Central Austin Edition - June 2020


Private school guide 2020

Senate District 14 candidates discuss the issues ahead of July 14 election

Early voting for the Senate District 14 special election will begin June 29,then on Election Day July 14, Travis County and Bastrop County residents will have an opportunity to make their choice for the candidate they would like to see fill the seat of former state Sen. Kirk Watson at the Capitol.

Party: Republican Occupation: attorney Website: not available WALLER T. BURNS


SARAH ECKHARDT Party: Democrat Occupation: lawyer Website: www.saraheckhardt.com

Party: Libertarian Occupation: engineer, president, www.dpas-inc.com Website: www.logic14.org

The needs of the community haven’t changed. But, the needs and inequities of the community have certainly been amplified by the pandemic. The world is very different today than it was a few months ago. How has the pandemic changed the way you see the needs of the community?

I’m not too sure there are any different needs in respect to all of that unless the coronavirus stays around for the rest of the year. The federal government has done a tremendous job of helping everyone. Texas could do a little bit in helping financially, but the federal government has given an enormous amount of help.

Any honest candidate would admit that COVID-19 has changed things, but certain community needs have not changed. We remain a popular location for business and residential relocation, and the challenges of sustainable growth remain. Instead of corporate welfare incentives that put the tax burden on small businesses and individuals, I suggest free market sustainability.

What separates you from the rest of the candidates in the field and makes you the best choice for this position in the state Senate?

I’m 81 and running for the Texas Senate. I’m a fourth- generation Texan. My grandfather, Waller Thomas Burns, was a state senator from 1897-1901—the same position I’m running for, but a different district. He wrote the bill to buy the land to build the San Jacinto Monument in 1897. I decided, “If my grandfather can do it, here I go.”

Unlike my opponents, I am Libertarian. Like some of my opponents, I have a record of my actions in elected office. Unlike my opponents, I will let that record tell the story instead of making promises to special interest groups and offering an inflexible platform covering every issue. I am interviewing for a job and showing you my resume. My platform is one word: logic.

As commissioner and later chief executive of Travis County, I have negotiated 11 balanced budgets for a $1B organization. By population, Travis County is larger than eight U.S. states. Too often, legislators operate without knowing what happens to their bill after it leaves the building. I know how to fix the problem between sessions, but I’d rather fix the problem’s source.

Answers may have been edited for length. For full Q&A’s and a map of Senate District 14, visit communityimpact.com .

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