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Texas House, District 102

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  • Candidate picture

    George M. Clayton (D) Educator

  • Candidate picture

    Linda Koop (R) Retired

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Biographical Information

Length of residency in your district:

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?

What are the state's greatest challenges that government can address?

The current two-year budget restored billions of dollars from previous cuts. Are there places where you advocate more spending and, if so, how would you pay for it? Are there areas where you would spend less?

The state’s business climate is considered a jobs magnet. How would you improve on today’s business conditions, regulation or promotion?

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

The 2013 Legislature broke with the recent past and boosted spending on mental health care. What other reforms should lawmakers pursue to address mental health in Texas?

What would you advocate to prevent another disaster like what happened in West?

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?

How will you judge whether the state’s new accountability system is working for public education?

The Legislature may have to contend with another court order to overhaul the system of financing public schools. What is your idea of a better way to support public education in Texas?

If voters approve an extra $1.2 billion a year in highway spending in November, that’s only a fraction of what TxDOT says is needed. How would you bridge that gap to meet the needs of the growing population: taxes, fees, tolls, borrowing, some combination, or none of the above? Please be specific.

An ABA-sponsored, bipartisan review of Texas’ death penalty recommended numerous reforms. What weaknesses or needed improvements would you cite in the 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 changes, if any, would you make in Texas’ open records and open meetings laws?

Should the Legislature pass laws that supersede local control over oil and gas drilling?

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

City/Town Richardson
Age 68
Campaign Phone Number (972) 834-3618
Email Address gmcjhs@aol.com
2 years
Educator, retired
Associate of Arts Bachelor of Arts
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
Member of the Texas State Board of Education
Very little. $5000.00
George Clayton Texas Democratic Party Far North Dallas Democratic Club
NO
No.
I would lead them away from political party agendas. Following the superficiality of political agendas is destructive and divisive.
Ronald Reagan. He kept his word.
I am running to primarily focus my attention on the needs of education in Texas. Texas needs more educators in the legislature.
I can think of no reason why they should. On the other hand, why not me?
Education, water, medical care/insurance, roads, schools.
Before I could advocate more spending, I would rather advocate smarter spending.
Texas is indeed a jobs magnet. So, let's don't tamper with it. Allow the business community to run the business of Texas. Keep the government as far away as possible.
A people should always concern itself with the misfortunes of others. Our main focus should be improve their conditions, not make them totally dependent on the taxpayers.
I would advocate establishing more treatment facilities in Texas. I would advocate a partnership with the private sector, with the private sector leading the way.
It is probably impossible to ever prevent such disasters from happening again. However, I would support legislation authored by experts that would put into place more safety measures in places where such dangers are likely to occur. However, close inspections on a regular basis need to be implemented as well.
The disconnets between higher education and secondary education are vast. I would advocate for a closer relationship between public schools and colleges. This could be done easily through curricula adjustments. Therefore, I would advocate the establishement of The Texas Secondary and Higher Education Commission to oversee the joining of these two levels of education. We talk much about college readiness at the secondary level. Unfortunately, many of our graduates leave high school barely at the secondary level. Many of our high schools are more like elementary schools than college prep facilities. We are so test possessed at the high school level, we deal only with literacy skills and, more often than not, place aside all teaching resembling creativity and innovation. Our students are experts with bubble sheets and high lighters.
The accountability system is a direct result of the over use of testing results required by the state of Texas. Many districts have joined in an effort to reduce the weight of testing. That is my first goal as a member of the legislature. As an educator I am more concerned with holding students accountable for their learning than maligning teachers who are blamed for education failures in Texas. That honor should go the state officials who have not a clue what education should be.
As it is public education, the public must support it. That is inevitable regardles of the means. The public understands this. All the legislature has to do is to speak honestly and frankly to the people of Texas.
All of the above will have to be used. Officials need only be honest with the people of Texas. They have always paid for their roadways.
I have none.
I did. But, not now. I support the right of people to own firearms. However, I cannot help but feel that wearing a gun on the hip would encourage its use, not discourage crime.
I do not support decriminalization. Look at Colorado!
Yes, why not?
All meetings of public officials, elected or appointed, should be open to the public.
No. I support local control. That is the very essence of democracy.
Outlaw daily interest rates, prohibit payday lending to operate near liquor stores, prohibit rollover loans, limit loans per customer to once per calendar year, require cities and towns to limit the number of payday loan operations in low income areas.
City/Town Dallas
Age 67
Campaign Phone Number (469) 319-0879
Fax Number N/A
Email Address LindaKoop@swbell.net
10 years at current address. 36 years total
Retired
M.A. University of Texas at Dallas; International Management Studies - School of Management

B.A. Colorado State University; Sociology

Temple University, Rome Italy

UT Austin Law School - Center for Policy Dispute - Fellow
University of Texas Law School, Center for Policy Dispute - Fellow Mentor for the North Dallas Chamber’s Young Professionals Program North Central Texas Council of Governments - Regional Transportation Council

As the District 11 Councilmember for the City of Dallas from 2005-2013, I served as Chair of the Transportation and Environment Committee. Past member of the Housing, Trinity River Corridor Project, Judiciary and Legislative Committees. Represented the City of Dallas at the North Central Texas Council of Governments in the following capacities: the Past President of the Executive Board; Past Chair of the Regional Transportation Council; Vice Chair of Transit Authority Partnership Subcommittee; Co-Chair of Rail North Texas; and as a member of the Clean Air Steering Committee. Served as Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition (DRMC). Served on the Transportation Committee of the National League of Cities and Texas Municipal League Task Force on Eminent Domain/Regulation of Development.

I supported the City of Dallas through a long list of Civic and Community service endeavors during the last 30 years. I served on the DART Board of Directors, McKinney Avenue Transit Authority Board of Directors; Dallas Park and Recreation Board; Fellow of the University of Texas Law School - Center for Policy Dispute; Send-A-Kid to Camp; and as a Mentor for the North Dallas Chamber’s Young Professionals Program. Additionally, I am a lifetime member of the Texas PTA. As a PTA President our local PTA received State and National Awards for Excellence.
Dallas City Council 2005-2013
$55,000
See Finance Report

No
No
I was one of the early leaders on the Dallas Streetcar project; helped set the policy that has led to 5 billion dollars of highway construction in the region; founded the Endowment Fund that helps to send thousands of underprivileged children to summer camp and helped create the clean air steering committee for the region.
Ronald Reagan inspired countless Americans, including myself, to reach out and acquire the American Dream through values of hard work and personal responsibility. In a great time of crisis, he said that government was the problem because it stood in the pathway of individual success. Today, we can still see the wisdom of his leadership. It is my sincere desire to be a state representative who helps each Texan be the best they can be by clearing the obstacles to their opportunity and success.
I’m running for state representative because Texas faces many great challenges – all of which must be overcome to keep our families strong. Our flourishing economy has attracted around a thousand new residents a day, each of whom are coming for the great opportunities Texas has to offer.

To meet the challenge of a growing population, we must ensure that Texas’ economy continues to expand and that we have the necessary transportation and water infrastructure to meet new demands.

Across the country, bad government regulation, like Obamacare, is standing in the way of our American Dream and we must elect strong leaders who will stand up to the federal government and keep Texas the best place to raise a family and grow a business.
First, a record of effective leadership. During my eight years on the Dallas City Council, I took every effective step to keep taxes low. Additionally, as a regional leader, I helped solve some of the most pressing problems effecting Dallas, Richardson, Addison and Garland. We have made great strides together solving transportation, infrastructure, and job creation but those problems need solving on the statewide level. To whom much is given, much is required – and I am compelled to put my strong experience to work.

Second, I am a dedicated, consistent leader who always put our neighborhoods first and I will always stand up for our rights and values until we get the results we need.

I am the only candidate in the race endorsed by the Richardson and Garland Mayors. I also have support from numerous Dallas, Richardson, and Garland City Councilmembers. This election, our residents want an effective leader who puts our neighborhoods first and gets results.
The recent crisis at the border is a security problem Texas warned the federal government about years ago. In lieu of Washington’s failure act, now more than ever, we must take every possible step to secure our border and maintain the rule of law that has made our country a beacon of hope to the world. Our immigration laws were established to ensure we could meet the needs of our existing citizenry and grow at a pace that affords each new immigrant the ability to pursue the American Dream. We are a nation of laws, and as such must uphold our commitments or our word will mean nothing.

Additionally, we must continue to strengthen the Texas economy so that we remain the job creation capitol of the country. Our growing population portends a necessity for adequate infrastructure and sustained economic growth.

To help accomplish this, Texas must do everything it can to stop Obamacare’s implementation, as a safeguard to our small businesses. We have got to continue making Texas the best place to grow a business so our economy and families can thrive. And we must find a permanent solution to our transportation funding problem so our workers can fluidly travel the state without paralyzing gridlock to prevent them from being productive and innovative.
While I believe restoring $3.4 billion in education funding was a step in the right direction, there is more the legislature can do to strengthen education for all our of students. I am committed to wisely investing our money to increase student achievement here at home and across the state.

Additionally, our roads and highways are severely underfunded. TxDOT currently needs $4 billion for construction and maintenance so that our state can maintain the carrying capacity to get Texans to work every day. With our population set to double by 2050, we must act immediately to find a permanent solution to transportation funding.
Last session, we made great strides at cutting the franchise tax on businesses, but we can do more. By increasing those cuts, making them permanent, and reforming the tax base, we can attract even more jobs to our state. Additionally, we must take every measure to prevent federal regulation from intruding into our state and stifling our economic progress. Texas has governed itself effectively for generations. We do not need Washington to tell us how to get results. In fact, if Washington would take a page out of our book, the country would be much better at creating the jobs hard-working families across the country need right now.
The best way we can help Texans living in poverty is by providing them the tools they need to succeed in the workplace. That means a stronger education system with career and technical training to prepare our people for new, incoming jobs. The Texas Works report cited a “widening gap between the skills required in today’s job market and the skills of graduates trained with those skills.” This is a great challenge, and a tremendous opportunity for us to provide willing Texans with the education and skills they need to enter the job market. At the same time, we must continue to provide and improve fundamental, essential services to Texans living in poverty. The state, like our people, always lends a helping hand when it’s needed. Texas is the nation’s job-creating machine and we must continue to be for the sake of all Texans working to build a business and provide for their families.
In recent years, we have seen the pressing need for strong mental health in our country. The tragic shootings in Newtown and Aurora serve as a reminder that we must ensure our mental health professionals have every tool at their disposal to treat their patients, and protect our people. This means ensuring that mental health professionals can disclose information about specific and pending violent threats made against a person or group of people. It is crucial that we use every useful tool at our disposal to prevent future tragedy.
The first duty of government is to protect people. This has been and will always be the case. Texas is the best place for starting and growing a business, and we must continue to strengthen this job-creating environment while guaranteeing the safety of all people. This means that we cannot refuse to follow the rules we set for ourselves and we cannot cut corners for profit at the expense of people’s lives. All regulated entities must fully cooperate and follow the limited rules we have established, while local authorities must have the ability to respond to emergency situations to the best of their ability. The first step is looking at what we can do at the local level and then examining the role of state regulators. We cannot create an undue burden on our businesses, but public safety is the highest priority and must be if we hope to prevent future disasters.
The bottom line in higher education is career readiness and degree completion. I am a strong advocate for providing our future job-creators with the tools they need to thrive in the workplace. Additionally, we need to work with our public universities to increase retention so more students leave college with strong degrees that empower them to obtain strong jobs and provide for their future families.

The best way to do this is to continue improving college retention and graduation rates, while also opening up opportunities for collaboration between private sector companies and our state universities. We must ensure that what is taught in the lecture halls is preparing students for success in the workplace.
The greatest measure for success is student achievement. If we’ve created a system that is effectively educating our students, we will see that success in the form of drastically increased graduation rates and more students enrolling in college or entering the workforce with the career and technical skills they need. Student success is the only measure we need to know if education is working. It is crucial that our system help us assess the areas we can improve so we can swiftly find a solution for the betterment of our students’ future.
Public school financing is the most consequential issue we face. If we get education right, we can fix poverty and crime, and ensure the future growth of the economy and the middle class. The strength of education is, quite literally, our future. With the quality of education varying greatly across the state of Texas, we need to find a better approach to the funding formula. We have to study the entire system, find a transparent approach, and achieve an effective solution that ensures the same high-quality education opportunities that all Texas students deserve.
The funding of our roads and highways is essential to our future economic strength. Businesses will be less willing to come to a state with massive gridlock on the roads. The stakes are high and the need is urgent. To fix this problem, we first need to start within the budget. Although we have taken strong steps toward ending gas tax diversions, we have got to do more and ensure that the revenue is put toward its intended purpose. Additionally, it is crucial that transportation become a top spending priority, which is why I believe this issue should be among the first taken up by the legislature in 2015. Finally, we need to set aside an adequate portion of our oil and gas tax revenue for a long-term investment in road construction and maintenance.
In recent years, one of the many positive changes in Texas has been the drastic reduction of death penalties in our state. This resulted from reforming criminal sentencing options to allow for life without parole. This is a practical example of how we can reform our system to more effectively administer justice.

I believe we can do a better job at administering capital punishment. I believe we should discuss better funding for forensic laboratories, so investigators and analysts get the best evidence and reduce chances of future wrongful prosecutions. Additionally, I believe reexamining the eligibility of people with mental disabilities and mentally ill defendants for capital punishment is thoughtful and necessary. These reforms should be heavily weighed and discussed because they truly are a matter of life and death.
I have long been a supporter of second amendment rights. I believe that concealed handgun licenses are best for public safety.
I believe Texas has taken great strides in drastically reducing the number of drug-related incarcerations. In recent years, the creation of statewide drug courts, which have focused on treatment for drug offenses rather than jail time, have reduced our spending on prisons - even resulting in the closure of three. This was a practical measure that solved our overflowing prison problem and had a positive impact on people’s lives. I believe we should continue to pursue practical reforms that focus on helping people overcome substance abuse.
We have several examples from other states that we can study to determine if medical marijuana is a viable option or necessary benefit for ailing Texans. I would like to further study it's potential impact before I voted to put an amendment before Texas voters for approval.
The key to effective transparency is an open government held accountable by the people it serves and protects. Texas is one of the places that does this well; however, we have got to keep up with technology when it comes to providing people access to open meetings and ensuring that we collect the necessary records to hold lawmakers accountable for their campaign finances and relationships to government contracts. Good transparency is crucial in preventing future corruption in our lawmaking process.
As a recent member of the Dallas City Council, I am a strong advocate for local control. While the state benefits from severance tax revenue collected every time we pull oil and gas from the ground, when it comes down to it, towns and neighborhoods are most affected by the physical impact of drilling facilities. I believe that our city councils, rather than Austin, are better suited to decide on key health and safety provisions like: buffer zones, drought restrictions, wastewater injection wells, and public disclosure of hazardous drilling materials. We do not need Austin to apply a one-size-fits-all approach, when our local governments know what’s best for their respective situations. At the end of the day, we need our cities and towns to effectively balance drillers’ rights with necessary protective measures for Texas residents.
The last thing a hard-working person trying to make their bills paycheck-to-paycheck needs is an endless cycle of debt. In the past, payday lending practices, left unfurled, have resulted in needy people digging an even bigger hole. As a Dallas City Councilmember, I was proud to have passed strong codes for consumer protection in this area. I encourage all Texas cities to look to our example and consider the good we have done for hard-working Texans. Statewide, I believe we should keep local control strong in this area and examine the amounts of these loans, the period between loans, and the frequency of loan rollovers. Payday lenders jobs are to make money and they are effective at it, but it is the job of government to protect people and consumers by tempering practices when they merit reform.