What’s your favorite place in Hays County?
Texas State University. I'm on the Board of Directors to the Alumni Association and I know it encompasses many great things about Hays County in one large space, whether you want to work there, go to school there, be entertained there, visit the San Marcos River there, pray, take a beautiful walk through campus or take a moment to sit and take in the beauty of Hays County, it can all be found at Texas State University.
What’s your history of supporting Democratic organizations prior to your run for office?
My history of supporting the Democratic party goes back decades. I recall being supportive of the party as far back as when I was in high school and worked for Bob Barton. More recently, I have been able to financially support the party and have done so. Please see the attached spreadsheet.
Have you ever donated and/or voted for a Republican? If so, why and to whom?
Please see the attached spreadsheet with my exhaustive contributions to Democratic causes and candidates. While it did not come up in this search for contributions, I recall giving my friend Tacie Zelhart a contribution when she ran for Hays County Court at Law. Originally, Tacie was promoted to run for County Court at Law by Democratic officeholder, Judge Howard S. Warner. Tacie and I became close friends and I, along with other Democrats, contributed to her campaign in honor of that friendship that began when she was promoted by Democrats.
How do you feel about abortion access? How will you support women on this issue?
Without question, the overturning of Roe v. Wade was wrong. We will support restoring access to safe and legal abortions in Texas for women. We will fight any attempt to restrict out-of-state travel for abortion. We will fight all attempts to legislate a person’s intentions for deciding to end a pregnancy. We will fight criminalizing health care providers or otherwise interfering with the doctor-patient relationship.
What is your biggest liability or weakness as a candidate, and what is your response to people who may hold that against you?
My biggest liability/weakness is that I am an average person who has overcome many obstacles in life.
The State of Texas was designed to be run by the wealthy. The base pay for a state representative is about $7200 per year. The average state representative was raised in a wealthy home that has interests in several businesses, like oil and gas, and can have a home paid for in cash by their families.
My grandparents were illiterate farm workers, my parents were farmworkers and I was raised in a home where we lived paycheck to paycheck. We could not afford college so I worked at night and went to Texas State University during the day. I worked my way through law school, as well. I suffered from alcoholism in my 20s. I started my own law practice with nothing. It's been a tough road.
I have overcome all of those obstacles to be recognized as a respected attorney in our community. I've been sober for over 17 years. My family and I are now in a financial position to give the working class families of Hays County one of their own to elect to represent them at the Capitol.
Why are you running for this office?
Hays County is in jeopardy.
Hays County continues to be one of the fastest growing counties in the country. Our current representative has strained relations with our local elected officials that affects our ability to get things done for Hays County. Despite spending the time, money, manpower and other resources to write and file dozens of bills in the 88th Legislative Session, our current representative was unable to get a single solo-authored bill passed into law.
It's time for change.
How will you ensure adequate funding and support for Texas public schools?
Our public school system continues to be attacked from all directions, whether through draining funds to fund a charter school system, connecting teacher pay to standardized testing results or through attempts to fund a voucher program.
The first step is to increase the basic allotment for our public schools. By increasing the basic allotment, we will increase teacher pay and increase resources for public school students. I will also fight any attempt to drain funds through funding charter schools and we will fight any attempt at a voucher program. We will advocate for increases in teacher pay and a cost of living adjustment for our retired teachers.
What are the largest unmet needs for district 45 and how will you as a single representative advocate for those needs?
The largest unmet need for District 45 is that our citizens do not feel their elected representative puts them first. We have spent countless hours walking neighborhoods, listening to the citizens of District 45. We have heard story after story from citizens and elected officials that their attempts to be heard by our current representative go unmet.
Upon being elected, we will immediately work to overhaul the constituent services of the office of the state representative for District 45. We will recruit the best team to serve the citizens of District 45 to allow them to be heard at the Capitol. By allowing our citizens and local elected to be heard, we will heal and restore the strained relationships with the office of the state representative for District 45.