The Woodlands Edition | October 2020

CANDIDATE Q&A

2020 Voter Guide

Get to know the candidates running in the general election

COMPILED BY ANDREW CHRISTMAN & BEN THOMPSON

Democrat D

Green G

Independent I

Libertarian L

Republican R

Incumbent

Texas House of Representatives, District 15 Texas Senate, District 4

Occupation: small-busi- ness owner; Realtor Relevant experience: two terms in Texas Legislature; chairman of the Mighty Oaks Foundation board www.stevetothfortexas.com STEVE TOTH R

Occupation: lawyer Relevant experience: counsel at the Organization of American States, faculty at several university law centers, practicing attorney, volunteering www.lorenafortexas.com LORENA PEREZ MCGILL D

Occupation: attorney, small- business owner, rancher Relevant experience: incumbent; represented House District 16 from 2007-2014 www.brandoncreighton.com BRANDON CREIGHTON R

JAY STITTLEBURG

CAMERON BROCK

Occupation: oil and gas project manager and consultant Relevant experience:

Occupation: media; past experience as a chemical plant

operator Relevant experience: youth athletics coach

D

L

Iraq War veteran, Montgomery County Behavioral Health and Suicide Prevention Task Force member www.jaystittleburg.com

What are the top challenges now facing residents in your district, and how do you plan to address them?

What are the top challenges now facing residents in your district, and how do you plan to address them?

Underemployment/ unemployment; lack of access to health care; inadequate funding for public education. Bipartisanship is key; I will only file bills that have a Republican cosponsor. I will find ways to collect federal reimbursement dollars to address uncompensated health care and to properly fund public education to comply with the existing mandates and address our current needs.

The Woodlands is one of the top destinations in Texas for conventions, while it’s also home to many oil and gas companies. All businesses have been impacted by the pandemic but these two industries more than any. My office has worked hard to help families who lost jobs, and we will continue to work to revitalize the economic engine of House District 15.

Senate District 4 and the entire state are facing serious health care concerns and risks from COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis from shutdowns. Residents here want the same as everyone else in the state— they want to go to work, build a business, send their children to good schools and live in a safe community. And those challenges will be addressed in all of my legislative priorities next session.

Public education funding, property tax relief, health care and flooding are the top challenges. I intend to close loopholes in our tax laws that give billions of dollars in relief to corporations ... [and] to ensure longterm funding for [public education] and help reduce property tax burden; author/ support Medicaid expansion; [discuss] land use and enforcing responsible development to address flooding.

It’s a simple loss of freedom. Gov. [Greg] Abbott is destroying people’s lives with the closures of businesses and a mask mandate that places fear into citizens. A recession is when your neighbor loses their job. A depression is when you lose your job. Many people are experiencing a depression which could easily be avoided. I move to recall Gov. Abbott, which Brandon Creighton has failed to do.

What are the largest effects of the COVID-19 pandem- ic you have seen in District 15, and what role does the state government have in local recovery?

What are the largest effects of the COVID-19 pandemic you have seen in District 4, and what role does the state government have in local recovery?

Struggling small businesses, job loss, money and food insecurity [have] had major effects on District 4, and the state government should be communicating a consistent message of how we get past the shutdowns and restrictions and outline the milestones we need to achieve to reach that point based on science and data from public health professionals. We all need to work together in order to have a faster recovery.

The state government has a small role, if any role at all, in the local recovery. What is best for Austin isn’t what’s best for Winnie, Anahuac or Humble. The people know what’s best and we should empower the people. The shutdown and the mask mandate are unconstitutional. My goal is to legalize success. We should eliminate property taxes and allow the free market to regulate itself. More entrepreneurs, please. More ideas, please.

Small businesses have been forced to shut their doors and still have the burden of rent and payroll. And I am committed to opening up Texas 100% so the job creators, the ones who constantly give back to our communities, have a fighting chance to keep their doors open. That means opening up all businesses, schools for families that want in-person instruction and encouraging confidence in getting back to our lives.

The energy sector price shock and the pandemic affected jobs ... meanwhile, people are struggling to pay rent, put food on their tables [and] see a doctor. This pandemic showed us we are unprepared for a crisis. Elected officials must lead by example. Our governor must call for a special session. The 87th session will address important issues such as budget shortfalls.

The loss of life from COVID-19 has been a horrific loss for many, but so too has the economic suffering caused by the state of Texas. The state needs to make restitution for the damage it has brought upon the families as a result of this shutdown.

Why do you believe you would be a good voice to represent District 15?

Why do you believe you would be a good voice to represent District 4 in the Legislature?

My volunteer work has allowed me to better understand the challenges in our district. I decided to run because I have seen our challenges, and I know how much more we will get done if we focus on fixing, rather than fighting. Bipartisanship is important, especially now. I will provide the balance we need in Austin, to enact good policies and represent everyone in our district.

I’ve lived in South Montgomery County for over 20 years. As a small-business owner and state representative, I’ve come to know the challenges these businesses face. I’ve worked very hard during this pandemic to be a voice for them in this time of loss.

We must work toward improving the Texas economy, focus on job creation and pro-business policies, education and workforce initiatives, property tax reform and relief including appraisal reform, continued border security and making sure that Washington, D.C., allows Texas to run Texas. I do everything I can to stay engaged with every community and every industry.

My career has taught me that listening and learning can never stop; public service is about the people in this district and not me; and District 4 deserves a senator that will work hard every day for legislation that creates the greatest benefit for the residents of District 4 regardless of the political repercussions. I am running to serve the people in District 4 and not big business and special interests.

The reason I want to be elected is to leave the citizens alone. It is my intention to empower people. Let’s legalize success. Why does Mattress Mack have to go across state lines to protect his investment of the ‘Win it all! Get it all!’ promotion? Our state lost $20 million because sportsbooks and gambling are illegal. [District] 4 takes a massive hit every time Houstonians cross the border to gamble. Legalize success.

Answers may have been edited for length. Read full Q&A’s at communityimpact.com/vote .

43

THE WOODLANDS EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

communityimpact.com

Powered by