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Lieutenant Governor

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    Robert D. Butler (L) Marketing Consultant

  • Chandrakantha Courtney (G)

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    Dan Patrick (R) Radio Station Owner/Broadcaster

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    Leticia Van de Putte (D) Pharmacist/ State Senator District 26

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Biographical Information

Length of residency in Texas:

Occupation/main source of income:

Education (include all degrees):

Highlights of current civic involvement/accomplishment:

Highlights of past civic involvement/accomplishment:

Previous public offices sought or held:

How much funding have you raised for your campaign?

Who are your top three contributors?

Have you ever been arrested or involved in any criminal proceedings? If so, please explain:

Have you ever been involved in any civil lawsuits or declared personal or professional bankruptcy? If so, please explain:

What is an example of how you led a team or group toward achieving an important goal?

What political leader do you most admire and why?

Why are you running for this office?

Why should voters choose you over your opponent?

If elected, would you want the Texas Senate to do away with its rule that requires two-thirds of senators to bring up a bill? Please explain your reasons for keeping or eliminating this tradition.

How would you ensure that the Senate adequately oversees the Texas Water Development Board? Its new board of three members is in charge of selecting water projects to fund around the state. How would you guard against political influence or cronyism guiding those decisions?

The 2013 Legislature changed the state’s system of measuring and ranking schools. How will you determine whether those reforms are working?

What strategies would you have the Senate pursue to maintain and extend Texas’ favorable business climate?

Please assess the safety net for Texas' poor and working poor. What changes, if any, would you make?

The Legislature may have to contend with another court order to overhaul Texas’ method of funding schools. What would you recommend as the best way to fund public education?

Texas' "Closing the Gaps in Higher Education" master plan is due for a 2015 update. Are there new directions or initiatives you advocate for the state's colleges and universities?

In November, voters will be asked to approve $1.2 billion in highway spending. Do you support that investment? What more should the state do to meet the transportation needs of a growing population?

A bipartisan ABA-sponsored review of capital punishment in Texas recommended numerous reforms. What improvements would you recommend in the state's administration of the death penalty?

Do you favor open carry for handgun owners in Texas?

Gov. Rick Perry has advocated "decriminalization" of marijuana possession. What changes would you support in prosecution of drug laws in Texas?

Would you vote to place a medical marijuana amendment before Texas voters?

What would you advocate to prevent another disaster like the one that occurred last year in West?

Would you support using the Texas National Guard to intervene in border and immigration issues? If so, how would you foresee funding that?

Would you name senators from the opposition party to chair committees?

What, if anything, should the state do to reform the laws that govern payday lending in the state?

The 2013 Legislature broke with the recent past and increased mental health care spending. Should the Legislature build upon that increase next year? What other reforms should legislators pursue to increase mental health care in Texas?

City/Town Round Rock
Age 44
Campaign Phone Number (512) 758-9134
Email Address
Moved to Texas in December 2008.
Marketing Consultant, Owner of Round Rockit Media
I graduated from Riverdale High School in Ft. Myers, Florida in 1991. I studied for four years at the George Washington University and the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. My financial aid was not sufficient to continue my education in the senior year, and I decided to take a study abroad program to Taichung, Taiwan to finish studied Chinese and East Asian culture. I became a certified English as a Foreign Language instructor in Cancun, Mexico in 1999. I attended a 13-week Citizens' Police Academy course in Harford County, Maryland where I learned about police procedures and tactics in 2008.
I'm a proud member of several local boards of nonprofit organizations including the Rotary Club of Round Rock Sunrise, Penfold Theatre Company, the Round Rock Symphony, and the Foundation for a Free Society. I'm also the chair of the Williamson County Libertarian Party, and a member of the State Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Texas.
I'm very glad to have helped reform eminent domain laws in Ohio, where I served as Executive Director of the Libertarian Party before moving to Texas. I led a successful effort to get the Libertarian Party of Ohio ballot access after being unfairly removed by the Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell. I attended a 13-week Citizens' Police Academy course in Harford County, Maryland where I learned about police procedures and tactics. In Texas, I have worked diligently on lowering taxes and spending, restricting the activities of the TSA in our airports, and pushing for reforms in our criminal justice system, but I would be able to do much more as an elected official than a concerned citizen.
Unsuccessful campaign for Leander ISD trustee in 2010.
I have not focused on fundraising for my campaign. I have chosen to use primarily social media and personal appearances to spark an interest in the Libertarian Party. To date, I have raised several thousand dollars.
Gil Robinson, David Mason, Craig Ivey
When I was 23 years old, I was joking around in a convenience store about some toy guns. I pointed out that they looked so silly that they would be great for a robbery. Obviously, this was a joke, but someone must have been alarmed and called the police. I was arrested and spent two weeks in jail waiting to see a judge. It was obvious that nothing had been stolen and there was no actual gun, so the state attorney declined to prosecute the case and I was released. Needless to say, this was quite a traumatic experience, but I’ve tried to turn it into something positive.

In 2008, I completed a 15-week Citizens’ Police Academy course to learn more about law enforcement policy and procedures. I have also done volunteer work for the Institute for Justice and LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). As many of you know, I helped Jacob Lavoro with his public relations (on marijuana brownie case) for the last few months because I felt that the charges he faced did not fit the accusations that were made against him. I hope that you will work with me to reform the criminal justice system!
I served as the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Texas in 2009 and 2010. We were successful in raising the most amount of fundraising dollars ever achieved by any Libertarian Party at a statewide level and we recruited a record number of candidate applications that year. Progress is made by assessing the strengths of each person in your team and correctly assigning them the tasks they are best qualified to accomplish. I set stretch goals for myself that no one would ever expect me to achieve. Sometimes I fall short, but sometimes I succeed. It's important to remember that even the best baseball players strike out most of the time. Success means dusting yourself off and trying again and again, even when no one else believes your goal can be reached. As long as you have honestly tried your very best, you're a winner for making the attempt.
I admire many political leaders, but one person I admire the most is George Washington. I admire him for what he did not do, his personal restraint and self-control, just as much as I admire what he achieved. He united the 13 divided colonies under one military command at the outset of the Revolutionary War. He never gave up fighting against the world's largest superpower, but he carefully chose his battles. After successfully leading America to independence, he refused to be crowned a king. He refused to use his office to punish British loyalists. And he refused to become an elected president for life or pass his position along to his adopted children. He set the example for many of our leaders who followed. Some Libertarians have criticized Washington for his use of force to end the Whiskey Rebellion, but when one considers how the French Revolution for freedom and democracy went so horribly wrong, we can appreciate the pressures George Washington must have felt.
I’m running for Lt. Governor because I believe in the sovereign power of the individual to have both the economic and personal freedom they need to decide the best way to live their lives. Neither the Republican nor the Democratic Parties fully support and defend an individual’s inherent and self-evident rights in both the economic and personal spheres of life. In addition, both parties have become irretrievably corrupted and the government requires reform to combat this corrupting influence.

Those are the three main points of my campaign: Economic Freedom, Personal Freedom, and Government Reform.

I agree whole-heartedly with George Washington when he said, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” George Washington knew how dangerous a government could be, and that a government big enough to give you everything you want, is also big enough to take away everything that you have.

Like the Founding Fathers of both the American and Texan revolutions, I believe that the only just use of government force is to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens. Not only is the state of Texas currently failing to defend our liberties and property, but they are actively engaged in taking away the liberty and property of citizens without due process or just cause.
I represent the only true choice for the voters who seek freedom and prosperity. I'm beholden to no special interest group. I'm running for the express purpose of giving up so many of the powers that the state government has assumed over our lives, and giving that power back to the people.
Yes, it is undemocratic. If I'm elected as Lt. Governor, I will serve as the president of a Texas Senate divided between Republicans and Democrats. I will have to work with both parties if I want to pass my legislative agenda. Republicans may support some of my economic initiatives and Democrats may support some of my personal freedom and civil rights initiatives.
I would select people who are technically proficient yet isolated from political or economic pressures to oversee the board's activities.
When I was a teacher of English as a Foreign Language for adults, we had a very simple and effective ranking system. The students themselves answered a survey at the end of every course. The results were given to our supervisors and posted on our break room wall. Teachers who received excellent reviews were given raises and promotions. Satisfactory teachers were trained to become better. Failing teachers were give an opportunity to improve and then terminated if they failed a second time.

Our parents and students are our customers and our bosses. They know which teachers are doing a great job and who is not. We need to place more faith in them to decide what's best for themselves and their children. My preference is to rank schools and teachers according to parent and student satisfaction.
We need to end the franchise tax. We also need to stop favoring some businesses over others. It is difficult to predict the next up and coming wave of economic growth and it's foolish to do so. In Austin, for example, subsidies have been lavished on music and film industry. What happened? The economic growth in the entertainment industry came mostly from computer software games.

We have reaped the economic benefits of being the freest of the 50 states with no income tax, fewer regulations, and an abundance of resources. We need to double down on that strategy by further cutting taxes and regulations.
There are three safety nets for the poor: family, private charity, and coercive charity.

The family is the first protection against the effects of poverty. It's our parents who educate their children and provide for their basic needs. It is family who can provide a roof over the heads of relatives who may be experiencing tough times. (Statistics show that most homeless people get back on their feet after just six months.) We need to reexamine all of our state's policies that affect the ability of our families to provide for their relatives. Some of our government programs disqualify poor people who are living in a relative's home, for example. Our law enforcement strategies fighting the war on drugs and immigration also result in breaking up families and causing poverty. These are all policies that need review and reform.

The state of Texas can do more to encourage and support our private charities. Private charities are the second best response to poverty after family. The volunteers and donors really devote themselves to the care of their clients, but they suffer under the some of the same regulatory and tax burdens that many businesses face. We need to look at whether volunteers who make lunches for the homeless really need to follow the same stringent regulations as a for-profit restaurant, for example. Some religious organizations are not tax-exempt if they don't meet certain standards. We can find a way to deduct charitable contributions from property taxes since we don't an income tax.

The last safety net, I call coercive. It's the least effective form of poverty relief because it uses force in three key ways.

You the taxpayer are forced to pay into the system whether you believe it's effective or not. When you donate to private charity, you choose the best programs to give your money to. There's competition among nonprofits to see who's the best.

The government system relies on state employees who are not personally invested in the outcomes of their clients. They'll still have a job whether the person in poverty improves their life or not. The government bureaucracy to manage the programs becomes so expensive and bloated with waste that much of the money never even reaches the poor.

The government programs are also coercive in how they distribute funds to the poor. The program often dictates how the money must be spent whether it's for food, housing, or some other necessity. Recent studies have shown that poor people given money without strings attached actually lifted themselves out of poverty more effectively than government-managed programs.
I believe the money should follow the students. Parents should choose which school is best for their children, and the state's money should follow. Students who live in poverty and qualify for free or reduced lunches should get extra funding to compensate for the increased difficulty in their education and accompanying lack of property tax dollars in poor neighborhoods. Giving more money based on this simple measure of poverty is much easier to administer than our current funding system. Spending less money on the state and local bureaucracies will increase the amount of funds actually seen in the classroom.
I believe there are too many layers of management and red tape. I would like to see this addressed as way to make our institutions more nimble. We also need to look at providing all of our classes free online for people who are interested in studying a subject without pursuing a degree.
I support funding for highways as long as it is directly and equally paid for by those who use the roads. The most efficient way is through gasoline taxes, but as fuels change we need to change with them. I do not support our current toll road system because it is a deceptive method for gathering the necessary revenue disguised as a free market solution.
I do not support the death penalty. I would seek to end it and commute the sentences of criminals currently on death row. I don't believe the state government has the right to execute its residents, and I don't have any faith in the way the system has been managed. It seems clear to me that Texas has executed innocent people. Texas also appears to have executed people who are mentally ill or deficient in their ability to reason.
Yes, I grew up in Florida where open carry is legal under certain circumstances. I didn't see any negative consequences from that law. I believe that people have a fundamental right to defend themselves. By openly carrying a firearm, they are demonstrating their intention to do so. I believe it's an extremely effective deterrent against criminal behavior.

I also believe that adult students and teachers should be allowed to carry on campus, and I'm against any gun-free zones with the exception of certain high-security government buildings and law enforcement areas.
I have six reasons why we should end the prohibition of all illegal drugs immediately.

1. The War on Drugs hasn’t worked. Drug addicts need medical attention, not police. The goal of the War on Drugs was to stop and reverse a growing trend of illegal drug use and drug addiction, but the percentage of people who use illegal drugs has not gone down in the last 40 years. We know now that substance abuse is a serious medical condition. Being housed in a jail or prison for extended periods of time, just doesn’t cure addiction. Medical treatment does. Portugal legalized drugs almost 15 years ago, and the success in cutting the rate of drug addiction has been amazing.

2. The war on Drugs is expensive! The federal government spends $25 billion per year (as of 2014, the video quotes an older statistic) on the drug war. You can get all the facts on the economics of the Drug War, by clicking here.

3. Crime would drop dramatically if we legalized drugs. Recent studies in Colorado show that making marijuana legal led a significantly drop in crime. Portugal also experienced a drop in crime and in new HIV infections when they legalized drugs.

4. Let’s stop children from using drugs. Ask any high school student you know, it’s easy to buy marijuana at school, and it is more difficult to buy alcohol or tobacco on campus. That’s because there’s no illegal profit margin for alcohol and tobacco, and legitimate stores sell the products only to people who have a valid ID proving their age. Is the system perfect? No, but it’s made alcohol and tobacco the most difficult drugs for students to get on campus.

5. End the flow of illegal/undocumented immigrants crossing the border to escape drug violence. Listen to the President of Honduras as he explains how the drug war has created unendurable suffering and hardship in his country. We could end our current crisis of young children crossing the border by ending the War on Drugs.

6. End illegal and unconstitutional searches for drugs including no-knock raids and asset forfeiture abuse. It isn’t just drug dealers who have to worry about violent police invasions into their homes. Mistakes and false leads happen regularly. Here’s an interactive map of botched police raids in the US often resulting in the deaths of both innocent citizens and law enforcement. We need to make respect for the Constitution and human rights a cornerstone of our law enforcement policies.
Yes, I believe marijuana should be completely legal for any purpose.
Industrial accidents like the type experienced at West are tragic, but thankfully rare events. We need to continue to be vigilant and educate the public about living near industrial sites, but I don't believe any new regulations are necessary.
No. Libertarians believe the right to work and the right to travel are inherent personal liberties that should not be unduly impeded by the laws of governments. The Libertarian Party encourages legal and lawful immigration to the State of Texas regardless of origin. The Party seeks to encourage immigration of students, workers, and business owners willing to invest in Texas. The Libertarian Party believes in and encourages free and fair trade among nations which allows the easy exchange of currency, goods, labor, and services.

I think of borders the same way I think of the Constitution. The purpose of a border is to limit the government’s power, not the people.

A more libertarian policy on immigration would make it much easier for family members to reunite and laborers to find legal employment whether they are highly skilled or unskilled because we know that a bigger, better economy creates a stronger country and deeper rooted community.

The large majority of people who wish to enter the US are here for non-immigration purposes. That means they do not intend to live here permanently or become citizens. Common reasons include: tourism, business trips, employment, study, and escape from war or violence at home. We often refer to these people as immigrants, but they are not. The US has over twenty types of non-immigrant visas. When we make it difficult or illegal for these non-immigrants to come and go as they please, they actually result in living in the US longer than they intended and using more government services. Our current laws actually cost us more taxpayer money than free movement would.
Yes. As a Libertarian, I would have to work with both Democrats and Republicans to pass my legislative agenda. I also believe that individuals have certain skills and temperments that are more important than party affiliation.
Payday lending should not receive any special regulations. They perform a vital last resort for many people facing evictions, automobile repossessions, and other financial catastrophes. We do, however, need to end the practice of using post-dated checks to compel repayment of loans. This practice criminalizes debtors by forcing them to write checks to be cashed in the future that the debtor may not be able to pay. Texas will not be a debtors' prison or bear the legal expense of enforcing payday loan debts.
Mental health care needs to receive the same levels of funding and attention as physical health care, but I question whether the state government is the best method of providing that care. As I spoke of previously, I believe that the goal of affordable healthcare for everyone is best achieved through the private sector and by getting the government out of the way.
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Address PO Box 685085
City/Town Austin, Texas 78768
Age 67
Campaign Phone Number (512) 344-2626
Fax Number 512-344-2622
Email Address
Youtube Channel
35 years
Radio station owner. Talk Host
University of Maryland-Baltimore County UMBC /B.A. in English
I have served as the State Senator of Houston's Senate District 7 since 2007. I have served on the Board of Be An Angel since 1988, benefiting children with disabilities and have helped raise millions of dollars for their cause. I serve on the Pastor's Prayer Council for Pastor Ed Young of Second Baptist Church. I also support adults with disabilities at Brookwood Community as well as Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
I worked with Grover Norwood and Senator Whitmire to create and fund the Heart of Texas Foundation. The foundation began as a prison ministry to teach prisoners about redemption. Today, the ministry has grown into the only seminary in Texas prisons and is changing the culture in our state's prisons. We will graduate our first class of inmate pastors in the spring of 2015.
Approximately 8 million dollars at this point, including campaign funds held at the beginning of the campaign.
Empower Texas Conservative PAC, Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC and multiple donors at the $100,000 level and above.
I declared bankruptcy in 1986 in the middle of the Texas recession. It was a result of my multiple restaurants closing. There were several claims associated with that. I was also involved in a lawsuit I filed against a Houston Post writer.
I have led teams to accomplish goals my entire life. A few examples: I have served on Be An Angel since 1988 and have raised millions of dollars and began many projects to help disabled children over 25 years. I helped found the first prison seminary in Texas in 2012. I produced an award wining Christian film in 2009. In politics I led as Chair of Education in 2013 to pass some of the most sweeping reforms in education in a decade. I founded the Tea Party Caucus in 2011 and have led as Chairman for the last two sessions. I also founded the Crime Commission in Houston in the 1990s.
Ronald Reagan, because he accomplished great things in his administration but never yielded on his conservative principles and values. He was a fighter for what he believed in. I also admire Abraham Lincoln because he worked with both supporters and enemies to preserve our nation. He was willing to do what was right despite the criticism of others.
To ensure that the Texas economy remains strong and based on the sound pro-business conservative principles enacted by Republicans over the last decade. To ensure every student has a quality education and is successful in their career. To lower property taxes so people can afford to live in their homes. To ensure we prioritize funding for roads and water. To secure our Texas/Mexico border. To protect the unborn. To continue to fight back against a federal government that continues to interfere with decisions that should be left up to the people of Texas.
I am the only candidate in this race that reflects the values and issues that the large majority of Texans support. I support tort reform that has helped our economy become number one in the country and has attracted more doctors to Texas since its passage. My opponent voted against it and would move to repeal it. I do not support Obamacare. My opponent wants to expand it in Texas. I am pro-life. My opponent is pro-abortion and helped lead the filibuster in the Senate with Wendy Davis last session. I support school choice for students and parents to choose the best schools for them. My opponent supports the teacher unions and opposes school choice options. I want to lower property taxes. My opponent opposes lowering taxes. I want to secure our border. My opponent wants to send billions of dollars to other countries to solve the problem.

I have a contemporary record of over 16,000 votes in 4 sessions that has consistently ranked me as a leading conservative in the Senate. I have the experience to serve. I've served on the Finance Committee for 2 sessions, 3 sessions on Higher Education Committee, 3 sessions on Health and Human Services Committee, 3 sessions on Criminal Justice Committee, 3 sessions on Intergovernmental Relations, and 4 sessions on Education Committee, including 2 sessions as vice-chair and last session as chair. I proved my leadership skills passing major legislation over 4 sessions and being able to work with all members of the Senate.
Since I arrived in 2007, I have fought against the two-thirds rule because it allows for the tyranny of the minority. I was the only senator to vote against the two-thirds rule in 2007 but today I believe I have the support of more than ten senators. I will continue to encourage the Senate to change this rule and move to a three-fifths cloture requirement similar to the U.S. Senate. That would require 19 votes as opposed to 21 votes to bring a bill to the floor.
Transparency and accountability are critical to the proper operation of any government entity. I will continue to require reporting and disclosure by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). Sunlight is the best remedy for corruption and dysfunction.
As the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, I led the charge on passing several reforms to public education. Changing how we measure and keep school accountable was a major goal of mine. I sought to change our accountability program from the current system to a more transparent A through F ranking system at the district level. I will work with the Commissioner and school districts to ensure that the multiple reforms we passed are enacted and yield the results the legislature intended.
Recently, the Tax Foundation reported that Texas fell out of top ten states for business tax climate. The primary factor in this slide is our high property tax structure. I have sought significant tax reforms every session of my tenure in the Senate. Although I have passed major reforms to the franchise tax like the small business tax exemption, we must do much more to reduce our property tax burden on businesses and their employees. We should repeal the franchise tax. We should limit tax increases on personal and commercial property to bring certainty into the future costs of owning that property. We need to continue to support the tort reform passed a decade ago. We need to ensure that the reforms we passed in education to put more emphasis on career and not just college are not repealed as some desire. We must grow the workforce that our state will need in the future for all jobs, and not just jobs that require a 4-year degree.
We have enough resources in Texas to take care of those who are truly in need. However, if we do not protect those resources from people who commit fraud and take those resources from those in need we will have a problem moving forward. We must prosecute those who are not in need but who take our limited resources from those who are in need. I support taking care of children in need, seniors in need, those who are disabled and cannot support themselves, and our veterans who are in need. However, if a person is able to work we must require those persons to work. They cannot live their life dependent on government and live off of other hard working taxpayers.
We rely too heavily on property taxes to fund education. We should reduce property taxes on homeowners so they can afford their homes and look to sales tax as a bigger part of funding education.
College is too expensive for most families. We must continue to find new alternatives to higher education combining community colleges for years one and two and 4 year institutions for the final two years. Lone Star College in my district that I helped move forward is a great model that reduces the cost of higher education. By reducing the cost of higher education it becomes more attainable for more students. We need to look at more on-line options to bring down the cost and make college more available to those who work. We need to make our college level courses more relevant for students in relation to the career opportunities that exist in the marketplace. Last session, I passed legislation that grants full scholarships to students who major in math and science and agree to teach for 8 years. This will help address two problems, close the gap of math and science teachers in our high schools and give a scholarship to those who want to teach but cannot afford the cost of education.
Once the rainy day fund was protected, an idea I presented to the Senate, I supported the effort to dedicate a small portion of rainy day funds toward transportation construction. Unfortunately, this is only a short-term fix. I support the dedication of vehicle sales tax revenue to transportation over several sessions moving forward. We must reduce the debt we have accrued on transportation by making transportation funding a priority in the budget process on a pay as you go basis.
As cited in the ABA report, the Texas legislature has done a lot of good work to ensure our capital punishment systems are sound. As a state senator, I have pushed legislation to improve our DNA testing capacity and capability. However, I support the use of capital punishment as a means to deter heinous crimes.
I support the use of drug courts as a way to provide a non-adversarial approach to ending the destructive cycle of substance abuse, addiction, and crime. However, I do not support decriminalization of marijuana. Would you vote to place a medical marijuana amendment before Texas voters? No, I do not support the decriminalization of medical marijuana.
No, I do not support the decriminalization of medical marijuana.
Texas law provides the necessary authority and tools to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas Feed and Fertilizer Control Service to prevent or mitigate incidents like this. My concern is we have two agencies with overlapping authority over this industry. I want to review how these two agencies are interacting, where the redundancies are and how we can more effectively avoid incidents like this moving forward.
Yes, I have long advocated for the collaboration of law enforcement and the National Guard to secure our border. Securing our porous Texas/Mexico border must become a funding priority in order to fight the drug cartels that threaten the public safety of all Texans.
I believe the Democrats have held too many chairmanships for the number of Democrat Senators in the Senate. I will reduce the number of committees and the number of Democrat chairmen. To avoid violating any law I cannot say who the Chairs will be but all Senators will be considered. My priority is to have Chairmen who reflect the issues important to the vast majority of Texans.
I believe in the free enterprise system and that the marketplace should and will prevail in the end. At the same time we should ensure that no Texan is taken advantage of by any type of business. That is a balancing act that one must navigate very carefully to protect businesses’ rights and beliefs as to how to be successful, and at the same time protect our citizens.
I support the need to fund mental health care at appropriate levels. As a society we must remove the stigma of those seeking and in need of mental health care. At the same time, like all healthcare issues, we must remove waste and fraud so that we can care for those in true need. Mental health care is no different from healthcare for physical problems. Like other illnesses in many cases with proper care, and preventive care, most non-critical mental health issues can be treated preventing more serious issues and higher costs later.
City/Town San Antonio, TX 78745
Age 63
58 years. I was born on an Army base during Korean War. My parents returned to San Antonio, Texas after the war. I have lived here ever since.
1993 Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government Kellogg Fellow of the Health Leadership Program

1979 University of Texas at Austin, College of Pharmacy

1976-1977 University of Houston, College of Pharmacy

1975 University of Houston

1973-1974 St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas
2011-Present Families USA 2009-Present The National Assessment Governing Board 2009-Present Milbank Memorial Fund, Member 2008-Present American Legacy Foundation Board, Member 2007-Present State Affairs Committee - Texas Senate 2003-Present Chair, Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee - Texas Senate 2003-Present Member, National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) 2001-Present Member, Business & Commerce Committee -Texas Senate · 2001-Present Member, Education Committee -Texas Senate · 1999-Present Texas State Senate · 1991-Present Member, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
2012 Co-Chair, Joint Committee to Study Human Trafficking 2008 Co-Chair, Democratic National Convention Committee 2007-2008 President, National Conference of State Legislators Foundation 2006-2007 President, NCSL 2004-2005 NALEO Board Committee 2003-2010 Chair, Texas Senate Democratic Caucus 2003-2005 President, National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) 2001-2003 Chair, Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus 2000-2001 Vice-Chair, Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus 1998 Chair, Mexican American Legislative Caucus 1991-1999 Texas House of Representatives 1987-1988 President, Bexar County Pharmacy Association
1999-Present Texas State Senate 1991-1999 Texas House of Representatives
As of the last public fundraising report, I have raised $2.3 million, from November 23, when I announced my candidacy for Lt. Governor through June 30. From the time Dan Patrick became my opponent to the end of the filing period, I outraised my opponent - raising $1.2MM to his $1MM.
As of the last public fundraising report: Amber Anderson Mostyn Lillie Robertson Austin Ligon
I have never been arrested. I have been involved in a criminal proceeding as a victim.
I have never declared personal or professional bankruptcy. I have been involved in civil suits in relation to my ownership of Loma Park Pharmacy. The first suit involved a debt from the previous owner and was resolved amicably. The second was the result of a class action lawsuit filed by several hundred independent pharmacies against an electronic sign company.
I am proud to have led a bipartisan effort in Texas to combat the vile crime of human trafficking. Over the last 7 years I have brought together national, state, and local experts committed to combating human traffickers and raising awareness. Through meetings conducted by the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Taskforce, which I created in 2009, and summits I have hosted, together we raised awareness of this modern day slavery and set out to end it. I began this mission in 2007, when I worked with various anti-human trafficking advocates and Comptroller Strayhorn to add human trafficking hotline numbers to convenience store windows along our major highways where the highest percentage of human trafficking took place in Texas. In 2009, Representative Thompson and I created the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Taskforce. We worked with the Governor and the Attorney General’s office to ensure that the best and brightest were brought together to find efficient and effective ways to combat this crime. In between the 2009 and 2011 legislative sessions, I hosted a collaborative summit in San Antonio that brought together a diverse group of national, state, and local experts committed to combating human trafficking and raising awareness of this vile crime. The taskforce had several meetings in which they compiled information and recommendations to the 2011 legislature. In 2011, I ensured that the taskforce continued and partnered with Rep. Thompson and Rep. Webber to pass legislation that encompassed all of the recommendations from the taskforce report. Citing the legislation enacted in 2011, Shared Hope International – a leading anti-human trafficking organization – ranked Texas number one in the nation for human trafficking laws. In 2012, Shared Hope International’s Protected Innocence Challenge State Report Cards similarly recognized the state’s anti trafficking efforts, ranking Texas number two in the nation for human trafficking prevention.

Between the 2011 and 2013 legislative sessions, I hosted a collaborative human trafficking summit that focused on raising awareness to health care providers. Health care professionals are in the unique position of being more likely to encounter a victim who is still in captivity and when aware of potential warning signs are able to provide help. In 2013, Rep. Thompson and I continued our work in combating this modern day slavery and were successful in passing legislation that increased penalties for criminals who had repeatedly committed this crime as well as provided support for victims of human trafficking.
The Honorable Barbara Jordan once said, “what the people want is very simple - they want an America as good as its promise.” Barbara Jordan had an unshakable belief in the Constitution of both the state of Texas and the United States. Her courage and grace as a woman and an African-American in the Texas Senate has inspired generations of Texans.

Barbara Jordan lived a life of service, she never benefitted personally from her office. When she left Congress, she came back to Texas to teach and help support and fortify young people to enter public service. Her tenacity and intellect during the Watergate Hearings, a true crisis of government, inspired me as a woman of color to imagine public service. Every day, as I pass by her portrait in the Senate Chamber, I’m inspired by her leadership and love of our state and country.
As a neighborhood pharmacist for more than three decades, I learned every day from my patients across the prescription counter – first you listen, then you act. Many times, reaching a good decision or giving good advice starts with understanding the people you’re working for – or working with.

We need leadership in Austin who will put politics aside – the insiders and the special interest deals – and just put Texas first. My whole career, as a neighborhood pharmacists and legislator, has been about listening to Texans, bringing the brightest minds to the table and doing what is right by Texans. Whether it is fighting to keep teachers in classrooms, helping our employers grow and thrive, or ensuring Texans have the water they need, I’ve always put Texas first.

I made the decision to run for Texas Lieutenant Governor because I want a strong future for my children, grandchildren and everyone’s children and grandchildren. I had a tough year after many family tragedies. However, when I heard the lack of focus on improving our neighborhood schools, the toxic rhetoric being used about our border communities, and no commitment to a strong water or transportation infrastructure, from the Republican candidates, I felt enough was enough. All the candidates were putting politics before Texans. I decided to run because I want that responsibility. I want to bring the smartest people to the table to solve our most difficult challenges and provide opportunities for the next generation.
As Lieutenant Governor, I’ll put Texas first.

My record is clear. I work across party lines and chambers to pass effective legislation that makes Texas a better place to live, learn, and start a business.

My opponent seeks to bring Washington D.C.-style tactics to the Senate. His “my way or the highway” mentality will only bring partisan gridlock to Austin - the same kind of partisan gridlock that has led to a broken Congress. He helped lead the fight to slash $5 billion from Texas neighborhood schools that resulted in firing 11,000 teachers, even though our business leaders and independent experts are clear that strong schools lead to a strong economy. Worse, Senator Patrick opposed bipartisan efforts to restore that funding. Time after time, Dan Patrick has taken the Washington hyper-partisan approach to the issues important to Texas’ future. He has voted against funding for strong schools, good roads that help our businesses thrive and workers get home to spend more time with their families. He opposes equal pay for equal work for women, and was even the only vote against the Texas veterans entrepreneurship program. I just think that if you hate Washington more than you love Texas, you’ve got the wrong priorities.
Texas has always been a state where we work together to solve challenges. In Texas, we should not pit people against one another - we are a state where we always look for common ground, and neighbor helps neighbor. What we don’t need in Texas is the partisan gridlock that has infected Washington, D.C..

The two-thirds rule has served the Senate well. It fosters civility and collegiality. The Texas Senate is the deliberative body, the two-thirds rule preserves that legacy.

As Lieutenant Governor, I would advocate to maintain the two-thirds rule. While the discussion on the rule is usually framed as Republican vs. Democrat, there are many issues where the true division is between urban members and rural members, or those representing areas with plentiful water and those without. It is important to preserve the two-thirds rule so that Senators seek to find common ground and the voice of the minority is respected.
Texas’ future is tied to it’s water - we can’t grow without it. Already, much of our state is in drought, with some cities now just days away from having to truck water in just to drink. Whether its for our businesses or our families, if we don’t find a Texas solution, we face significant challenges.

House Bill 4, which created the State Water Infrastructure Fund created an advisory committee, which received reports from the trust companies, auditors, with oversight from the executive administrator of the Texas Water Development Board.

As Lieutenant Governor, I will require proper oversight of the Texas Water Development Board. The Board process must provide taxpayers with a transparent proces that is fair and open and the Board should be required to select solid projects that are based on merit and need.
It is time to end the over-reliance on and punitive nature of standardized testing in Texas. Texans have spoken and their leaders in Austin need to do more. We need to listen to parents, teachers, and educators that have our children’s best interest at heart. We need to make sure our education system gets our kids to and through high school and on to a post high school education or training. I have fought to ensure a strong accountability system that gives schools credit for getting more students to take on more challenging coursework or earning at least 12 plus or 30 plus hours of post high school credit, an associate’s degree, or an industry certification while still in high school. To have a competitive workforce we also need to monitor the percentage of students that satisfy college readiness benchmarks.

Texans needs an education system where teachers are free to teach and students are free to learn. Our accountability system needs to ensure that we are giving students the tools to succeed.

That is why as Lt. Governor, I will get high-stakes testing off the backs of our children. I propose that Texas use sampling procedures to gather data on student performance at the school or district level is an equally reliable and widely accepted means to hold schools accountable for advancing quality learning. I also would save Texas millions of dollars in testing costs that should be reinvested into the classroom.

Our children are not standardized and we will no longer tolerate Austin or Washington treating them that way.
A strong education system, a healthy and prepared workforce, and an unwavering commitment to water, road, and infrastructure development will position Texas well in a globalized economy.

My Texas First: jobs and economic development plan fosters entrepreneurship, small business growth, and opportunity. I call for a fair and equitable tax system for small businesses, continuing the Texas Emerging Technology Fund and Texas Enterprise Fund with added accountability and scrutiny, and removing barriers that create an unfair businesses climate.

Through effective job programs, strong human capital, and proper infrastructure we can develop a smart economy where all Texans prosper.
Far too many Texans are being left behind. Working families are having trouble making ends meet. Instead of finding a solution to the highest percentage of uninsured persons in our nation, Governor Perry rejected our own tax dollars when he said no to expanding Medicaid. That was bad for Texans and a bad business decision.

I will work to find a “Texas Solution” to reduce the coverage gap. I will work with the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to find ways to increase enrollment, which not only helps Texas families but Texas employers, too. I will open the lines of communication with our federal partners to find a Texas solution to our health care challenges and expand Medicaid.

I will work to improve the current required implementation with HHSC and the Texas Department of Insurance.
Texans know a good deal when they see it. Education is a good investment. For far too long Texans have been calling for strong neighborhood schools, and yet many in Austin ignored their pleas. In 2011, my opponent supported devastating cuts to public education, leaving 11,000 teachers without jobs and increasing class sizes. In 2013, my opponent voted against our students again while I worked with everyone to restore the cuts.

As Lieutenant Governor, I’ll have the courage to lead the legislative efforts to comply with the judges orders. I believe that the court will order that Texas address the amount and distribution of school funding. I think that the smart and most effective way to address these issues is by re-evaluating the parts of the funding system that are long overdue for an update - specifically some of the weights within funding formulas. For example, the Cost of Education Index (CEI) hasn’t been updated since 1991. The CEI assigned to a school district was based mainly on the size of the district, the teacher salaries of neighboring districts, and the percentage of low-income students in the district in 1989-1990. So, we are funding the education of today’s students based on a 22 year old formula. I think that updating the CEI will go a long way in supporting our neighborhood schools.
It is important to continue action plans that close the gaps in higher education. As a state, we have made significant progress for the workforce of Texas - but in many areas we are off target to meet our goals. I will work with our schools, colleges and universities to get students to and through their post high school education or training. Partnerships between high schools, colleges, technical schools, and businesses are key to our students success and economic prosperity.

We must also start focusing on what engages students to enroll and achieve, while providing students with the supports they need to make it through post secondary education and to a degree, certification, or license.

That’s why I have proposed the creation of the Texas Promise scholarship that will provide two years of free community college or technical college to all eligible Texas high school graduates.

Texans value education, and a highly trained, qualified workforce is critical to our economic future. Higher education is getting further and further out of reach for everyday Texans. We can change that through my Texas Promise proposal.

To fund this program, I propose a constitutional amendment, to place $2 billion dollars of the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) in a new Texas Promise Fund. The interest from the program would fund our commitment to Texas students. The capital would never be spent.

Not one additional penny in taxes. We are simply using existing funds in a smarter way.

I want Texas voters to have the final say, so when it passes the legislature next session, under my leadership as Lt. Governor, this would be approved by voters as a constitutional amendment.

A one time investment of capital that is sitting in state budget coffers today, can change the lives of an entire generation of Texans.

Though my Texas Promise program our workforce would be smarter, our families more financially secure, and our state and economy - stronger.
Yes, I support the transportation investment proposition. I voted for it in the Texas Legislature and I intend to vote for it at the ballot box.

Approving the proposition and ending the diversion to transportation funds will help with the growing transportation needs but there is still more to be done.

As Lieutenant Governor, I will work with our legislature and local and state leaders to find a sustainable and long-term solution to our transportation issues.
The death penalty is the law of the land in Texas, and I believe it should be followed.I have prayed over this issue and I believe that a person who commits the most heinous of crimes should be punished harshly, however, our capital punishment process is not without flaws. I have pushed for Texas to utilize science’s advances and ensure we are punishing the guilty. We cannot allow an innocent person to be put to death because of poor representation or inaccurate science.

While what has happened in botched executions around the country has not yet happened in Texas, we are not immune to the issue. Given the shortages on the pharmaceuticals used in lethal injections, what we need more pressingly is a review of the process to ensure we have the appropriate supervisions, safeguards, and protocols at each point.
Throughout my tenure in the Texas Legislature, I have diligently measured the potential implications of every piece of legislation brought before me. I have supported measures that endorse the core intent of the second amendment, and I have voted against initiatives that may be detrimental to our public safety. My support for gun legislation will always be carefully balanced with my responsibility as a public servant to ensure that the security of all Texans is never put in jeopardy.

When I took my oath of office I also swore to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State. As an elected government official, it is my civic obligation to protect the rights set forth in the United States Constitution, which clearly establishes in the second amendment an individual's right to keep and bear arms.

After careful analysis, I support concealed carry, but I side with my law enforcement officials who tell me public safety would be in jeopardy if Texas changes that law to an “open carry” of handguns policy.
I support the call to reduce charges brought against individuals arrested with small quantities of marijuana.

Although Texas only classifies possession of marijuana as a misdemeanor, this type of conviction can easily lead to suspension of driver's license, loss of one's job, or jail time. This is especially true for individuals of lower socioeconomic standing; the poor are often dealt harsher punishments for small possessions due to their inability to afford adequate legal representation.
As a pharmacist, I understand the potential ways in which marijuana can provide medical benefits and I am open to a thorough discussion on the topic. I think it is important to hear what our medical experts and scientists have to say and learn from what other states have done before putting a measure on medical marijuana to Texas voters.
After the 2013 explosion in West, Texas, it has become clear that some measure of reform is necessary for the public to be aware of potential dangers in their area. A balance must be struck to ensure that safeguards are in place to better transparency, general public safety interests, and security risks. I support rigorous industry standards with adequate resources of our agencies that are entrusted to protect public health and safety.
Local law enforcement officials and leaders across the border region are telling us exactly what they need to take on this challenge, and it is not Governor Perry’s deployment of the Texas National Guard. I side with those law enforcement officials that patrol the border every day. I am not supportive of Governor Perry’s deployment plan.

As the Chair of the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee in the Texas Senate, it is my duty to ensure that the Guard has the resources it requires to carry out their mission, even if I do not personally support it. I strongly believe that it is irresponsible for this state to send our Guard to the border without ensuring they receive the funds they need to complete their mission.

That is why I called for a thorough and transparent discussion of funding for this mission by the Legislative Budget Board at it’s August 5th meeting. Up to this point, the Legislature had continued to receive vague answers from the Governor’s office regarding the intended length of the deployment and costs projections. This is wholly unacceptable. This decision should have been taken to the Legislative Budget Board in the first place. The men and women of the Guard deserve the resources they need.Texas taxpayers deserve respect and a transparent discussion whenever we allocate their dollars.
Yes. For me, leadership is about bringing leaders with passion and expertise that are willing to put Texas first together, regardless of party. I will appoint chairpersons that are willing to work with both parties. The legislative session is 140 days, there are no days to waste and committees need to be led by chairs that will do right by Texans.
We must end the cycle of debt. Fair limits on loans that ensure the loans are manageable are required. As Lieutenant Governor, I would allow local communities to maintain authority to regulate payday lending and support caps on the length of loans. Further limits should be place on the amount of the loans based on a certain percentage of income. However, I believe that statewide regulation is preferable so that all Texans are not subject to financial abuse.
Yes, the Legislature should build upon the increase of mental health funding next year. I believe that we need to stop treating our jails as mental health clinics. I have been a strong advocate for necessary mental health support for all Texans. I will continue to ensure our veterans, servicemembers and their family members have access to mental health counselors and peer-to-peer counseling programs.

I believe that supporting successful local mental health programs have proven both effective and efficient. For the last several sessions, I have passed laws supporting a pilot program in Bexar County in which health, legal, and educational professionals work together to provide a holistic solution to the mental and behavioral needs of children.