Tuesday, February 20, marks the beginning of early voting for March 6 primary elections.
The Star-Telegram Editorial Board has interviewed candidates in the most competitive local races and provided our recommendations.
You’ll find more information below and videos of our candidate forums here and on the Star-Telegram Facebook page under videos.
Congressional District 6- Republican J.K. Jake Ellzey
Ellzey has an impressive military record that indicates discipline and a commitment to service. His work with the Texas Veterans Commission has given him an understanding of that community's needs, and a desire to continue improving Veterans Affairs services. He has a strong presence and could distinguish himself among other representatives, drawing attention to priorities in the district.
Congressional District 6- Democrat Ruby Faye Woolridge
Woolridge has realistic proposals for tackling the budget-busting costs of Social Security. She impressed us as someone who rolls up her sleeves to find solutions. She has proactively met with rural landowners in the district who are concerned their property will be seized for a high speed rail line.
Texas Senate District 10- Democrat Beverly Powell
Powell has served as an elected trustee on the Burleson school board for the past 10 years and could hit the ground running if the legislature reforms education funding. She’s served on the Texas Wesleyan board of trustees for 17 years, has experience raising money for college scholarships and working with businesses to provide higher education opportunities.
Texas House District 98- Republican Giovanni Capriglioni
Capriglione has received criticism from some in his party for his support of retiring Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, but the relationship earned him committee assignments and leadership roles that have led to some important legislative victories. He co-authored and supported House Bill 21, which would have increased education funding by raising the per-student basic allotment and returning some $2 billion to school districts.
Texas House District 99- Republican Charlie Geren
Last session, Geren helped negotiate additional funding for colleges and universities, and he wants increased state spending for public schools next session. On immigration, he helped write the bill banning sanctuary cities, though he supports keeping in-state tuition for immigrants who graduated from Texas high schools. He would eliminate permit fees for gun licenses but wants owners to have background checks.
Tarrant Co. District Clerk- Republican Tom Wilder
Wilder’s behavior — along with some of his policy decisions — is troubling. But the county is building a new more sophisticated case management system for the district clerk, that will likely include enhanced Web access and search capability. Wilder is better prepared for overseeing that task.
Tarrant Co. Tax Assessor- Republican Rick Barnes
Barnes stood out for humbly acknowledging he would have a lot to learn, then saying how he’d get up to speed. He’d immediately meet with the county auditor to determine if all of the practices are above board or something needs to be fixed. And he’d “become part of the process” by spending time with department employees.