No.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? If you look at states who allow gambling, when hard times hit, these states fall the hardest. This is not a reliable revenue source for a state. Additionally, areas with casino gambling often experience increases in crime and human trafficking which in turn require more state resources to curtail the occurring crime.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? Protecting our border should be a top priority for both the state and federal government. I strongly support using the Texas National Guard when necessary to provide intelligence and support state and local law enforcement along the 2,000 mile Texas-Mexico border. I support the Texas DPS and their border-related Ranger Recon units working against drug cartels and transnational gangs. While there are issues that we cannot affect through state policy alone, there are areas where Texas can act. For example, instead of just sending criminals who have crossed our borders and are committing crimes here in Texas back to their country of origin, we need to ensure that these criminals are being punished for the crimes they are committing. Texas needs to make sure our laws are fully enforced and we may need to strengthen penalties to deter criminal activity.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? Yes, I believe every human life is precious and deserves a chance. With support from both parties, the Texas Legislature limited abortions after five month of pregnancy to cases of saving the life or preventing irreversible physical impairment to the mother, or to babies with severe fetal abnormality. To improve women’s health and safety, we put abortion facilities on the same regulatory footing as ambulatory surgical centers, those performing procedures such as cataract surgery, cosmetic surgery or colonoscopies. To help guard against medical emergencies for the mother or child, the doctors performing abortions at those facilities require admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? With our state's population expected to increase from approximately 26 million to 46.3 million by 2060, it is crucial that we take the necessary steps to ensure Texas’ transportation, water and energy infrastructure can accommodate this growth while keeping Texas an attractive place to live, work and raise a family. Specifically to North Texas, where we all spend hours a day sitting in traffic, transportation infrastructure is especially important. Through Proposition 1, on the November 2014 ballot, the state will be able to provide an estimated $1.7 billion transportation dollars annually with no new taxes and no new fees. And Prop. 1 funds cannot be used for new toll roads. Another huge step would be to stop all diversions from the highway fund. Most importantly though, the legislature needs to make transportation funding a priority when allocating money through the regular budget process and we can do so without raising your taxes.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? I believe the Texas Legislature, not the courts, are responsible for and should be in control of state public school funding. Unlike Washington and the federal budget, Texas cannot run budget deficits. Lawmakers must and do prioritize public education funding within available state revenue, as we did in 2011 and 2013. As the father of three public school students and a former school board president, I believe the solution lies not simply in how we finance our schools, but also how the money is being used. Efficiency and effectiveness is key. While the state has continued to finance education at a higher and higher level, student performance has remained relatively flat. If everyone involved would actually put the student first, ahead of politics, labor interests and bureaucracy, we can make great strides in reforming and improving public education in Texas.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? Yes, I have and will continue to support our Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

Democrat Gregory R. Perry

Age67

Occupation and/or main source of income: Retired Federal Hydraulic Engineer

City of your residence: North Richland Hills, Texas

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: Phone : 817-908-3071; email : GRPerryForSenate9@Gmail.com; website : txsen9gregoryperrycampaign.com

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Since 2008 I have been actively involved in the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association as full time Webmaster, and, after retiring again in 2010, Chapter President.

Past public offices you have run for or held: None

Why are you the best candidate for this office? I will work for better government, better schools, better management of resources, and a better life for future generations. I believe that governments purpose is to protect everybody's life, liberty and property. I don't understand why anyone would want less protection for those thing. I also believe that governments should be run by people who stand that government has a critical purpose to fulfill, and want that purpose to be achieved.

What are your top issues? Better government is a necessary first step to obtaining, better schools, better management of resources, and a better life for future generations. A government managed by people who wish to prove that government does not work, will not work. Better government and a respect for equality under the law lead to a better future for all.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? It may be my fancy, but I expect my terms will be self limiting. I believe an educated electorate should determine the term limits individually for each office seeker.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? As with many other revenue programs, the Texas lottery has been diverted from its original purpose, and should be reformed or ended.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? Sounds like something else I am not going to participate in. Everybody takes risks. Professional gambling is a foolish risk, and is prone to generate problems with graft and corruption.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? Professional gambling is a foolish risk, and is prone to generate problems with graft and corruption.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? Stop hyperventilating, and treat it as a problem, rather than an opportunity to stir up rancor and dissension within the electorate.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? No. I believe the Texas Legislature “threw out the baby with the bath water”, or more politely, they did a lot more harm than good.

What are your priorities for improving Texas’ infrastructure? Water, education, health care, public services and transportation.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? I agree that the school funding plans passed in 2011 was an egregious and clumsy attempt to destroy the public school system, and the 2013 plan did little to repair the damage.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? Training and skill in the use of firearms has been a great advantage to the United States in our wars. It is an advantage we should not sacrifice to the irresponsible and deluded among us who choose to roam our streets in gangs with semi-automatic weapons to no good purpose. (Open carry – Yes; Wandering bands of heavily armed ignoramuses – No.)

State Senator, District 10:

Republican Konni Burton

Age: 51

Occupation and/or main source of income: former outside sales representative for Olmsted-Kirk Paper Company, former wedding consultant/small business owner, now full time mom and political activist.

City of your residence: Colleyville, Texas

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: www.konniburton.com/contact

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Many years of work with The Gladney Center for Adoption in Ft. Worth; Became active in GOP Tarrant County politics in the mid 2000’s after becoming concerned with out of control spending and the erosion of American’s personal liberties.

Past public offices you have run for or held: n/a

Why are you the best candidate for this office? I use the Constitution of Texas and of the United States as my guide. My principles point me to smaller government, lower taxes, and fiscal responsibility. I want your family to have the freedom to spend more of its own money, and for government to spend tax revenue more responsibly. I am a 30 year resident of SD 10, supporter of the Second Amendment, and will fight to secure our border.

What are your top issues? Implementing zero-based budgeting in the Legislature; Ending budget diversions, including those that hinder transportation development; Ending corporate subsidies in Texas. The Legislature should not pick winners and losers; Securing the border and solving the humanitarian crisis there; Lowering property taxes.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I believe that term limits encourage more people to get involved in the political process. I want being elected to office to be about public service, not having a career on the taxpayer dime. I would support measures to enforce term limits on Texas elected officials.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? The lottery is basically a transfer of money from individuals who can usually afford it least to the government. It was also sold as tool to pay for education which it barely effects. I would oppose any attempt to expand the lottery, and look closely at proposals to eliminate it all together.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? No. It is not the responsibility of the Legislature to expand gambling to suit the bottom line of select business in Texas.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? am opposed to casino gambling in Texas. The tax benefits supposedly provided by casino gambling are rarely realized, and require an avalanche of new laws, regulations, and often leads to an increase in crime. Taxpayer bailouts of casinos have occurred in other areas of the country as well.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? he Federal Government has utterly failed to reverse the problems of illegal immigration, drug trafficking, human trafficking, sex trafficking, and crime on our border with Mexico. Texas must step up when the Federal Government refuses to. As Senator I will vote to provide the resources our forces on the border need to tackle the growing crisis. The Texas Legislature should also be sure to bill the Federal Government for the costs we incur performing their duties.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? Yes. I support the right to life and have been endorsed by Texas Right to Life. As the mother of two adopted daughters, protecting the unborn is a top priority for me.

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? First and foremost we must end budget diversions of taxpayer dollars, like the gas tax, that ends up funding other areas of the budget and not transportation. Increasing infrastructure spending should be coupled with long-term reform that means money we pay in for roads ends up paying for road expansion and upkeep.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? The Legislature dealt with revenue estimates during the recession which turned out to be wrong. Due to our Constitutional requirement to balance the budget, cuts were made, including to education. Ultimately most of those funds were returned when revenues were higher than expected. I do not support cuts to education that hurt classroom teachers and their ability to innovate. I do, however, support reform measure to ensure less money is spent on administration, and more on classrooms.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? Yes. Open carry is the law in many other states where it is not controversial. I am a concealed handgun license holder and intend to remain so.

Democrat Libby Willis

Age: 55

Occupation and/or main source of income: community volunteer and redevelopment consultant

City of your residence: Fort Worth

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: Libbyfortexassenate.org; 817-523-1320; info@libbyfortexassenate.org

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Former President, Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods; Former President, Oakhurst Neighborhood Association; Tarrant County Public Health MAPP Steering Committee; Fort Worth ISD District Advisory Committee; Carter-Riverside High School Site based Management team; Member, Central Area Council, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce; Appointee to downtown TIF Board; Downtown Fort Worth Inc., Urban Design Committee; Community Investment Division Cabinet, United Way of Fort Worth and Tarrant County; Junior League of Fort Worth; Broadway Baptist Church

Past public offices you have run for or held: None

Why are you the best candidate for this office? I am a problem solver. Our population is growing rapidly and our state faces enormous challenges, from how to fund our public schools to how to build water projects that confront our severe drought. I will listen to our community, and work together with Democrats and Republicans to get things done.

What are your top issues? Improving our public schools, our water and transportation infrastructure, and growing our economy.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I believe that voters should decide who they want to represent them.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? Right now, the Texas lottery is an important revenue source for Texas public schools. Unless and until we find alternative funding sources for education, we should continue to keep the Texas lottery.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? I do not support additional expansion of gambling in Texas. Historical racing is basically slot machines. Expanding gambling could lead to increases in crime and predatory practices that target middle and low income Texans and problem gamblers. Revenue from gambling is an unreliable funding stream for our priorities like education, water and transportation.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? I do not support additional expansion of gambling in Texas. Expanding gambling could lead to increases in crime and predatory practices that target middle and low income Texans and problem gamblers. Revenue from gambling is an unreliable funding stream for our priorities like education, water and transportation.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? We have a failed federal immigration policy and it’s clear that our Texas members of Congress need to help get something done. First, I believe anyone smuggling drugs, trafficking humans, or committing violence should be held accountable. We need to make sure that our border patrol and border law enforcement agencies have the resources and support they need to do their jobs. With regard to the flood of children crossing the border, we face a humanitarian crisis and we should make sure that the asylum process is expedited so communities and children don’t have to live in limbo. We should also make sure that businesses utilize background checks that verify citizenship.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? Personal health care decisions like the termination of pregnancy or personal reproductive health care decisions should be made by the individuals concerned and their physicians within the context of their religious beliefs. People should not have the government looking over their shoulders in such personal matters.

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? With North Texas still in severe drought conditions, we must secure our water supplies. I support the legislature’s use of the Rainy Day Fund to support the Texas water plan, which was approved by 77% of Tarrant County voters in 2013. I also support the transportation measure on the ballot this November, which will provide additional funding for road projects.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? I strongly oppose the Legislature’s decision to cut over $5 billion from our public schools in 2011. What this means is that our schools are cutting teachers, increasing class sizes, and delaying purchases of new equipment and materials which all dramatically affect our students’ ability to succeed in school. While I’m glad that the Legislature was able to restore some of the cuts in 2013, we didn’t do nearly enough. I will work in the Senate to make sure that our schools have the resources they need so that teachers are free to teach and students are free to learn.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? I am a supporter of the second amendment and I believe we should enforce existing gun laws already on the books. I believe that people should use common sense about where they openly carry a gun. Individuals, businesses and places like the Arlington City Council chamber and domestic violence shelters should be free to set their own rules on when or if guns are allowed.

Libertarian Gene Lord

Age: 54

Occupation and/or main source of income: Disabled. Former instructor at Hill College in Drafting and Design.

City of your residence: Fort Worth

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: 682.472.5282 or gene@votegenelord.com

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Volunteered at several food banks and soup kitchens.

Past public offices you have run for or held: None

Why are you the best candidate for this office? Nonpartisan, open minded, accessible, and problem solver.

What are your top issues? Border control, spending, and following the constitution.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Yes

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? I believe the lottery should stay in place only if the money made from it is used to fund the programs it was intentionally setup to do.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? I feel that gambling should be legal in Texas, which includes horse and dog racing, but I would want rules put in place to make sure of the humane treatment of these racing animals.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? With 1000’s of people leaving Texas to gamble at casinos in surrounding states both during the week and on the weekend, it only makes sense to allow gambling in Texas and keep all that money in state.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? Stop the welfare status mentality. When there is no incentive to come to America illegally, then there will no longer be a border problem.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? The government should stay out of bedrooms and empower people to make the correct choices for them and the situation they are in.

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? I am in favor of toll roads only if they are built without eminent domain and you do not take a paid for road and turn it into a toll road that is managed by politically influential foreign corporations.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts?

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? Yes.

Green Party John Tunmire

Age: 60

Occupation and/or main source of income: Real Estate Broker

City of your residence: Fort Worth

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: (817)501-1867 , john.tunmire@gmail.com, www.tunmire.info

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Member of Commercial Board of Adjustment, previous member of Residential Board of Adjustment

Past public offices you have run for or held: Ran for Fort Worth City Council 2013.

Why are you the best candidate for this office? Yes, I support the people not the party.

What are your top issues? Legalization of cannabis for medical use.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I will only accept one term as State Senator, I also strongly believe in term limits.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? Get rid of the Lottery

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? Yes

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? I agree that's it would be an alternate funding for public school programs.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? Legalization of Cannabis will help end the drug war which is causing the migration from the southern countries.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? I agree that abortion needs to come to an end. But, still be used when necessary to same the woman's life or terminated a severely deformed fetus,

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? All highways and roads need to be pay for use. All fuel, road and highway taxes need to come to an end.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? No, school funding should not be based on property taxes. Increase in sales tax to be evenly distributed to all schools. Communities should be able to increase sales taxes to supplement their schools.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? Yes, open carry by licensed, and background verified individual only. Would be a crime deterrent.

State Representative, District 91

Republican Stephanie Klick (i)

Age: 58

Occupation and/or main source of income: Registered Nurse

City of your residence: Fort Worth

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: Stephanie@StephanieKlick.com; www.StephanieKlick.com; 817.381.6467

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: My family moved to HD 91 when I was 4 years old. I attended school in Birdville ISD and later St. John the Apostle Catholic School, both in HD 91. As a teenager I was a candy striper at North Hills Medical Center, formerly known as Glenview Hospital, where I developed a passion for nursing. I attended TCU and upon graduation, began my Nursing career in HD 91. Elected to represent HD 91 in 2012. Elected as Chairman of the Tarrant County GOP in 2005 and was re-elected 3 times. Active the NE Tarrant Chamber of Commerce and numerous civic organizations in HD 91. As a freshman legislator was elected to Chair the Tarrant County Legislative Delegation

Past public offices you have run for or held: Previously elected by Republican Primary Voter as the Chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party and served in that post for 6 years.

Why are you the best candidate for this office? One of the largest items in the state budget is healthcare related spending. Few members of the legislature have any expertise in healthcare. I have that expertise. The voters in HD 91 are conservative. Ranked 17th most conservative Texas House member by Dr. Mark Jones at Rice University.

What are your top issues? Reducing Medicaid and Food Stamp fraud; Keeping Texas growing & competitive; Making sure tax dollars are spent in a fiscally responsible and transparent way; Addressing our states transportation needs

Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? The best term limits, are elections.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? Revenue to the state from the Texas Lottery has declined. I look forward to reading the report and recommendations of the Texas House Committee currently reviewing the Lottery.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? The technology used for historical racing is very similar to that of slot machines, which are not currently permitted in Texas. I believe the elected members of the Legislature, not the Texas Racing Commission is the proper place to debate this issue.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? I do not support casino gambling in Texas.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? Our federal government has failed to protect our borders. I support the Governor ordering a surge of DPS and National Guard members in the region. During the next legislative session we will need to review the effectiveness of Operation Strong Safety and develop additional strategies to keep Texans safe.

Additionally we need to look at the plight of Brooks County who is near bankruptcy from bearing the cost of illegal immigration. Even though this county is 70 miles north of the border, it is a crossing point for those entering the country illegally.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? The increased safety standards we passed last session will protect the health of women undergoing procedure, and end the practice of late term abortion in Texas.

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? Texas is a rapidly growing state in need of Transportation infrastructure. We need to look at ending diversions of fuel taxes to fund non- transportation related programs. We need a fiscal review of Texas Department of Transportation to determine if more dollars can be identified for transportation with additional efficiencies. In the DFW area we have reached the saturation point for toll roads, we need to reduce our reliance on tolls to fund roads. Water is also a continuing concern. Last session we passed legislation that the voters approved to address our water infrastructure needs. We will need to monitor the effects of this legislation and determine if additional strategies are needed to provide reliable sources of water for our state.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? I was not in the legislature in 2011 when we had a serious budget shortfall and there were many areas of the budget that were cut. I supported restoring funds last session.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? Texas currently allows open carry of long guns and black powder handguns. I support open carry.

Democrat David L. Ragan

Age: 78

Occupation and/or main source of income: Retired Bell Helicopter buyer. Currently, real estate broker

City of your residence: Richalnd Hills

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: 817-991-1747 (cell)

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Twenty years of service with city of Richland Hills; six years as councilman and 14 years as mayor; served five years on Fort Worth Transportation Authority, last year as chair.

Past public offices you have run for or held: See above

Why are you the best candidate for this office? I will work to serve my district, Tarrant County, and state of Texas, and will take a stand on issues.

What are your top issues? Education, transportation, water, veterans, energy, business/economy, health care and immigration.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I do not believe in term limits. ... You have term limits every time you have an election. I would serve as long as I feel I can make a difference.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? Keep lottery and expand if income all goes to education.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? Yes

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? It would bring in more funds to the state of Texas.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? the children need to be cared for and protected until they can be sent to family or until they can be processed and returned to their family in a safe manner.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? I support Wendy Davis’ position on this matter.

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? TxDot needs funds to keep up the roads and highways in existence, plus funds for future to update bridges and build new free roads and highways.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? Funds taken out of education should be returned to the education funds. I support the needed funds to ensure Texas children get the education to meet their future. I say yes to kids, community and future. It is good for Texas, now and in the future. In my District 91, I support BISD 2014 bond proposal.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? I do not think that is needed.

Libertarian Felecia Whatley Did not respond to questionnaire

State Representative, District 92

Republican Jonathan Stickland (i)

Age: 31

Occupation and/or main source of income: Oil and Gas Consultant

City of your residence: Bedford

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: 817-437-9184 or votestickland@gmail.com

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: HEB Chamber, First Baptist Hurst

Past public offices you have run for or held: State Representative District 92

Why are you the best candidate for this office? Consistent principles and hard working

What are your top issues? Protecting our rights, education, and infrastructure

Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? No, I am not seeking to limit the number of terms I would serve. Yes, I do believe there should be term limits

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? Kill

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks?

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas?

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? We should end free benefits for illegals and secure the border

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? yes

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? We should dedicate the new car sales tax revenue to transportation. Passing Prop 1 is a good first step.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? NO

Democrat Tina Penney

Age: 69

Occupation: Retired; work part-time in family business

City of residence: Bedford

Best way for voters to reach you: Website: www.tinapenney.com; Facebook: Tina Penney for State Representative TX HD 92; campaign Phone: 682-738-6186; email: admin@tinapenney.com

Highlights of current and past civic involvement: Grassroots activist; Past United Way volunteer

Past public offices you have run for or held: Precinct chairperson

Why are you the best candidate for this office? My experience includes many years of working with people having differing views in order to reach a mutually acceptable solution; working with projects/programs and issues similar to those facing the Legislature; and developing and managing a multi-million dollar budget. I will represent the residents of HD 92 with fairness, caring and common sense rather than with an extremist ideology subscribed to by a vocal few. I will work with all parties and fight to resolve the real issues facing the people of this district and state: superior, adequately funded public education in order to give our young people the opportunity to succeed in the 21st families; and working to resolve our transportation challenges, to name a few. I am an outstanding listener and will pay attention to the concerns of all of my constituents in proposing and voting on legislation.

What are your top issues? Of all of the issues that are important to me, the most important is adequately funded public education. Public education is the foundation upon which our democracy has been built. Adequate funding will enable our public schools to successfully address their many challenges and, ultimately, meet the objective of graduating students who have the skills and abilities to become productive, contributing members of our communities. The issue of a growing water shortage has, largely, flown under the radar. It is imperative that we continue to build on the work of the 83d Legislature to ensure that all of our communities have access to a safe and sufficient water supply. Affordable, accessible health care will ensure the health and safety of all residents as well as assisting businesses in meeting their goals by enabling employees and their families to remain healthy. Ensuring that workers earn a living wage will reduce the need for dependence on taxpayer funded programs, such as food stamps, housing assistance and will stimulate the economy by providing those workers with the resources to purchase additional consumer goods and services. Addressing transportation, including infrastructure, for the needs of a growing state population.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I do plan to limit the number of terms I will serve. While the concept of mandatory term limits does have some appeal, in reality, there is probably not a legislative body anywhere that would vote to enact them! Having said that, the best way to limit terms served is through well informed voters exercising that responsibility!

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas Lottery? As long as the lottery brings in revenue, I would vote to keep it.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? I have no problem with allowing it but, hopefully, it will be regulated and taxed by the state, with the resulting revenue being used to fund public education and infrastructure projects.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? I’m not opposed as long as it is properly regulated and taxed, with the revenue used to benefit public school and infrastructure programs.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? I’m not so sure that there actually is a border crisis. Are we in need of comprehensive immigration reform? Absolutely. But this must be addressed by the federal government and, if it is “lagging,” the voters and legislators of Texas must continue to communicate the urgency of addressing the need to the federal government...until, finally, it is done. If, by “crisis,” we’re referring to the recent influx of Central American children, that was a humanitarian crisis addressed in a humane and compassionate way, as it should have been, and as befits the tradition of our country, in accordance with federal legislation designed to address this need.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature adn now being fought in the courts? No. If the true purpose of this legislation was, as professed by proponents, the protection of the health and safety of women, it would not have resulted in the shuttering of so many health clinics that provided basic health services and screenings to women who lack the means and resources of accessing those health care services anywhere else.

What are your priorities for improving Texas’ infrastructure? Ensuring a safe, clean and sufficient water supply for all Texas’ communities is at the top of my infrastructure list, as clean, safe water is necessary for life. My next priority is the repair, maintenance and upgrading of our roads and bridges. My next priority is the development/expansion of public transportation.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? No. This battle has been going on for far too long. Clearly, public education has not really been a priority or an equitable funding plan would have been approved and implemented long ago. The $5.4 billion cut in 2011 only bears witness to the priority given to public education. The $3.9 billion partial restoration of funds in 2013 was insufficient to restore the jobs and programs cut in 2011 and failed to address the continuing growth of the school-aged population. Our children are our most valuable resource and providing them with the resources for a quality public education is the key to the future of Texas.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? If a person has a licensed firearm and has qualified for a license to carry that firearm, I guess that I would rather be aware that they are carrying that firearm. I do not, however, believe that any open carry legislation should include assault weapons or automatic weapons.

State Representative, District 94:

Republican Tony Tinderholt

Age: 44

Occupation and/or main source of income: Retired Military after 21 years of service and current Director of Training & Recruiting EMG

City of your residence: Arlington, TX

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: Tony@TonyTinderholt.com and TonyTinderholt.com

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: volunteer with Spirit of Hope, providing Christmas to over 180 children from the Boys and Girls Club in Arlington, TX and Catholic Charities in Fort Worth, volunteer with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and St. Jude Medical Center. Tony’s wife is on the Arlington Police Foundation board. Tony and his family attend St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church in Southwest Arlington.

Past public offices you have run for or held: N/A

Why are you the best candidate for this office? I am an honest, integrity driven individual who has a proven track record in performance when it comes to serving the people and their interest. District 94 is a very conservative district. I am a true conservative with values that reflect my district. The people in District 94 are pro-life, they want their representative to secure the border, protect their rights (specifically 2nd amendment), they want a quality education for their children and a balanced transparent budget. I successfully managed a budget of over $836 million for two consecutive years while in the military so I understand the value of fiscal discipline.

What are your top issues? The following are what people told me were their priorities while I was knocking thousands of doors in the district, that is why they are my top priorities: 1. Securing our border. 2. Protection of the sanctity of life — Pro Life Legislation. 3. A transparent budget that is driven by prioritizing infrastructure and our states needs. 4. Protecting citizens 2nd Amendment rights. 5. Education: ensure that teacher pensions are safe, they earned them, and working to provide the best education for our children while ensuring that we attract the best qualified teachers in the Nation. We must stop unfunded mandates for local school districts and give them more local control of their funding.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? My constituents elected me to serve their interest and that is what I will do. I am not opposed to the argument of term limits and welcome its discussion.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? End this program.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? No

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? The voters have made it clear by continuing to elect leaders who oppose the expansion of gambling in Texas. Constituents in District 94 have spoken, they do not want casino gambling or the problems that casinos bring.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? We must work to secure our border. I support the moves that Governor Perry has made in recent weeks to protect Texans. In the absence of Federal intervention, we must act quickly to secure our borders. Immediate steps we can take include: ending incentives illegals are receiving, impose penalties for employers that do not use eVerify, end “sanctuary city” policies and direct local law enforcement across Texas to determine whether detainees are legal and if not then report them.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? Yes. I support the protection of the sanctity of life!

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? The top priorities for infrastructure this session will certainly be water, transportation and education. Each of these are a priority and need to be properly funded, however; once funded we must not divert funds from them to support other projects. We owe the taxpayers simple transparency when using their tax dollars. Hiding, diverting and moving funds around must stop, the taxpayers deserve better than that. I look forward to working with my colleagues to determine efficient ways to improve spending.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? School funding is a very complex issue but I believe that most people would agree that you cannot tie the quality of education to the amount of money spent. After discussions with AISD’s Superintendant, local educators and taxpayers, we need to spend our time talking about how to give our school districts more local control, stop unfunded mandates and get more dollars spent in the classroom. These things will lead to better education.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? Yes

Democrat Cole Ballweg

Age 36

Occupation and/or main source of income: Co-founder of Vivicare Health Partners, a company that provides home nursing for medically fragile children

City of your residence: Arlington

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: www.votecoleballweg.com; Cole Ballweg, cole@votecoleballweg.com; Becky Cowan, Campaign Manager, 817-909-6798, becky@votecoleballweg.com

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I am new to politics, and have never run for office before. I have worked with several local charities and nonprofits, and currently serve as Vice-Chairman for Camp Summit, an experience camp for people with special needs.

Past public offices you have run for or held: None

Why are you the best candidate for this office? I am a pro-business Democrat and small business owner who will take a pragmatic approach to the opportunities and challenges facing our State and our community. I will work with both parties to get things done and stay out of partisan squabbles. My opponent is a hardline Tea Party member who has taken extreme positions on many issues. He is a strong advocate of Open Carry Tarrant County’s efforts to force guns into hospitals, schools, and churches, he believes the answer to the immigration problem is shooting people as they cross the border, and he believes the state should force women who have been the victims of rape or incest to take their pregnancy to term. The people of HD94 are more concerned with strong public schools, drivable roads, and good jobs.

What are your top issues? Public education, transportation, job and wage growth, water supply, and equal pay for equal work.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I am not a professional politician and do not wish to become one. I am a business owner and view running for office as a form of community service and not a career. I am against term limits as a law, as I believe that voters should have the power to hire and fire their representatives as they see fit. We can better change the dynamic in our elections with campaign finance reform and a redrawing of districts to create more open, competitive races.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? As long as it raises more money than it costs we should keep it. We cannot eliminate the lottery without thoughtful plans to replace the hundreds of millions of dollars that it generates for public education. If people enjoy buying a ticket then I am all for raising some money for schools in the process.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? I view this as an issue of personal liberty. People can choose whether or not to participate in gambling.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? Again, we should not interfere with a citizen’s right to gamble if they so choose. With proper zoning laws we could potentially keep Texas tax dollars from going to Oklahoma or Louisiana without disrupting communities.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? We are a nation of laws and those laws must be followed. It is imperative that we have a secure border, but to get there, we need the 6-figure politicians in D.C. to get to work and update our antiquated immigration laws. Under a market-based system we could allow those coming here for open jobs to cross legally, which would free our Border Patrol agents to focus on catching bad guys. As for the recent surge of migrant children (which has slowed considerably), we should work with our Central American neighbors to make sure parents are not being misinformed by cartels looking to charge $7,000 to bring kids on a dangerous journey. We should also increase the number of advocates and judges in the area so processing takes days rather than months. The border must be secure, but Texas cannot be expected to foot the bill. When my opponent and others advocate for Texas to go it alone they need to explain where they will get the money to pay for billions of dollars in increased costs. Moreover, though we may disagree on the proper solution to this issue, I emphatically oppose my opponent’s position that the only way to solve this issue is to shoot people as they cross the border.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? I support the 20-week ban, however,I do not support the provisions that courts have deemed which create an undue burden on women.

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? We barely raise enough money to maintain the infrastructure we have, so any additional roads, bridges or other projects will require more funding. Proposition 1 is a good start and people should vote for it, but it doesn’t completely solve the problem. We have been paying for new projects on the State’s credit card, and we would create new revenue if we paid off that debt and avoided the interest expense. With over 1 million people coming to DFW in the next 10 years we must plan ahead or we will all be stuck in gridlock.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? No. The funding cuts in 2011 have proven harmful, even devastating in some schools. Thousands of Texas teachers lost their jobs and thousands of elementary school children were crammed into overcrowded classrooms. While the 2013 budget replaced some of the lost resources, we still haven’t found the best way to adequately and fairly fund Texas schools. There is no better investment than preparing kids for the jobs of tomorrow, and we must stop prioritizing tax breaks for corporations over educating children.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? Whether you want to carry a gun concealed or on your hip like Wyatt Earp is not my primary concern. In states that allow open carry, very few people choose to exercise the right because they know they will be the first target for an assailant. My priority is to make sure violent criminals or the mentally ill cannot easily obtain a gun from an unlicensed seller without a background check. I would vote for open carry legislation that included the closing of loopholes in our background check system.

Libertarian Robert Harris Did not respond to questionnaire

State Representative, District 95

Republican Albert G. McDaniel

Age: 60

Occupation and/or main source of income: Professional Engineer, Licensed P.E. in Texas

City of your residence: Fort Worth

Best way for voters to reach you: Cell: 817-705-6344; Email: Campaign@AGMforTexas.com; website: www.AGMforTexas.com

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Champion of Hope 2013 Nominee by Global Genes | RARE Project

Past public offices you have run for or held: None

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Requiring Representatives to run every 2 years is counterproductive to the citizens. Instead of being able to devote energies to serving their constituents, State Representatives are forced to be constantly campaigning. I propose 4 year terms with limits of no more than 12 years total served. If I am elected, I will not serve more than 4 years.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? Kill lottery

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? Yes

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? Undecided but open to hearing both sides.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? Since the federal government is shirking its 1 sacred duty, Texas must close the border.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? Yes. I will not be wearing bloody tennis shoes when I meet my maker. I am horrified that democrats would chant “Hail satan” while Republicans sang Amazing Grace in our Capitol.

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? I’m an Engineer. My emphasis is to maximize function without erecting barriers. Ditches, speed bumps and curbs blocking public streets should be illegal. I oppose toll roads. HOV lanes are a tremendous waste of concrete. A pad of limestone to treat underlying clay only guarantees future road repairs. Improvements to water, sewer, electrical and other utilities all need to be monitored and designed by engineers to ensure maximum benefit, but not by lawyers & bureaucrats. I have learned during my many years as an engineer that traditional methods and procedures become routine, allowing technological improvements to be ignored. Professional organizations such as ASCE, ASME, TSPE, SPE and others should be utilized to ensure optimal design.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? Not familiar / don’t know.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? Yes.

Democrat Nicole Collier (i) Did not respond to questionnaire

State Representative, District 96

Republican Bill Zedler (i)

Age: 71

Source of income: investments

City of residence: Arlington

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: 817-478-7295, bill@billzedler.net, www.billzedler.org

Highlights of your past or current civic involvement: I am currently a member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, the Mansfield Chamber of Commerce, the Kennedale Chamber of Commerce, The Crowley Chamber of Commerce, and the Burleson Chamber of Commerce. I am also a member of the Arlington Kawana's club as well as the Arlington Rotary club. For more than 20 years I served on the board Park Springs Bible Church. In the 80's I was on the active board of the Arlington-Mansfield Pregnancy Center and I currently serve on the advisory board.

Past public offices that you have run for or held: precinct chair and state representative.

Why are you the best candidate for the office? I have a proven record for doing what I said I would do.

What are your top issues? Secure the border, eliminate sanctuary cities and other magnets that attract illegal immigrants to come here. Support “zero based” budgeting. Support a Constitutional amendment to limit the growth of government to population plus inflation. Reduce or eliminate unfunded mandates to our schools. Finally, eliminate diversions from the highway transportation funding and dedicate a percentage of the sales tax from cars and trucks to fund highways.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve and do you believe that there should be term limits for the office you seek? I have no problem with limiting the terms of the members of the state legislature. However currently I believe the average term for state reps is about 4 to 6 years

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas Lottery? When you consider that the evidence shows that the Texas lottery is a very regressive form of taxation, I believe that we should consider killing the Texas lottery. The evidence shows that the majority of the lottery tickets were sold in the poorest neighborhoods. The evidence shows that the poor have a tendency to spend a larger percentage of their income on lottery ticket sales than people in other Income levels. There needs to be a study to determine if there is an increase in social service costs in those areas where we have an increase in lottery ticket sales.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? When horse racing was initially passed in the state, we were told that the state would receive $100 million in revenue. In fact, the most revenue that the state has ever received was a little over 10 million. Now many of the race tracks indicate they need additional help in order to survive. I oppose any expansion of gambling.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? The evidence shows that for every one dollar that the state would gain from income from the casino gambling they would spend three in increased social service cost. Every state that has implemented casino gambling is in worse financial condition than we are. This year several casinos have closed in New Jersey. For this reason I oppose casino gambling in Texas.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? The state of Texas should increase funding for technology in order to secure the border. This should include drones and other surveillance technology. Furthermore we should address policies that act as magnets to those that violate our immigration law. There should be negative consequences to cities and counties that offer sanctuary status to those that violate our immigration laws. State agencies should be required to give a estimate of what illegal immigration cost the state every year, and that report should be made to the state legislature as well as the citizens of the State of Texas.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the legislature and now being fought in the courts? The abortion law passed by the legislature this last session ends abortions on healthy babies after the fifth month of pregnancy; requires abortion facilities to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgery centers; and requires doctors to have admitting privileges in the hospital in a 30 mile vicinity of the clinic. I was a co-author of the bill.

What are your priorities for improving Texas infrastructure? Best thing we can do to improve the Texas infrastructure is to increase the DEDICATED funds going to the highway construction. This can be done by requiring a greater percentage of the sales tax from the sale of automobiles and trucks to go to highway construction. Furthermore, we should eliminate diversions from the highway fund.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? Evidence shows that there is little correlation between higher public school funding and academic achievement. The greatest thing that we can do to improve academic achievement is to reduce or eliminate unfunded mandates and implement policies that encourage school choice. Furthermore, we should promote access to technical schools for those who do not want to go to college.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? All the evidence shows that 95% of the mass shootings happens in gun free zones. The more restrictive the the gun laws, the greater the violence. As gun rights are enhanced violence goes down. I will continue to work with the NRA and the Texas State Rifle Association to Increase gun rights in the state of Texas.

Libertarian Quinn Eaker

Age: 31

Occupation and/or main source of income: I am the founder and director of the most sustainable eco village in Texas “The Garden of Eden”

City of your residence: Arlington

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: Email is the best quinneaker@gmail.com text via phone is next best 817 992 4615 and website is intothegardenofeden.com

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I am responsible for feeding 40,000 free meals last year, likely more this year and less on a sliding scale for the past 5 years. I dedicate my self to humanitarian projects locally, nationally and in other countries as well. I feed the homeless, give free workshops on health, sustainability, relationships and more as well as proving a place for hundreds of people in need to live year around at The Garden of Eden (the most sustainable eco village in texas). This often consists of single mothers, people who have lost their job or are dealing with addiction. We not only help people get by in tough times but also educate people on a large spectrum of life skills that allow them to live a more responsible, empowered and abundant life in the world.

We save tens of thousands of lbs of trash from the landfill and compost, up cycle or re-use these materials to build a sustainable eco village that helps thousands of people. We do all this without any funding or negative impact on the environment. In truth we not only provide a healthy and sustainable life for those who live here but our life improves the entire eco system of the community around us regardless of if they participate or not.

This is a living breathing example of what a conscious and empowered individual can do for the world without any funding, political support or benefits. This is a very small scale project compared to what it could be with political and community support. The benefits of this life benefit all and harm none. This is VERY rare.

I have built community gardens or consulted in the building of community gardens all over the country and have been the part of empowering people to feed them selfs healthy sustainable food without dependency on others.

Every week I donate my time to helping those in need outside of The Garden of Eden in a wide variety of ways including consulting, building, feeding and just plain kindness like carrying stuff for a stranger or smiling and treating people with respect.

Past public offices you have run for or held: None

Why are you the best candidate for this office? I have not yet found a problem for which I have not also found a solution. I base my entire life, public and private on honor. I am put to the test every day and succeed every day in making my life and those in my life better each day.

What are your top issues? There are no small issues. We are far from now being "the land of the free”, a principal value upon which our country was founded and a key to this nation's great success. Freedom must again be the foundation of all our issues. Yet we are currently far from free. Every facet of our life is now highly regulated, taxed and licensed with thousands of statues and codes governing the minutiae of our daily lives, both public and private patters being subject. In all cases in history, when this level of governmental interference happens, the quality of life quickly deteriorates. This trend must end before our rich sovereign nation ends instead.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I believe in the best man for the job. From my point of view I have not seen a truly honorable, free and empowered candidate other than myself. If and when there one, I would want them in office until there was better. Unfortunately the political system is corrupt and many dishonorable folk secure office with money and keep it with money. Ideally, an honorable person would obtain and retain the position until a more capable person stepped up to fill the role, and there would be no need for term limits, because our officials would be living and serving with the highest degree of honor and integrity, whether that be serving in office or stepping down from it.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? The state lottery should be purely private free market business and nothing more.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? As long as the people want to use their free will choice to participate and animals are humanly treated then yes.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? It should be a free man’s choice to gamble or not gamble. Casino business should be highly regulated to be sure that they are operating an honest and fair business.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? Texas, as with all states, should stop free hand outs. It is all the free benefits of which the working people pay for that the people from over the border and within the border live upon. If everyone was responsible for maintaining and supporting their own life (as it should be) then people would work hard and live responsibly. Millions of people who are American citizens as well as no-citizens in this country live irresponsibly and live off of handouts. More handouts equal more irresponsibility. If over the border people contribute to a stronger economy then it is good for our county. If they were required to live responsibly then they WOULD contribute to our economy. A wise man once said “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. It would be wise for us to follow such wisdom.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? I believe in freedom. Every man and woman must be free to choose how to live ones life and be responsible for the consequences. We are all free to disagree with the choices of others, and to live as we see fit for ourselves as long as it does not trespass on another’s way of life. This principle needs to be the foundation for ALL laws.

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? This is one of the many places my ideas are revolutionary. Almost none realize this but one of the best ways to make money is to save money. Sustainability is the way of the future. Not just because it is the honorable choice but because it improves EVERY facet of life. If we begin to integrate sustainable practices into the infrastructure of our every operation as a state we will reap the rich fruits of this every day. We can improve our quality of life in every way with sustainable practices and I can PROVE this on the record. The opportunity is ripe to revolutionize the way we live and enter a Golden Age of which has not yet been seen.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? I do not support the way the public education system works. The public education system needs a HUGE overhaul. Legislature is constantly playing around with cosmetic changes and not addressing the real issues.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? Freedom is what this country was founded upon and the reason for which we as a nation rose to such great success so quickly. The right to bear arms is an essential part of a Nation of people living free and this must not only be allowed but supported. The open carry movement is about a lot more than guns. It is about being free and responsible. Responsibility is the key to freedom. Anyone who is irresponsible with fire arms must be held accountable and is responsible with fire arms must be honored with freedom.

State Representative, District 97

Republican Craig Goldman (i)

Age: 45

Occupation and/or main source of income: Real Estate Investor

City of your residence: Fort Worth

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: 817-996-7003 cell phone, email is craig@craiggoldman.org and website is www.craiggoldman.org

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Past Member on the Founding Board of Tarrant County College Foundation, Past Board Member of the Women’s Center of Tarrant County.

Past public offices you have run for or held: 1 term - State Representative, HD-97 (2012-2014)

Why are you the best candidate for this office? After having served my first session in the Texas State House, I believe my office staff and I have gained incredible knowledge through our extensive outreach efforts within the district. By engaging in constructive dialogue with community members and local officials I have been able to represent the interests of District 97 constituents. In the upcoming 84th legislative session, I am committed to continuing the fight to keep taxes low, reduce government spending and minimize our State government's invasive regulatory authority to better improve the lives of all our citizens.

What are your top issues? I believe the top issue heading into next session is going to be to establish 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. 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.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Our State Constitution provides the best type of term limits: a re-election ever two years. The great thing about Texas and our Country is that it is designed to encourage participation, whether that be through seeking elected office, or motivating voters at the grassroots level to support an initiative or a candidate. If I am doing a poor job, my constituents will and should vote me out. There is an accountability system in place when voters have the authority to determine the future of their representative's service; the same cannot be said for term limits. If an elected official operates with the understanding they will be term limited out, regardless of how well they represent their constituency, there becomes no repercussion for what they vote for. I have seen firsthand how 'term limits' on State House and Senate members have actually cost States enormous sums of money . I witnessed term limited members vote for the largest tax increase in Florida’s history to avoid returning for a special session.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? There is an interim select committee that has been appointed to study the answer to that very question. After their extensive look at the benefits and drawbacks of the State lottery, I am looking forward to reviewing their report. With that said however, I am most certainly against expanding the Texas lottery.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? Yes.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? I do not think we need casino gambling in Texas. I recognize many believe we are losing a lucrative revenue source when Texans travel to neighboring states to gambling, but I do not believe the risk is worth the reward. A state that is dependent on a constant revenue stream from social venues such as casinos only creates further economic stability. Casinos should not be considered as revenue source that can provide guaranteed continual funding for any future budgetary. Some states have legalized casino gambling as a solution for their budget shortfalls and failed miserably, leaving their state worse off than before.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? We can no longer deny that President Obama and his Administration have refused to recognize or address the growing threats on our Southern borders. Border security is ultimately a federal issue, but when the safety and security of our Texas citizens are in jeopardy I believe that Texas, as an independent state, should do everything it can, with the resources available, to protect our citizens and prevent further crossings of illegal aliens into our state. I support the Department of Public Safety and Governor Rick Perry's efforts to deploy Texas National Guard troops to the border to assist in increasing security measures.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? Yes, I voted in favor of the bill and stand 100% behind that vote.

What are your priorities for improving Texas’ infrastructure? Bottom line is we have to find more funding to improve our infrastructure. As I stated previously, I believe it is going to be our top priority this session. It has been the most discussed issue with other members and with my constituents in the interim.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? I am passionate about the importance of providing sound, quality education to our Texas children, and I recognize that a good education is the foundation for success in future endeavors. However, I am disturbed greatly by the constant and continual outcry for more money, no matter what the cost. The first day I held office, I asked my staff to show me the data that proves more money meant better test scores. The data we received showed that over a 10 year period of time, when money was flush and people had to tighten their belts a bit, test scores remained the same. I will support an increase in education funding that demonstrates the money is distributed in an equitable manner and directed to the most important room on a school campus, the classroom. I cannot, with good conscious, support funding measures that go towards fulfilling another superfluous administrative position. Ten years ago the administrative to teacher personnel ratio was 1:1, today that ratio is 11:1 and the cry for increased funding has never been louder. Directing money to the classroom for resources and materials that foster the minds of our children and supports the efforts of our teachers is the kind of funding initiatives that I will support.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? Yes it should.

Libertarian Rod Wingo

Age: 66

Occupation and/or main source of income: Air Conditioning Contractor

City of your residence: Fort Worth

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: www.rodwingo.com

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: running for office

Past public offices you have run for or held: (Unsuccessfully ran for) state representative of district 90 & 97

Why are you the best candidate for this office? Less Taxes & Less Government

What are your top issues? Cut Taxes and Cut Government

Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Yes

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? Keep the lottery but have better odds

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? Yes

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? I am for it

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? Since this is a Federal responsibility, our US Representatives and Senators should work to secure the border

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? No, abortion should be a private manner

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? Using the tax that Texas already collects, toll roads, and for profit train systems.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? No, public education is a failure. We should use vouchers for private schools

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? Yes

State Representative, District 101

Democrat Chris Turner (i)

Age:41

Occupation and/or main source of income: Communications Consultant; Campaign Manager, Wendy R. Davis for Governor

City of your residence: Grand Prairie

Best way for voters to reach you via phone, email or website: Phone: 817-561-4900; Email: chris@votechristurner.com; Website: www.votechristurner.com; Twitter: @chrisgturner; Facebook: facebook.com/RepChrisTurner

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: State Representative, 2009-11, 2013-present

Past public offices you have run for or held: State Representative, House District 96 (2009-2011); State Representative, House District 101 (2013-present)

Why are you the best candidate for this office? I am running to expand educational opportunities for all Texans, improve access to affordable healthcare and increase economic opportunity in our community. My first priority is and always will be to be responsive to the people I was elected to represent. This has been evident during my time in office and I am proud of my record of getting things done for our community.

What are your top issues? Ensuring that families have access to quality public education, affordable healthcare and good paying jobs.

Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I apply for this job every two years and the voters ultimately get to decide who will represent them, which is why I do not believe term-limits are necessary.

Should the state keep, kill or expand the Texas lottery? The Texas Lottery contributes over $1 billion each year to our state’s public schools, and since 2010, has contributed nearly $40 million to programs that aid veterans and their families. If the lottery ceases to exist, we will have to find new funding sources for education, which isn’t adequately funded in the first place.

Should Texas allow historical racing at horse and dog tracks? I am open to discussion, but I believe it is an issue that the Legislature should have the ability to address.

What do you think about casino gambling in Texas? I support allowing limited casinos with voter approval.

What should Texas do regarding the border crisis? Texas leaders need to listen to those who serve our border communities – sheriffs, mayors and business leaders – who know how to address the issues unique to their communities. Further, Congress should pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Do you agree with the abortion law passed last year by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? I do not support the law, as it restricts access to healthcare, including preventative and basic healthcare for thousands of women across this state. This law was not passed to protect the health of women, this law was passed to close facilities and hinder the ability of women to receive safe, legal abortions.

What are your priorities for improving Texas' infrastructure? With respect to water, infusing $2 billion to fund our water needs was an important first step, but this is a long-term process, and one that will need legislative oversight and participation for years to come. Regarding transportation, if passed by the voters in November, Proposition 1 will add over $1 billion in its first year to help fund transportation needs in our state. This is just a quarter of what TxDOT leaders say is needed to ensure that our roads are fully maintained and new roads are built. Locally, a major improvement to transportation infrastructure would be to create a comprehensive public transportation system for Arlington and Grand Prairie. This would allow people in our community to travel for employment, medical needs and school and would help spur economic development for our community.

Do you agree with the school funding plans passed in 2013 and 2011 by the Legislature and now being fought in the courts? Three years later, many school districts are still paying the price and feeling the pressure resulting from $5.4 billion in funding cuts. I was not serving in the Texas Legislature in 2011 when the cuts were made, but if I had been, I would have strongly opposed them. In 2013, House and Senate Democrats were able to successfully push for more funding for public education. As a result, funding increased by $3.4 billion. This was an improvement and sorely needed for districts across Texas, but more money is needed to help ensure children succeed. The system is flawed, which is why many of our local school districts are plaintiffs in the ongoing school finance lawsuit. With Judge Dietz’s recent decision that the finance system is unconstitutional, I anticipate the need for legislative action to develop a more equitable funding system for our districts and schools.

Should open carry be allowed in Texas? While I support Texas’ current concealed handgun laws and opposed so-called “campus carry” measures in the past, if changes to current gun laws are proposed in the Texas House, I will carefully evaluate the legislation and seek the input of local law enforcement officials.

Libertarian Carl Nulsen Did not respond to questionnaire

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