- Sherrie Matula, a retired teacher, SH-129 - .pdf link (incumbent R Davis)
- Diane Trautman, also a former educator, SH-127, (incumbent R Crabb)
- Chad Khan, a small businessman, SH-126, (incumbent R Hamric)
- Ellen Cohen, CEO of Houston Area Women's Center, SH-134, (incumbent R Wong)
Much of this call focused on public education and specifically CSHB 1, the abominable tax cut/tax increase bill passed in the last special session.
I visited with Matula over breakfast at the TDP convention last month. She has an extraordinary grasp of the issues, in particular of course the vital need for a a thriving public school system in the state. Trautman is also experienced and knowledgeable, having previously been a principal of Tomball JHS and an assistant professor at Stephen F. Austin University.
An excerpt, courtesy of Muse via email:
What is the effect of the special session on local control by both superintendents and school boards? Both in the area of taxes/budget and in the area of policy, this HB stripped more powers away from local school boards than any piece of legislation in memory. Page after page of HB 1 says “the commissioner may adopt rules to implement this section”. Added note: 99% of all school districts have standard policy written by TASB. So….what do local school boards control? Almost nothing.
Matula and Trautman's expertise as educators, and Kahn and Cohen's business acumen serves as testament to their future success as state representatives. All four would be outstanding legislators, even if they weren't compared to the clowns sitting in office at the moment. What's more, they are indicative of the kind of Texas Democrat nominated for election up and down the ballot and across the state -- people driven to offer themselves for public service because of the distress they have felt at the current climate in the state Capitol. People who come from all walks of life -- immigrant, teacher, non-profit executive -- people who aren't lawyers, weren't selected by the party machine, who aren't indebted to lobbyists or corporate PACS for their existence.
All Texans, and especially those living in these districts simply deserve people of great distinction like these four representing them in Austin.