Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide


Republican incumbent Greg Abbott is trying to secure his second term in office. He's pushing his accomplishments during his first term, including passage of an anti-sanctuary cities law, and the state's top ranking in several business-climate surveys. If he wins a second term, he wants to implement a school-safety plan he released after the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School. He also wants to continue efforts to lower property taxes. Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez is the Democrat on the ballot. She's pushing reforms to the criminal justice system, like ending mass incarceration and decriminalizing marijuana possession. She also wants to boost state spending on public education to help fix the current school finance system. She supports the creation of a universal background check for gun purchases and the passage of so-called red-flag laws that give courts the ability to remove guns from those deemed at risk of hurting themselves or others. Mark Tippetts has a platform with three simple messages: He supports a free market economy and decriminalizing marijuana, and he opposes President Trump's border wall.

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  • Greg Abbott

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    Mark Tippetts

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    Lupe Valdez

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Biographical Information

What do you consider the most critical issue Texas will face over the next five years? If elected, how would you approach this issue?

School finance in Texas has generated lots of talk but little legislation in recent years. What is your philosophy on the future of public school funding?

Do you believe America has a problem with gun violence? If so, how do you plan tackle it?

Congress and the President want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and have taken steps to dismantle it. What role should the government have when it comes to health insurance?

Texas adds about a thousand people a day. This rapid growth has caused several problems. What are the top three issues the government should address because of this growth?

As a Texan, what do you believe is missing from the conversation about immigration and border security? How would your beliefs influence your approach to those policies?

Describe a unique experience from your childhood that shaped who you are today.

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Age 59
Education Bachelors of Law and Masters in Administration from San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Campaign Phone (512) 567-3947
Website http://www.mark4gov.com
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/mark4gov/
Twitter https://twitter.com/Mark4Gov
website http://www.mark4gov.com
contact campaign@mark4gov.com
Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCINtBkRz9Q
I believe the most critical issue that will impact Texas most over the next five years is the war on drugs, and the impact that has on our prison population, our law-enforcement, and our prosecuting attorneys and judges. The first step in solving this problem is to legalize marijuana - which I promise to accomplish with the Texas Legislature.
The single best thing we can do to improve our education system to to get the federal government out of it. Washington bureaucrats should not be telling Texans what to teach or how to run our schools. An education system with local control and local influence is best. Let parents, teachers, and locally elected leaders determine what is best for their children and communities. The massive growth in education administration and education bureaucrats needs to be solved. By doing so, we can pay our teachers well and get the proper funding into classrooms with smaller class sizes, all without spending more money or increasing taxes.
Although news stories of violence are shocking and sad, it should be noted that violent crime overall continues to slowly drop over the years. Tragedies happen, and innocent people being hurt or killed breaks my heart. That said, the voters should not let ambitious politicians pass knee jerk response legislation that restricts or infringes on their rights.
Congress and the President do NOT want to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Republicans campaigned on repealing Obamacare, and yet when they won control of the House, Senate, and White House in 2016, they did nothing. They are cowards and liars.

The Affordable Care Act has resulted in greatly increased healthcare costs and lower quality care, all while making access to care more difficult for many Americans. Obamacare should be repealed immediately. Government should neither provide, control, nor require health care. I do not believe that people have a right to be provided with healthcare at other peoples’ expense.
1)Reducing barriers to employment such as occupational licensing is an easy and important step that will reduce unemployment and create opportunity for the new residents coming here every day.

2)I want to start on a path towards ending property taxes. This will not only allow individuals and families, but business owners to invest wisely and confidently in their property. Small businesses should not have to fear closing their doors due to inflated property taxes.

3) We need innovative solutions in our infrastructure. I support eliminating barriers to free market construction and maintenance of infrastructure. We should let market demand and willingness to fund dictate which routes are developed.
It’s time our national immigration policy was rooted in compassion and empathy. My heart breaks to read news reports of families searching for a better life, only to be forcibly separated at our border. When pilgrim John Winthrop described America as a shining city on a hill, he inspired immigrants for centuries, and even inspired Ronald Reagan to famously use that same description. Today, America continues to offer that same vision to immigrants who dream of a better life, but our broken immigration policies don't match that dream.

As a Libertarian, I support policies of easy immigration, which lead to peace and prosperity for the immigrant as well as the citizen. As Governor of Texas, I will support these policies and stand up to the federal government and their horrific treatment of families coming here simply because they want the opportunity for a better life.
I was born in Mexico, I was raised speaking both English and Spanish. Having a bi-lingual and bi-cultural upbringing gives me a unique perspective on the issues facing Texans everyday. I saw the dichotomy of life on different sides of the border and the contrast of poverty and wealth. This experience made a strong impression on me today, which is why I wan to fight for the individual rights of Texans as well as the rights of people who want to come here seeking a better life.
Age 70
Education Master's of Criminology, UT-Arlington Bachelor's in Business Administration, Southern Nazarene University
Website https://www.lupevaldez.com/
Facebook www.facebook.com/LupeForTexas/
Twitter @LupeValdez
The most critical issue facing Texas in the next five years is ensuring that the everyday Texan has the opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead. It’s time that we focus on funding public education, ensuring economic opportunity for all, and providing our citizens with healthcare.

There are measurable steps toward a better education system that we can take now. Closing property tax loopholes and properly using that revenue to fund public schools is a great first step toward ensuring quality public education for all Texas children.

To pave the way for economic opportunity, we must ensure a living wage for working Texans, provide paid leave, and level the playing field for women in the economy.

Finally, we must take steps to expand health care in our state, starting with accepting the Medicaid expansion that would allow 1.5 million more Texans to be covered, ending the assault on women’s health care, and investing more in expanding access to critical health care in our rural communit
I am where I am today, because despite growing up in the poorest neighborhood in San Antonio, a Texas public school gave me the opportunity to succeed. My philosophy on school funding is driven by the belief that the state must hold up their end of the bargain and ensure that every Texas student, regardless of background, receives the best education.

First, the state must pay their fair share and stop placing the burden on local communities and homeowners. Skyrocketing local property taxes and budget shortfalls are a direct result of Gov. Abbott’s refusal to prioritize our students. We also must update outdated funding models to make sure formulas work for the true cost of educating students. Finally, we can’t discuss funding without addressing teachers, and the need to pay and treat them like the professionals they are.

There’s no better investment for our future than investing in our kids. Changing the culture in Austin to put education 1st will drive my philosophy on school fun
I have carried a gun for most of my life - first in the military and then in law enforcement - and I strongly believe in the Second Amendment. But if someone cannot handle their disagreements with means other than violence, they should not be allowed to have a weapon. It’s just common sense - Texas needs common sense gun laws that help keep us safe.

We are living in a world in which our children are marching in the streets so that we, the grown ups, will make a legislative change to keep them safe - and I’m listening. I am proud to be endorsed by Gabby Giffords and her organization that is on the front lines of this issue.

We need to push for universal background checks, and we must also close loopholes like the boyfriend loophole, to make sure domestic abusers and others who should not have a weapon don’t gain access them. Also at the state level, I would push to make it a state offense to lie on a background check and ensure our law enforcement have case tracking databases.
I have lived through the fear and the suffering of not having healthcare. Growing up it was “Should we go to the doctor or a ver que pasa - Let’s see what happens?” “A ver que pasa” is not an acceptable health care plan. Health care is a right and it is time we treat it that way.

We’re experiencing a health care crisis and Gov. Abbott has done everything he can to take us backwards. The truth is, we’re already paying for universal healthcare, we’re just doing it in the most expensive and inefficient way possible.

By rejecting Medicaid expansion, we’re leaving billions on the table and nearly 1.5 million Texans without access to health care. As Governor, I’d immediately push for the Medicaid expansion and take advantage of this opportunity to insure more people and improve health outcomes. We also must stop the endless assault on women’s health and truly invest in women’s health. Additionally, we must invest more in expanding access to critical health care in our rural communities.
Texas growth provides exciting opportunities and tremendous challenges. As a result, there are steps we must take to ensure that all Texans have access to the opportunities, rights, and representation they deserve.

First is affordable housing. The rapid growth in population has come with a surge in housing prices and lack of affordable options in our cities. The state must do more to incentivize the building of affordable housing to ensure fair access for all Texans.

Additionally, we must ensure economic fairness for all Texans. As more people arrive, we must make sure our jobs include a living wage, paid leave, and equal pay for women. This also includes investing in our public schools and expanding access to health care.

Finally, this growth has brought changing demographics, and partisan gerrymandering have suppressed and hidden many of these new voices. We must immediately create an independent redistricting commission to ensure that we have fair representation for all Texans.
Compassion is what’s missing. As the daughter of migrant workers I’ve witnessed the distrust and mistreatment so many immigrants still face today. I’ll bring my experience and commitment to fighting for immigrants to my job every day to push for smart policies, not ones based in fear.

To solve our immigration challenges, we need to protect DREAMers and enact comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship so that families stop being torn apart.

Too often, our system treats immigrant communities as bargaining chips. State and Federal officials are pushing policies on local law enforcement that rip families apart, destroy trust in communities, harm public safety, and hurt local economies by holding funds hostage. Government shouldn’t function like that.

I’ve been fighting Gov. Abbott’s anti-immigrant policies for years and I’m not stopping now. As governor, I’ll bring compassion and strength to the fight for immigrant communities and against policies like SB4.
In middle school, a teacher pulled me aside and told me that he thought I was college material, and he encouraged me to go to a high school that would provide the education that could get me there. So I started to ride the bus all the way across San Antonio from my neighborhood to my new school.

It took a while, but I realized that when it rained, I was the only one with muddy shoes. It may seem like a small thing, but I was the only one in my new school that came from a neighborhood with no paved streets or sidewalks.

I came from the poorest zip code in San Antonio, but because someone believed in me, I was able to get an education, serve in the military, go into law enforcement as a federal agent, and eventually become the Sheriff of Dallas County. I’m where I am because this state gave me an opportunity to succeed. I’m running for governor because I want to ensure all Texans have the opportunity to get ahead, just like I had. That is no small thing.