After leaving the U.S. Army, I became a Spanish professor in Fort Worth. Our district has a unique interest in public education. More than 40,000 students attend the University of Texas at Arlington. Many more constituents are current or retired educators. Make no doubt, inspiring our younger generation through our public schools is a fundamental role of government. While educating our children, we must not adopt a one-size approach, recognizing the needs of each individual child. Our schools need to be challenging, and students should be prepared for college or the workforce at the time of graduation. As a strong defender of parental choice, I support public charter schools, the right to homeschooling, education savings accounts (should a parent choose to utilize them), and other innovative approaches to education. I am a firm believer in the idea that supporting multiple approaches to education does not automatically mean opposition to another. Finally, a top policy priority is maintaining and supporting long-term solutions to the Teacher’s Retirement System. Their pensions have been promised and must be protected.

Property Tax Relief

The single biggest issue I hear about when knocking on constituents’ doors is how high they are being taxed on their homes and properties. During the 85th Legislature, I supported the Senate and Lieutenant Governor Patrick’s proposal that would cap property tax increases at 4% (without voter approval to go higher). However, the House, under failed leadership, refused to take up the bill. Moving forward, I support Governor Abbott’s proposal to cap increases at 2.5%. Eventually, we should abolish the property tax system and replace it with another funding mechanism.

Border Security

Immigration and border security are federal responsibilities. That said, when the federal government fails to act, we must step in as a state. I spent years in U.S. Air Force engaged in counter-drug missions aimed at stopping the tide of illicit drugs from south of the border. Border security is national security, and the safety of Texans is of the utmost importance. In the 85th Legislature, I was happy to be a co-author of the bill to ban sanctuary cities in Texas. I also supported the Schaefer/Rinaldi amendment that strengthened the language and was an integral member in getting it passed. I will do everything possible to support the law moving forward.

Texas Economy / The Budget

The Texas economy consistently ranks first in the nation. In Texas, we reward business owners, investors, employees, and families due to low taxes, little regulation, and overall economic opportunity. I am against increased regulation that stifles competition and any tax or fee increases for Texans. In the 84th Legislature, I supported legislation that drastically cut the franchise tax, making our businesses even more competitive. As for our budget, prioritized spending is desperately needed. I support capping spending at population growth plus inflation, and that metric is a key factor in earning my support each budget cycle. Also, it is time to implement zero-based budgeting at our agencies and start from scratch each session. Key priorities like education, transportation, and border security must be adequately funded, and should be matched with reforms and cuts in lower priority areas.

Sanctity of Life

As a God-fearing conservative, there is no duty more important than protecting innocent life. While we often take steps in the right direction, Texas is still outside the top 10 on lists looking at defense of life. In the 85th Legislature, I filed HB 948 which would end the practice of abortion in Texas. To be clear, the bill simply removes the exception to our murder statute for abortion and aligns existing state code. Even without HB 948, the 85th Legislature passed many reforms and has been regarded as the most pro-life session since Roe v. Wade. I look forward to the day when abortion ceases to exist in Texas, the United States, and around the world.

2nd Amendment Rights

As a combat veteran and CHL holder, I stand ready to defend against any attempts to step on your 2nd Amendment rights. I have co-authored legislation to implement open carry, campus carry, and fee reduction for CHL licensing, all of which passed. I have also been a co-author of constitutional carry legislation and will continue to work toward its passage in the future.