Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Commissioner of the General Land Office

The Texas General Land Office, the oldest state agency in Texas, works to preserve the state's public lands and natural resources. The office of the land commissioner manages state parks and sites like The Alamo and allocates grant funding for disaster recovery efforts. Since the last election, key issues involving the GLO include securing housing and funding relief after Hurricane Harvey on the Texas Gulf Coast and decisions surrounding the restoration of the Alamo. The current land commissioner, Republican George P. Bush, is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and grandson of former president George H.W. Bush. Democratic challenger Miguel Suazo is an energy attorney. He has been endorsed by former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, a Republican. Libertarian candidate Matt Piña is a political scientist with a master’s degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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    George P. Bush

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    Matt Pina

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    Miguel Suazo

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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.

Campaign Phone (512) 804-6068
Website http://www.georgepfortexas.org/
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/georgepfortexas/
Twitter twitter.com/georgepbush
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Age 32
Education M.A. Political Science B.A. Political Science
Campaign Phone 2103368389
Website http://mattpina.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/VoteMattPina/
Twitter https://twitter.com/VoteMattPina
website mattpina.com
The planned destruction of the Alamo and Texas History is the biggest issue to date. These plans will destroy the heart of the city of San Antonio, Texas culture, and the idea of what it means to be a Texan. Limited access to the Alamo, Alamo Plaza, and the story of Texas will, in the end, lead to a reduction in the celebration of who we are. That said, the story of success throughout our country has become so convoluted that the youth have no hopes or dreams. Since there is a clear lack of leadership within the Democrat and the Republican establishment, I feel I am the only person who can step up to lead our future Texans. When elected I would champion new initiatives that allow people to be the stars of their own dreams – including allowing them full access to our history.
We need to continue to grow the permanent school fund. Unlike the current Texas Land Commissioner, I will be sure to put every single dollar possible back. This fund, originally designed by our Texas founding fathers, was meant to be the sole provider of funds for Texas Public Schools and was supported by land held by the state of Texas. Over many decades, our former Texas leaders have diverted money meant for this fund to other projects, eliminating the tax-free school funding system and burdening property owners with more and more of the cost. We can provide excellent public schools and reduce property taxes if we stay true to our purpose.
We don’t have a gun violence problem, we have a violence problem. Most Americans are good people, and we should not punish everyone for the crimes of a few. Many politicians like to use rare examples to build a case for their extreme policy positions. That said, we must recognize the need to identify and help those with mental health problems. We don’t ignore those with heart disease, so why do we ignore those with mental disease? Instead of taking away a specific, single tool people can use to harm others; we must focus on eliminating the reason someone would want to the others in the first place.
Well, keep in mind the role I am running for has NOTHING to do with healthcare. I couldn’t change it one way or the other. Should I decide to run for a position that does involve healthcare in the future, I will do my due diligence before deciding what course to take.
First, I don’t see rapid growth as a problem. I view it as a testimony to the great state of Texas. Who wouldn’t want to live here? Second, I think that a focus on education is necessary. We must make sure that we are not costing our growing population the ability to reach their potential. The third issue is energy. As our population grows, so does our energy consumption. We must give the energy companies access to areas where they can procure the oil and gas that we are dependent on so long as they are exploring in an environmentally respectful manner. We must also use education to train young people in careers that research more efficient methods of energy production whether it be oil and gas, wind power, hydroelectric, or geothermal.
Again, as Texas Land Commissioner, I would have no control over immigration or immigration policy at a state level. Personally, I believe that we need to offer a path to citizenship for people that qualified for DACA. These young Americans have known no other country and did not come to the United States illegally of their own volition. We need to help them on a path to legal status so that they can be productive members of our society.

To paraphrase John Adams, "I study politics and war so my children have the privilege to study math and science and their children the privilege to study pottery and art." It was the first time I heard the violin play that I knew music can communicate something words cannot. I am a firm believer in the arts. This world needs more ways for us to communicate what we think and feel.
Age 37
Education Georgetown University The University of New Mexico School of Law
Campaign Phone (903) 420-0621
Website http://www.miguelsuazo.org
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MiguelSuazoForTXLandCommissioner/?ref=bookmarks
Twitter twitter.com/MrMiguelSuazo
website www.miguelsuazo.org
contact Miguel Suazo
Video https://www.facebook.com/MiguelSuazoForTXLandCommissioner/videos/477399196036315/
With respect to the General Land Office, protecting our coast and building political will to protect Texas from future hurricanes is my top priority. Texas needs a leader who will make preparation a priority and who will build the will to take-on the large tasks associated with preparation, such as securing funding for a sea wall, discussing building codes, drainage, coastal resiliency measures, etc., and who will sustain the dialogue surrounding these issues. It's critical to assemble political support by meeting with lawmakers at all levels and of all political stripes and to constantly educate the public about these ongoing efforts. We must ensure that future storms do not cost the state over $200B by mitigating their impact.
The only way to ensure that we have a well-educated society is to have well-funded public schools that teach critical thinking and cultivate a broad perspective on complicated subjects. The General Land Office is mandated to raise revenue for our schools and out teachers by leasing and managing our publicly owned lands and minerals. I will work hard to ensure that sufficient revenue is raised to meet the educational needs of Texans and speak out on issues large and small that impact education.
My wife is a teacher and each day that she leaves to work I worry that she may be subject to gun violence in her classroom. This is something that she never worried about before Columbine. It's not an issue I was faced with in school that today's kids do face each day. I am also a gun owner and hunter. I appreciate firearms for protection and recreation. As a lawyer, I also understand what it would take to infringe upon the Second Amendment and find fears of it being repealed impossible in the current political climate. Before I was allowed to handle a firearm, I had to take a hunter safety course and practice extensively. I think that it is reasonable to require background checks and proof of proficiency to use a firearm. Kids are going to school each day worried about being shot. This needs to stop and we all need to have real discussions about how to best protect our schools using reasonable protective measures.
This issue has nothing to do with the office I seek. However, I do not like to see current elected officials weakening the Affordable Care Act in order to allege it is failing. As a small business owner, I would not have health insurance if it wasn't for the Affordable Care Act. So, I think the parties need to come-up with comprehensive health care reform and a system that works for everyone. We cannot go back to what was in place before the ACA and we must do better by each other to ensure that health care is available and affordable.
Dealing with growth requires electing leaders who can work together and compromise. Leaders need to collaborate and plan for the future. We need to ensure that infrastructure can accommodate growth, including affordable housing. We need to fund our schools and pay our teachers so that they can do the important work of preparing our youth for the challenges society will face in the coming years. We also need to plan for increased traffic on our roads and ensure that our means of transportation if effective and efficient.
Dealing with our immigration challenges requires many different actions and approaches such as more border patrol agents, the use of technology to identify illegal immigrants such as drones, better border security, dealing with the drug issues that cause much of the trafficking, improving our ability to search vehicles and shipping containers, a path to citizenship for those currently in the country, a timely process for allowing legal immigration, addressing instability in other countries causing those in those countries to flee, among many other things. Unfortunately, the discussion around immigration is superficial and divisive because partisans divide themselves in terms of being "for or against" a border wall. Instead, we need to have a serious discussion about immigration reform and implement policies to address the many issues influencing immigration, generally.
Growing up on a ranch, I learned responsibility for land, animals and family at a tender age. I learned how to get a done no matter how long it took or how hard it was. I have carried this approach with me all my life and will take this approach with me to the Texas General Land Office.