RECOMMENDATION TEXAS HOUSE DISTRICT 97
Recommendation by Fort Worth Star Telegram Editorial Board - Sun, Oct. 19, 2008
The matchup in the Texas House District 97 race is familiar for voters in this southwest Fort Worth district.
Democrat Dan Barrett and Republican Mark Shelton are facing off — again. They were two of the seven candidates in the special election last Nov. 6 to replace the retiring state Rep. Anna Mowery, and moved on to the Dec. 18 runoff.
Barrett, 53, was victorious, as he should be on Nov. 4.
In the brief time he’s been state representative, Barrett has immersed himself in establishing contacts and building relationships with other Austin lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. His two interim committee assignments — Land and Resource Management and Pensions and Investments — have introduced the attorney to the mundane but important work of government, with issues ranging from eminent domain to contracts with the company that runs the state’s pharmacy benefits program.
Should voters return him to Austin, Barrett said, he will focus on the economic issues affecting the residents of District 97: reining in escalating homeowners insurance and utility rates, promoting programs that will decrease the transportation gridlock, and revisiting the state’s less-than-successful funding formula for public education.
It is on the issue of public education that Shelton, 51, is most disappointing. Moments after the physician said that he has "never been for vouchers in public schools," he told Editorial Board members that he "is in favor of 'parental choice.’ " When pressed to define that, Shelton said it is the use of vouchers for students in failing schools.
Libertarian Rodney Wingo, 60, is also running, but the Fort Worth contractor is little more than a placeholder.
The Star-Telegram recommends Dan Barrett for Texas House District 97.
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