Job descriptionThere are 150 representatives in the state House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Texas state legislature. Term is two years.
DutiesWrites and votes on state laws.
Proposes state constitutional amendments that are voted on by statewide ballot.
Votes to uphold or overturn a Governor’s veto.
All bills to increase taxes, appropriate funds, or raise revenue must start in the House.
The House can bring impeachment charges against statewide office holders (charges are tried in the Senate).
Annual salary$7,200/yr; $190/day when legislature in session

Who’s Running?

Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin

https://www.beth4tx97.com
FB: beth4tx97/
Twitter: @beth4TX97
Phone: 817-723-9690
Email: beth@beth4tx97.com
Democrat
Craig Goldman (incumbent)

https://craiggoldman.org
FB: teamgoldman/
Twitter: @GoldmanCraig
Republican
Rod Wingo

Email: rwingo2448@sbcglobal.net
Libertarian

Candidate Q&A

Note: Answers to questions will appear as they are received from the candidates.

1. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION AND EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND? WHAT EXPERIENCES DO YOU HAVE THAT MAKE YOU THE BEST CANDIDATE?
Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin Answer:
I am a retired public school teacher. I taught for 32 years, 29 of them at Southwest High School, in HD97. Spending my senior year of high school as a foreign exchange student in a small village in France was a pivotal experience for me. At the University of Nebraska I majored in French, minored in Political Science and German, graduating with magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors. I moved to Fort Worth in 1981. I served as World Languages Department chair at Southwest and held multiple leadership positions in the FWISD, including curriculum writing and as an elected member of the District Advisory Committee. In addition to teaching, for seven years I was co-owner of a bed & breakfast in Weatherford, serving as vice-president of the Historical Businesses Association. I have been active in politics my entire life, volunteering to work for candidates and for causes. I held leadership positions in the Tarrant County Chapter of NOW and the Tarrant County Lesbian Gay Alliance. Currently I serve as a volunteer docent at the Kimbell Art Museum. I am an engaged citizen running to represent every day people in Austin.
Craig Goldman Answer:
Rod Wingo Answer:
2. WHAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR CAMPAIGN DONATIONS COMES FROM INDIVIDUALS? WHAT PERCENTAGE COMES FROM PACs?
Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin Answer:
I believe strongly in campaign finance reform. My donations come solely from individuals and Democratic-aligned groups that receive their donations from individuals, no special interest PACs.
Craig Goldman Answer:
Rod Wingo Answer:
3. IF ELECTED, WHAT IS THE FIRST PIECE OF LEGISLATION YOU WOULD PROPOSE?
Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin Answer:
Fully funding public schools-reversing the downward trend of the last two decades-is my main priority. It is a complicated issue that will require examining all budget expenditures across the budget to determine where we need to prioritize our tax dollars. The cuts made to health insurance for both active and retired teachers must be reversed. The budget is the most important job of the legislature. Too much time is spent on non-essential legislation or bills that pander to ideological fringe groups.
Craig Goldman Answer:
Rod Wingo Answer:
4. WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON VOTING LAWS? PLEASE ADDRESS WHAT IDENTIFICATION SHOULD BE REQUIRED FOR REGISTERED VOTERS AT THEIR POLLING PLACES, WHETHER YOU SUPPORT ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION, AND WHAT TIME RESTRICTIONS SHOULD BE PLACED ON VOTER REGISTRATION.
Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin Answer:
If a voter is on the rolls, presenting any government-issued identification, with or without a photo, should be accepted. In addition, work and student IDS with photo should be accepted. The incidence of voter fraud is very rare compared to how many voters are turned away from the polls. Voting should be secure, but accessible. I support online registration. I would need more input to decide how soon before election day registration should be possible.
Craig Goldman Answer:
Rod Wingo Answer:
5. DESCRIBE YOUR POSITION ON STATE FUNDING FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION. ADDRESS ISSUES SUCH AS THE PROPORTION OF STATE FUNDS TO LOCAL DISTRICT FUNDS AND WHETHER STATE FUNDS SHOULD BE USED TO SUPPORT CHARTER AND/OR PRIVATE SCHOOLS.
Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin Answer:
Local property taxes have risen to an untenable level, because of increasing real estate values in Texas and because state funding of local schools has dropped from 51% to 38%. It is the state's constitutional duty to fund quality public education for all Texas children, no matter where they live. I believe funding should go to neighborhood public schools, not to charters nor to private schools through vouchers. Otherwise we create islands of privilege that serve only a small percentage of students.
Craig Goldman Answer:
Rod Wingo Answer:
6. DESCRIBE YOUR POSITION ON WHAT ROLE STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES SHOULD PLAY IN FEDERAL IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT; ADDRESS ISSUES SUCH AS SB4, PASSED BY THE 2017 STATE LEGISLATURE.
Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin Answer:
I strongly oppose SB4. It is not the state's obligation to address immigration enforcement, nor should the state mandate local law enforcement agencies to do so. It promotes racial profiling and makes it more difficult to keep our communities safe. If people are afraid to report crimes committed against them, or to testify about crimes that they witness, law enforcement cannot effectively do their jobs protecting all of us. Federal dollars, not state dollars, should be spent on immigration issues.
Craig Goldman Answer:
Rod Wingo Answer:
7. DESCRIBE YOUR POSITION ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE, WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO JUDICIAL DISCRETION AND THE SENTENCING OF NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS.
Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin Answer:
Too many people are jailed in Texas for non-violent crimes. Too many poor people are jailed because they cannot afford bond. Criminal justice reform is both a moral and a fiscal issue. Incarcerating someone who is a parent, a wage-earner or a caregiver can needlessly impact the well-being of an entire family. It is also expensive for taxpayers.
Craig Goldman Answer:
Rod Wingo Answer:
8. DESCRIBE YOUR POSITION ON HOW THE STATE CAN BEST PROVIDE FOR FUTURE ENERGY NEEDS. PLEASE ADDRESS WHAT RESPONSIBILITY THE STATE HAS TO PROMOTE DIFFERENT TYPES/SOURCES OF ENERGY AND WHAT RELATIONSHIP THE STATE SHOULD HAVE WITH THE ENERGY INDUSTRY.
Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin Answer:
Recognizing the importance of the oil and gas industry in Texas-and the contribution it makes to our economic well-being-we must also plan long-term for the future of our environment and our economy. Wind and solar power is the future, and we must actively advocate for investment in new technologies.
Craig Goldman Answer:
Rod Wingo Answer:
9. WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON THE FEDERAL REGULATION OF FIREARMS UNDER THE SECOND AMENDMENT? WHAT RESTRICTIONS SHOULD BE PLACED ON THE SALE AND OWNERSHIP OF FIREARMS, INCLUDING WHERE FIREARMS ARE PERMITTED?
Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin Answer:
I am a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate. I believe in common sense gun regulations, and in enforcing gun laws currently on the books by providing government funding to actually enforce them. It is no more an infringement on a gun owner's rights to ask for firearms to be registered and to follow safety guidelines than it is for someone who owns a car. I do not believe guns should be allowed in schools, nor on college campuses, except for professional law enforcement officers.
Craig Goldman Answer:
Rod Wingo Answer:
10. DESCRIBE YOUR POSITION ON THE STATE GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR HEALTHCARE PROVISION, WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND WHETHER TEXAS SHOULD ACCEPT FEDERAL FUNDS TO EXPAND ITS MEDICAID PROGRAMS.
Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin Answer:
I support the ACA and believe that Texas has cheated its own citizens out of federal tax dollars we have already paid by refusing billions in Medicaid funding. It has caused budget shortfalls for us, drained money from other essential government services and most importantly, hurt the most vulnerable Texans-children.
Craig Goldman Answer:
Rod Wingo Answer:
11. WHAT LEGAL RESTRICTIONS SHOULD BE REQUIRED ON ABORTIONS?
Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin Answer:
I believe that women have the right to make medical decisions about their own bodies, their own health, and personal decisions about their abilities to support and nurture a child. In consultation with medical professionals, these most personal of decisions should not be dictated by the government. The role of government should be to provide affordable reproductive health care to all women to decrease unwanted pregnancies, and if a woman without means faces such a pregnancy, that she and her child can receive the care and support they need, not merely until birth, but continuing into motherhood. It is not enough to be anti-abortion. We, as a society, must be pro-life.
Craig Goldman Answer:
Rod Wingo Answer:
12. DO YOU BELIEVE MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGAL UNDER STATE LAW? ADDRESS ISSUES SUCH AS MEDICAL AND RECREATIONAL USE.
Beth Llewelyn McLaughlin Answer:
I see little difference between the use and consumption of alcohol and that of marijuana. I would support decriminalization and regulation of the industry.
Craig Goldman Answer:
Rod Wingo Answer:
RECENT NEWS ARTICLES“Who Gets to Sell the Suds in Light of New Brew Laws,” Hayes Free Press (April 4, 2018)
https://haysfreepress.com/2018/04/04/who-gets-to-sell-the-suds-in-light-of-new-brew-laws/