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2022 Elections

House District 12

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 12 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

KYLE KACAL (R), HD 12 BEN BIUS (R), HD 12


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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Senator Sarah Eckhardt (D), Senate District 14

Senator Eckhardt was honored to be elected to serve the people of SD 14 after serving two terms as Travis County Judge, where she represented 1.3 million county residents. With deep roots in Austin and Travis County, Senator Eckhardt has dedicated her life to public service for two decades.

After receiving an LBJ School Master of Public Affairs and law degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Senator Eckhardt worked for eight years as an Assistant Travis County Attorney. In 2006, she was elected to represent Precinct 2 on the Commissioners Court and re-elected in 2010.

With her leadership, Senator Eckhardt addresses the major issues that face Travis County residents. She works to ensure that our community is green, healthy, just and mobile.

Through her service on the Transportation Policy Board of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and leadership in Project Connect, Senator Eckhardt advocates for an efficient network of sidewalks, bike lanes and transit, as well as roads — as well as equitable and sustainable ways to pay for them. Senator Eckhardt serves as Chair-elect on the Texas Conference of Urban Counties (CUC) Board of Directors, and she is also a member of the CUC Policy Committee. Travis County is one of 37 CUC member counties that represent approximately 80% of the population of Texas.

Senator Eckhardt is a member of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, a group of regional stakeholders including the District Attorney, County Attorney, Chief of Police, Sheriff and members of the judiciary. She has led efforts to reform the DNA lab, reform mental and behavioral health services in our community and create Travis County’s first Public Defender’s Office. Senator Eckhardt believes that Justice for All requires continued and unflinching analysis of our criminal and civil justice numbers. Numbers tell an important story that will not change unless we listen.

With her commitment to criminal and social justice, Senator Eckhardt continuously works to leverage our community’s mutual resources to collectively improve social, health, educational and economic opportunities.

Senator Eckhardt works to protect the region’s air quality as a member of the Clean Air Coalition and she works to build collaborative solutions to our sustainable water future by working with an alliance of our neighbors.

By statute, Senator Eckhardt serves on the Travis County Bail Bond Board, the Travis County Juvenile Board and as CEO of Workforce Solutions Capital Area. In partnership with co-CEO Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Senator Eckhardt launched the Austin Metro Area Master Community Workforce Plan, with a focus on a middle-skills initiative objective of 10,000 residents currently living at or below 200 percent of poverty securing middle-skill jobs by 2021.

As a private citizen, Senator Eckhardt serves on the Texas Freedom Network’s Board of Directors and the LBJ School Dean’s Advisory Council.

On the vital issues of the economy and equity, Senator Eckhardt seeks a level playing field for Travis County taxpayers and working families to help relieve the property tax burden on our most vulnerable neighbors. Senator Eckhardt’s agenda includes collaboration with other taxing entities in Travis County, with the goal of increased transparency and fairness in taxation.

Senator Eckhardt learned public service and a commitment to Central Texas from her late mother Nadine — aide to Lyndon Johnson and Molly Ivins, and a mother of four — and her father, the late Congressman Bob Eckhardt.

1. What do you see as the issues most important to state employees and retirees? How do you plan to address them?
The three big issues, as I see them, are benefits, salary, and also the physical infrastructure that state employees are working in and with.

I believe that salaries and benefits have to be looked at together, because it’s getting so difficult to recruit and retain quality state employees, given the erosion of the salary and the benefits. Additionally, the physical buildings that they are working in; I've seen how the erosion of the physical buildings and the substandard information technology makes it so difficult to do your work as a public servant.

2. Do you support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees? Why or why not?
Yes. We should really push together for a market salary survey on a cyclical basis so that we know where our state employees are sitting in the market in relation to similar jobs in the private sector. Anyone who's worked in the private sector - democrat, republican, or otherwise - knows how valuable market surveys are for the improvement of the workplace and retention of employees. There is no better investment than an investment in our personnel.

3. Do you support an annuity increase for ERS retirees? Why or why not?
Yes. In regard to benefits, we definitely have erosion in buying power with retiree benefits, and we absolutely have to make them actuarily sound. I’m glad that we made some progress toward that this past session, but I was disheartened that the bill to make it actuarily sound was not also looking at contribution levels overall, including salaries.

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House District 19

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 19 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Ellen Troxclair (R), HD 19 Justin Berry (R), HD 19


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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House District 22

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 22 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Christian Hayes (D), HD 22 Joseph Trahan (D), HD 22


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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House District 23

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 23 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Patrick Gurski (R), HD 23 Terri Leo-Wilson (R), HD 23


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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Senate District 24

The runoff candidates for Senate District (SD) 24 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Peter Flores (R), SD 24 Raul Reyes (R), SD 24


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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Senate District 27

The runoff candidates for Senate District (SD) 27 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Morgan LaMantia (D), SD 27 Sara Stapleton-Barrera (D), SD 27


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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House District 37

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 37 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Ruben Cortez Jr. (D), HD 37 Luis Villarreal Jr. (D), HD 37


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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Vikki Goodwin (D), House District 47

Vikki Goodwin is serving her second term representing Texas House District 47 in Western and far South Travis County. In the 86th Legislative Session, she was successful in passing a number of bills that serve her district and the state. She was a co-author of school finance reform (HB 3), as well as the law boosting retired teacher pay (SB 12). More recently, she joined 56 of her fellow Democratic lawmakers to leave the state to protect the freedom to vote.

In addition to raising a family in Southwest Austin, Vikki has been in the Austin real estate market for 15 years and is actively involved in a large number of local charities and civic programs. Through her professional and philanthropic endeavors, Vikki knows which issues matter most to the residents of District 47.

As the broker and owner of Goodwin & Goodwin Real Estate Inc., Vikki has a unique opportunity to work with — and listen to — Texans from all walks of life. She has first-hand knowledge of Austin’s affordable housing issues for both renters and owners, and the fast-paced growth and growing pains not just in Austin, but also in Lakeway, Spicewood and Lago Vista. She regularly attends meetings with TXDOT, CapMetro and CAMPO to advocate for roads, transit and increased mobility, as this is a critical issue for central Texas.

In the 86th Session, Vikki was a co-author of the beer-to-go law that allows small craft brewers to sell cans of beer from the breweries. With about six breweries in the district, this was an important step forward, making business a little easier and the laws a little friendlier. As a small business owner, Vikki knows it is important that other small businesses are given opportunities to flourish without overly complicated regulations.

In addition to running a successful real estate business, Vikki is very active in her community. She has served on a number of Boards, including the Shady Hollow HOA Board as Vice President, the South Austin Civic Club as Treasurer, the Oak Hill Association of Neighborhoods and on various committees within the Austin Board of Realtors. She has also been a member of Impact Austin, South Austin Neighborhood Association, and the Metropolitan Breakfast Club.

Vikki graduated from the University of Texas - Austin with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, where she studied Marketing and Government. She then went on to earn her Master’s of Public Affairs from UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs. As a member of the LBJ Future Forum, Vikki continues to stay current on Texas politics.

1. What do you see as the issues most important to state employees and retirees? How do you plan to address them?
I believe that state employees and retirees deserve to be covered and compensated for their work, especially in response to the rising cost of living in Texas. It's important that we highlight and share the work of state employees. Recently, I shadowed a CPS worker to get a glimpse of what being a state employee is like, and I share my experience because I learned so much about the valuable work state employees do.

2. Do you support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees? Why or why not?
Yes. I believe everyone should have a good, living wage and an increase in salary to keep up with rising costs. I filed a bill last session to increase longevity pay. We want to keep good employees and pay them well.

3. Do you support an annuity increase for ERS retirees? Why or why not?
Absolutely. I hear many stories from retirees about how COLA has not changed in 20 years, and that's terrible. We need to make sure our retirees who did the work get the retirement they deserve and were promised.

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James Talarico (D), House District 50

Representative James Talarico is a former public school teacher first elected to serve in the Texas House of Representatives in 2018. Born in Round Rock, Rep. Talarico attended Wells Branch Elementary School, graduated from McNeil High School, and still worships at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. He earned degrees from The University of Texas at Austin and Harvard University before teaching middle school on the Westside of San Antonio. He currently serves as the youngest member of the Texas Legislature, sitting on the Public Education Committee, the Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee, and the Calendars Committee.

During his two terms in office, Rep. Talarico has passed historic progressive legislation including the most significant reform to the state’s school finance system in 20 years, a sweeping bill to improve early childhood education across the state, the first-ever cap on pre-K class sizes in Texas, a ban on reality TV policing, a policy to open up millions in funds for social-emotional learning programs, a cap on insulin copays, and a law requiring all incarcerated minors in Texas be given the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma. For these accomplishments, Talarico was named one of the Top 10 Best Legislators by Texas Monthly magazine.

1. What do you see as the issues most important to state employees and retirees? How do you plan to address them?
I've done a lot of work not only for retired teachers, but also for state employees and retirees. The way our educators are treated is how we treat a lot of our public employees who wake up everyday and try to make our state and communities better - underpaid, undervalued, disrespected, and in retirement - even poorer. I'm here at the Capitol for a hearing on last year's electric grid blackout where we're hearing from state employees who struggled to respond without much support from state leadership. During that blackout, I led an effort to ensure that our State-Supported Living Centers were protected. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I organized a bipartisan letter demanding that Governor Abbott take the necessary steps to mitigate the spread of COVID to our State-Supported Living Centers, and to ensure those employees were paid appropriately and given the right equipment to stay safe. Governor Abbott eventually took those steps because of our letter. I'm proud to have led on those issues.

2. Do you support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees? Why or why not?
Yes. We have to elect public servants who believe in the potential of government and the potential of public servants. It's so strange to me that we elect folks who take every opportunity to trash everything that we do. It's almost like hiring a mechanic who doesn't want your car to run. You want people in these positions who want to make government work for people. Government doesn't do that on a lot of different levels, but that doesn't mean that it can't if we invest the right amount of resources and energy. Part of that is talent recruitment and retention. Like any other business or industry, to attract the best and the brightest, you've got to pay people what they're worth and treat them like professionals. For far too long, we have neglected to do that with our state employees. It's not just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do if we want our government to work at peak effectiveness and efficiency.

3. Do you support an annuity increase for ERS retirees? Why or why not?
Yes. I have been on the record as supporting this since I first ran for office. This is an issue very personal and relevant to me and the communities I represent. Our ERS members have been neglected in the legislature over the past few decades. It's time to right that wrong and ensure we are honoring our promises that we make to our public servants. We should honor the contributions state retirees have made to our state; they deserve to be taken care of in retirement.

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House District 52

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 52 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Patrick McGuinness (R), HD 52 Caroline Harris (R), HD 52


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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House District 60

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 60 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Glenn Rogers (R), HD 60 Mike Olcott (R), HD 60


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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House District 61 RUNOFFS

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 61 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Frederick Frazier (R), HD 61 Paul Chabot (R), HD 61


However, one candidate who is moving onto the general election in November has submitted their responses, click the link below to view them:

Sheena King (D), HD 61

Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

Next Candidate for HD 61

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Sheena King (D), House District 61

Representation matters and I believe our government works best when it looks like the people it serves. For too long, many of us have assumed someone else was looking out for our best interest and cared about all of us. What I witnessed this past legislative session made it apparent to me that I could no longer wait and needed to do something to protect our future. All of my past advocacy work and activism meant nothing if I wasn’t willing to take a risk and get outside of my comfort zone to make a difference. I strongly believe there is a distinction between empathy (understanding) vs. sympathy (knowing) and my lived experiences make me uniquely qualified for such a time as this. We are the change we’ve been waiting for and I’m ready to rise to the occasion, bring my skills, abilities, experiences and give my whole heart to fight for the people of Texas.

The most important experience I offer is an unconditional love for people which is at the heart of service. As a mother of three adult children, the future is bright however we must not take for granted it will be accessible and affordable for all Texans. I understand what it is like to overcome barriers and disparities (health, social, economic, racial and gender) and that each legislative policy is impacting families. Over my entire life, I have advocated for multiple rights and protections for myself, my children, my community, state and country. The time has now come for me to step into a new chapter of advocacy by serving as an elected official where decisions and policies are created.

I am a fourth generation Texan with a business degree, product of public education and over 25 years of experience in the financial services and insurance industry attaining more than 10 designations and licenses. This uniquely provides me with both the depth and breadth of knowledge of this trust based industry and the importance of integrity of our shared humanity. Additional experiences include the following: redistricting, financial budgeting, sales, conflict resolution, negotiation, change adoption, business continuity, and compliance, all of which will position me for success in the role. I am active in every community in which I’ve lived and the consistent theme of my service has been and will continue to be a light to others through random acts of kindness, volunteerism, education, civic engagement and societal services.

My role as the Legislative Chair of Women Organizing Women Democrats afforded me with the understanding of issues impacting the larger community of Collin County which has become vastly diverse as it continues to be one of the fastest growing areas of the state and across the country. I organized and was an activist for issues including but not limited to healthcare, social justice, voting rights, climate change, common sense gun control and women’s rights.

Our democracy is in danger and I’m energized to ensure it’s protection as demonstrated by my prior experience as a Volunteer Deputy Registrar, poll greeter, election worker and Election Judge. My previous volunteerism on multiple campaigns has included phone banking, canvassing, voter registration and outreach. There is a need for change in leadership in Collin County to represent the community and I’m ready to take this next step to ensure we are seen and our voices are heard.

1. What do you see as the issues most important to state employees and retirees? How do you plan to address them?
1. Salaries and compensation structure are at the top of the list because our public employees need skilled, trained, passionate and knowledgeable staff. In order to recruit, hire, train and retain there should be a deep dive of the compensation structure. Changes are needed in several areas.

2. Funding needs to be reviewed for our public employees including retirement plans as it has continually been under attack.
We need a more equitable way to fund public employees and address the injustices that exist today.
3. Safety enhancements including healthcare should be an obvious priority including necessary resources during the pandemic. The rising cost of healthcare and the lack of COLA have created large inequities and this should be addressed.

2. Do you support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees? Why or why not?

I completely support a livable wage for state employees and understand the lack of COLA is untenable. In my opinion there needs to be a comprehensive review of the retirement structure and funding as the future projections should be based on actuarially sound data so this doesn’t occur. Having this information would help inform the frequency with which COLA should be adjusted. In order to get us to parity until the COLA or other future compensation is in place, I would support an across the board pay raise for our state employees.

3. Do you support an annuity increase for ERS retirees? Why or why not?
The guarantee of some financial funding after retirement is what the pension plan (defined benefit plan) offers to employees and this may be the only funds available for some families and it is not equivalent to replace this with a 401k style plan (defined contribution plan). The optionality of the defined contribution plan doesn’t give the same safety and security to workers plus it may not be a feasible plan for workers who can not afford to contribute at the same level or frequency as others. If both were provided that is a different situation and I would only support it if the pension (defined benefit) remained intact along with the defined contribution plan. At this time an annuity increase for ERS retirees is needed to close the gap that has been created with the lack of pace of COLA.
 

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House District 63

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 63 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Ben Bumgarner (R), HD 63 Jeff Younger (R), HD 63


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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House District 70

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 70 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

REPUBLICAN TICKET:

Jamee Jolly (R), HD 70 Eric Bowlin (R), HD 70


DEMOCRATIC TICKET:

Cassandra Garcia Hernandez (D), HD 70 Mihaela Plesa (D), HD 70


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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House District 73 RUNOFFS

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 73 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Barron Casteel (R), HD 73 Carrie Isaac (R), HD 73


However, one candidate who is moving onto the general election in November has submitted their responses, click the link below to view them:

Justin Calhoun (D), HD 73

Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

Next Candidate for HD 73

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Justin Calhoun (D), House District 73

Justin Calhoun grew up in Marion, Texas, in a single-parent household. He had to drop out of high school to take on a full-time job to help support his family. He then completed high school on time through an advanced learning program, joined the US Army in 2010, deployed to Afghanistan in 2012-2013, and was then medically retired in 2015, returning home to Texas to pursue a master's in social work. During his education, he has worked closely with people struggling with homelessness, Veterans, juvenile justice, Texas legislature, and most recently, dialysis patients. He graduated with his master's in December of 2021.

1. What do you see as the issues most important to state employees and retirees? How do you plan to address them?
Currently, state employees I have spoken with have issues with their pay and retirement. Our state employees deserve to be paid their worth. They should be provided retirement plans that are secure and grow with the cost of living. As the Representative for HD 73, I will work to ensure our state employees are paid accordingly.

2. Do you support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees? Why or why not?
I support across-the-board pay increases to meet the cost of living increase we see yearly. Any other pay raises should be determined like any other employment, based on the quality of work and time served.

3. Do you support an annuity increase for ERS retirees? Why or why not?
There are several issues with the current ERS system. I would defer to the current Texas law on increasing annuity only if the ERS system is stable. We need to explore other options to support the current ERS system or change it altogether to provide the necessary funds for the annual cost of living adjustments needed and stabilize our retirement system for state employees.

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Vanesia Johnson (D), House District 76

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Board Approved Clinical Supervisor, and behavioral health professional in Texas. I am also an experienced psychotherapist and healthcare administrator. I am most known for fiercely and unapologetically leading the equity movement in Fort Bend County and across the greater Houston area. I have worked diligently and passionately to address inequities in public education, child welfare, juvenile justice, criminal justice, mental health, and healthcare for over 20 years. My priorities as I seek election to become State Representative of House District 76 are to expand eligibility and access to Medicaid, make healthcare more affordable for all Texans, champion reproductive rights for women seeking early term abortions, address inhumane and abusive practices in punitive county and state systems affecting vulnerable Texans, fight for environmental justice, and advocate for better protection and expanded benefits for the self-employed.
 

1. What do you see as the issues most important to state employees and retirees? How do you plan to address them?
I remain dissatisfied and unsettled with the realization that Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA) are not happening routinely for state employees and retirees. I came to learn that for most sectors of government, COLA has not happened for about a decade. Also, I am quite disturbed that the state is not paying a fairer share of the health care premiums and costs for state employees and retirees. The state through its failure to act has demonstrated total disregard of burdens of inflation, no annual COLA, aging, and the challenges to families managing chronic diseases. The unsafe and inhumane working conditions of correctional workers greatly disturb me as well. If elected, I plan to engage stakeholders, active and retired state workers, system leaders across state departments, and colleagues in both houses in an aggressive call for action resulting in proposed legislation to address these systems' ills hindering state employees, retirees, and their families.

2. Do you support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees? Why or why not?
I would support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees. I believe after such long-standing neglect and total absence of COLA leaving everlasting harmful economic effects on state employees, it would be an 'act of justice' at this point to raise state employees' pay.

3. Do you support an annuity increase for ERS retirees? Why or why not?
I would support an annuity increase for ERS retirees. I am baffled that annuity increases are not happening routinely and has not happened for many years. I believe at this point ERS retirees are victims of social systems' neglect and at this point need the remedy of social justice.
 
NOTICE: This candidate is up for the runoff election on May 24, however, the opponent has yet to respond to our questionnaire. You may find more information about Vanesia's runoff opponent at the link below:
 
 

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Carl Tepper (R), House District 84

Carl is a commercial real estate professional and has over twenty years of proven performance in the field. CoStar Group gave Carl the Power Broker Award for top office and retail transactions in the High Plains Region in 2018, 2019, and 2020. He’s achieved the Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) RPA designation. He’s managed millions of square feet of property and leased/sold millions of dollars in real estate in several regions of Texas. Properties include high rise office towers, low rise office buildings, retail strip centers, raw land, homes, warehouses, industrial properties and everything in-between including a marina, parking garages, and billboards. He’s one of the top commercial real estate professionals in Lubbock and has lectured at the Texas Tech Rawls College of Business. Numerous banking institutions call on him to value property for loan transactions. He is also a successful commercial real estate investor.

Carl joined the United States Air Force immediately after high school. Sergeant Tepper was a military aviator (C-130 Flight Engineer) with the 50th Tactical Airlift Squadron, the “Red Devils”. During his military career he lived in England, Arkansas, Texas (Reese AFB) and the United Arab Emirates and flew missions around the world culminating in his service in the Persian Gulf War. In the middle-east he logged over 20 combat-support missions which earned him the prestigious Air Medal among other citations. Carl has among the most flying hours and sorties logged in the Persian Gulf War, including from any other participating country.

After the war he attended Texas Tech University, and graduated Class of 1995. He rode horses for the Texas Tech Polo Team and wrote opinion columns for the college newspaper. After graduating he lived in Austin for twelve years practicing commercial real estate at the highest levels, including managing prestigious high-rise office properties throughout central Texas and assets in Dallas.

Carl was recruited to Lubbock to run the Downtown Lubbock Redevelopment Office. He was active in downtown planning, property acquisition and disposition, governmental policy for traffic, signage, design guidelines, zoning, and incentives.

Shortly after returning to Lubbock in 2009 he was elected to the position of Chairman of the Lubbock County Republican Party in April 2012. Carl was then elected as the President of the Texas Republican County Chairmen’s Association and was a change agent for that organization which is now among the most influential groups among Republican circles in Texas. He still advises various county Republican parties throughout Texas and has been called on by leaders from other states for counsel.

Carl was the first Republican Party leader in Texas to endorse Donald Trump for President. He became a National Delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2016 and was named a surrogate speaker for the campaign. He was later appointed as the Statewide Field Director for the Trump-Pence 2016 Presidential Election and was the captain of the Mighty Texas Strike Force into New Mexico for the presidential efforts in that state.

He’s served as the Chairman of the Lubbock Corps of The Salvation Army and is currently the Treasurer. He’s a member of the Indiana Avenue Baptist Church, a Life Member of VFW Post 2466 and is active in a variety of other volunteer efforts. He’s a regular guest host on various radio shows on NewsTalk KFYO.

Carl is married to Robyn Tepper who is the District Director for State Senator Charles Perry – who has endorsed Carl - , and Robyn has a significant resume all her own. Their daughter Claudia is a sophomore Talkington Lady Warrior, a competitive gymnast, and new recruit to the FFA.

Carl’s an avid horseman and is currently the President of the Sunset Saddle Club. He’s an endurance rider and travels throughout the region racing horses from 30 to 50 miles in a day. His ultimate goal is to win the 100 mile Tevis Cup in California. His beloved dog is a rescue mutt named Margaret Thatcher.

1. What do you see as the issues most important to state employees and retirees? How do you plan to address them?
Solvency and growth of the employee pension funds. It has been reported that the pensions would like to address representation on the pension fund board. Simply put - more members on the fund boards.
 
2. Do you support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees? Why or why not?
I would be supportive of pay increases if the pay is not within market parameters and if the budget allows.
 
3. Do you support an annuity increase for ERS retirees? Why or why not?
I would support an increase if the fund shows ability to allow an increase and remain solvent.
 

Next Candidate for HD 84

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David Glasheen (R), House District 84

I was born and raised in Lubbock and graduated from Lubbock High School In college, I enlisted in the United States Army Reserve. I attended law school at the University of Houston. After law school, I served four years active duty in the United States Marine Corps as a Judge Advocate prosecuting felony crimes. After the Marine Corps, my wife Mary and I moved home to Lubbock where I practice law, and Mary is a dentist. We have three children.

My top three issues are crime, property taxes, and education.
 
1. What do you see as the issues most important to state employees and retirees? How do you plan to address them?
I believe the most important issues facing state employees and retirees in our district are the same issues facing every other resident - crime, property taxes, and education.

The issues specific to state employees and retirees are the compensation and benefits promised to them, and those necessary to retain them in public service. I am committed to upholding the State's promises to public servants, and to retaining employees with competitive compensation.
 
2. Do you support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees? Why or why not?
I believe pay should be adjusted with inflation in order to achieve a targeted true value of total compensation. Pay is only one part of how we recruit, retain, and compensate employees. I believe the legislature should be vigilant about offering competitive pay, benefits, and desirable work conditions to state employees. Pay is one element of that. As we enter a period of higher inflation, we should must evaluate total compensation of public employees to keep on target.
 
3. Do you support an annuity increase for ERS retirees? Why or why not?
Where the State has committed to provide a benefit that scales with future costs of living, inflation, or other metric to adjust an annuity, I believe the legislature must honor past commitments.

 

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House District 85

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 85 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Phil Stephenson (R), HD 85 Stan Kitzman (R), HD 85


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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House District 91

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 91 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Stephanie Klick (R), HD 91 David Lowe (R), HD 91


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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Salman Bhojani (D), House District 92

Our district deserves experienced, forward-thinking leadership that can fight for our rights and needs in Austin. I came to Texas as a 19 year old immigrant, and worked my way up from three minimum wage gas station jobs to owning my own store to becoming an attorney, and, finally, the first person of color elected to Euless City Council. My story is the American Dream we hear so much about, but a story that has become out of reach for too many Texans and residents of HD-92. This is one of the most diverse districts in the state, and we deserve representation that reflects this fact, and honors it with pride.
We need an advocate for our district's unique needs, and I will fight for better funded education, job growth, reproductive rights, voting rights, and Medicaid expansion, so that everyone in HD-92 can achieve their personal American Dream.

1. What do you see as the issues most important to state employees and retirees? How do you plan to address them?
I see pay, working conditions, pensions, and the ability to collectively organize as vital issues pertaining to state employees and retirees. We need to fight for regular COLAs for retirees, an across-the-board pay rise for workers, increased collective bargaining and striking rights for workers to negotiate, and better workplace benefits for the hardworking state employees of Texas.

2. Do you support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees? Why or why not?
I absolutely support an across-the-board pay raise for our hardworking state employees. State employees keep the gears of our society and government moving forward day-to-day. They deserve to be compensated with a living wage, and fair benefits. I support a raise for all state employees.

3. Do you support an annuity increase for ERS retirees? Why or why not?
We absolutely need an annuity increase for state retirees, and regular cost of living adjustments for all pensioners. Retired employees need a consistent, well-paying pension plan, not an experimental 401 k style plan. I support financial security for retired state employees, and will push to oppose any negative restructuring. Additionally, I would be firmly opposed to any unnecessary changes to the state retirement system. State employees deserve a defined pension plan and financial security, not heartache and risk.

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House District 93

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 93 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Nate Schatzline (R), HD 93 Laura Hill (R), HD 93


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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House District 100

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 100 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Sandra Crenshaw (D), HD 100 Venton Jones (D), HD 100


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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John Bryant (D), House District 114

I served five terms in the Texas House, where I was twice named one of the Ten Bests Legislators in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine, followed by seven terms in the U.S. Congress, and service as U.S. Ambassador.

I’m running because the extremism of the current Trump-dominated Republican Party poses an unprecedented threat to democracy and this threat has arrived full-force in Texas with the on-going collaboration of Abbott, Patrick, Paxton, and Cruz. It must be met with a forceful and skillful response from Democrats, who continue to lose elections and legislative battles due to inability to successfully frame issues, communicate, and maneuver legislatively to demonstrate to the public how profoundly Trump Republican extremism differs from mainstream beliefs. The Trump Republican effort to undermine the 2020 and future elections has come into plain view.

Almost simultaneously, the December 10, 2021, decision of the new Trump majority on the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legislature’s repeal of a woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy on her own terms by authorizing private lawsuits against her and her doctor. As Justice Roberts wrote in his partial dissent, the court’s decision means that this mechanism can now be used to interrupt any constitutional right. Suddenly, the legislatures have the power to impinge on rights we have always taken for granted.

This requires everyone to get off the sidelines and join the fight against the Trump Republicans wherever they can be most effective. This is why I became a candidate.

I have the experience to frame issues, communicate, and maneuver legislatively to demonstrate to the public how profoundly Trump Republican extremism differs from mainstream beliefs, and to win against the right-wing. If Democrats are to start winning again it will require leaders who are not personally ambitious, not focused on private concerns like building a law practice or business, and not focused on building a resume of minor committee assignments obtained by going-along-to-get-along instead of forcefully fighting back.

State government depends on public employees who are woefully underpaid and must face the threat of an underfunded Employee Retirement System, of which I am a member who receives retirement from my state service in the Texas legislatgure. This is completely unnecessary since Texas has a surging economy, a projected $12 billion budget surplus, and the resources to pay our state employees appropriately. I support increasing pay and fully funding the retirement system.

1. What do you see as the issues most important to state employees and retirees? How do you plan to address them?
State government depends on public employees who are woefully underpaid and must face the threat of an underfunded Employee Retirement System, of which I am a member who receives retirement due to my previous state service in the Texas legislature. Low pay for state employees is completely unnecessary since Texas has a surging economy, a projected $12 billion budget surplus, and the resources to pay our state employees appropriately. I support increasing pay and fully funding the retirement system.

2. Do you support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees? Why or why not?
Yes. See above. Our treatment of state employees is an embarrassment and an enormous economic loss, as trained state employees quit to seek better pay to support their families.

3. Do you support an annuity increase for ERS retirees? Why or why not?
Yes. The increase should be regular and tied to the cost of living increases. One of the financial incentives to state service is a defined benefits retirement system. We promised it to the people who served us in state government and we should keep that promise.

Next Candidate for HD 114

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Alexandra Guio (D), House District 114

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia and came to the United States when I was 4 years old with my parents and two older sisters. My parents brought me to this country because of the dangerous situation in Colombia and because my mother needed a surgery that was only available in the United States. My parents also wanted to offer their daughters the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.

My parents taught me the value of hard work, the value of an education, and the value of serving my community. I held onto those values, especially as I faced the challenges of being an undocumented immigrant for most of my young adult life. I was fortunate to become a U.S. Citizen in 2013. That same year, I also graduated from the SMU Dedman School of Law, becoming the first attorney in my family.

The combination of my life experiences, professional skills, and my decade-long commitment to my community make me the best choice for House District 114. This newly drawn House District is made up of 54% communities of color and the residents deserve to have a representative that is reflective of their rich diversity, values, and needs.
I have also served as an assistant district attorney in Dallas County for 8 years where I have developed my skills as an advocate for victims and a defender of our community. I know how to speak up for those who are often silenced or ignored. I also served as the Legislative Liaison for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office for the 2019 Legislative Session in Austin, Texas and spent 5 months working at all levels of the legislative process including drafting bills, conferring with Legislators, negotiating compromise language, and whipping votes.

Finally, I have been an advocate for my community here in Dallas for over a decade: organizing, registering voters, protesting, and testifying in Austin. My skills as a bilingual advocate have also brought comfort and unity to all of my advocacy skills as a prosecutor, community activist, and candidate. With all these skills, I can confidently gain the trust of my community, thoroughly advocate for the residents of District 114, and hit the ground running in a legislative session if elected. Many residents in the East Dallas community have never had a bilingual State Representative and, therefore, Spanish speaking communities have been underserved and unrepresented. (This new District is 32% Hispanic). Many portions of this District had a prior representative that never bothered to hold a town hall. I am running to amplify voices and issues that have been ignored in my community for too long. It is time that we have a Representative that knows the community, their values, the issues, and has the trust of the community. My diverse life-experiences as a Latina from Colombia and my professional and activist skills can relate and motivate this richly diverse community in District 114 to work together. I plan to advocate for all residents and communities in 114 regardless of racial background, wealth, and status. I want to be part of the new leadership in Texas which welcomes women, and people of color to the table, and spreads hope across Texas.

Top 3 issues:

  1. Education:
    I grew up as a public-school student and firmly believe that a good education for every student, regardless of race, socio-economic background, and immigration status is a right and the key to advancing both individuals and families, and improving society in general. My parents instilled in me a respect for education and I now feel a duty to advocate for a quality education for all Texans, at all levels. My top priority is finding a long-term solution to returning to the state’s funding of public schools at 50%. In addition, I will fight to fully fund Pre-K, increase funding for English Language Learners, and repeal “CRT” bills. I will also stand up for our trans children and do what I can to support them in our school and in Texas.
  2. Reproductive Justice:
    As a former prosecutor who fought for justice for survivors of sex assault and the only woman in this race, I am extremely passionate about fighting for reproductive justice. I will do everything I can to repeal SB 8 (the abortion ban and bounty law) or at the very least I would attempt to repeal portions of this bill. I am fully committed to defending reproductive justice, which includes access to safe and legal abortions, access to contraception, and access to evidence-based sex-education programs. I believe that without access to all three, we are doing women (& LGBTQ+) and communities a disservice and infringing on their fundamental constitutional rights.
  3. Healthcare Accessibility:
    Texas has the highest rate of uninsured children in the nation and Dallas County ranks in the top seven counties with the highest rate of uninsured children in the nation. Medicaid expansion is the answer. Our communities need access to affordable healthcare to address our maternal mortality rate and also have access to preventative healthcare needs. Texas has turned away billions of dollars in federal healthcare aid and this political decision must change. Medicaid expansion would provide a huge injection of cash into the state’s healthcare system. The ripple effect would also be a greater resource availability and funding for the public schools and other crucial state services.

1. What do you see as the issues most important to state employees and retirees? How do you plan to address them?
There are a variety of issues that correlate with one another that affect state employees and retirees. State employees need an increase in pay that corresponds with the cost of living (especially now due to the rise in inflation) and there needs to be appropriate staffing to alleviate the workload on state employees. The issues that I hear the most when speaking to state employees is that they are overwhelmed with the amount of work they are required to do and underpaid. This is not only unfair to our state employees, but it is unfair to the clients/services that they are providing. My goal, if elected, is to ensure that our state employees receive the funding needed to receive across-the-board raises to keep up with the cost of living and to ensure that our state facilities are staffed appropriately.
Further, the issues I hear most from our state retirees is that there has not been a cost of living adjustment and they fear for the stability of their retirement. If elected, I will fight for a cost-of living-adjustment (COLA) and not just a one time check and further, I will fight to return state employees' pension plans to the defined benefit plan. Here in Dallas, we saw the detriment of can occur when a defined contribution plan is put into place and many in the Dallas Fire and Police pension system lost their retirement.

2. Do you support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees? Why or why not?
Yes. State employees deserve an across the board raise due to the increase of the cost into the pension fund, due to the rise of the cost of living, and the recent rise of inflation. All of these factors are making it difficult for state employees to keep up with the high cost of rent and other living expenses. Further, without a proper living wage, this causes a trickle down effect and causes a high turn over rate within several industries of state agencies. This further leads to inexperienced and/or low-staffed state agencies if our state employees are not paid appropriately.

3. Do you support an annuity increase for ERS retirees? Why or why not?
Yes, I support an annuity increase for ERS retirees. I will take steps to ensure that the state budget includes funds promised to eliminate ERS's depletion date and return the pension system to a defined benefit plan. I will also fight to ensure that there is a cost of living adjustment and not just a one time "COLA/ 13th" check for our retirees.

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House District 122

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 122 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Elisa Chan (R), HD 122 Mark Dorazio (R), HD 122


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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House District 133

The runoff candidates for House District (HD) 133 have not yet submitted responses to our questionnaire. You may find more information about them at the links below:

Shelley Torian Barineau (R), HD 133 Mano DeAyala (R), HD 133


Please email us at membership@tpea.org if you're interested in your candidate's responses to our three questions about key state employee and retiree issues, and would like our help in connecting with your candidates.

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Jolanda Jones (D), House District 147

I am a lawyer who has represented clients who are most often fighting long odds, with little or no resources, against people and institutions of power. As an At-Large Houston City Councilmember, I worked to ensure that all Houstonians were treated fairly by the City of Houston, and everyone received the services they deserved. I was known as a council office that had excellent constituent services notwithstanding that I was an At-Large Council Member. During my tenure on the Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees, my only concern was for the children we served, and I fought for their interests. As a member of the SDEC, as the SD13 Committeewoman, I worked to register voters and to ensure Democrats were elected to office. I am known as a community activist who works for disenfranchised people. I am a public policy wonk and have always worked to identify the root cause of problems to fix them. As a lawyer, I understand full well how laws can destroy and have unintended consequences. I will use that skill to help draft legislation that will address problems they are designed to address with little or no unintended consequences either by sponsoring a bill, adding amendments and/or scrutinizing and/or supporting it from the back mic. I grew up disenfranchised fighting long odds just like the people I have advocated for as a lawyer, activist, city council member, school board member and human being. I am my constituents.
 
1. What do you see as the issues most important to state employees and retirees? How do you plan to address them?
The most important issues for state employees and retirees are pay, job security, benefits and support for retirees. When I am elected to the Texas House, I will be at the forefront with my voice and my vote to protect our current and retired state employees. If legislation supporting these workers is proposed, I will help lead the charge for approval. If legislation harming these workers is proposed, I will actively fight against it with help/collaboration from the Texas Public Employees Association. I once worked as a Minority Recruiter/Admissions Counselor at the University of Houston, I understand how it feels to be a state employee who is not valued or paid well.
 
2. Do you support an across-the-board pay raise for state employees? Why or why not?
Yes. We should give across-the-board pay raises. I support our hard-working state employees. They deserve a living wage with good benefits like health care and our support and protection. Having dealt with various state agencies in my law practice, I see full well how state employees are overworked and underpaid.
3. Do you support an annuity increase for ERS retirees? Why or why not?
Yes. We owe our Texas retirees for their hard work supporting our state when our state often did not support them with living wages and benefits. We owe them for a job well done so they can live out their lives with security. Our seniors are precious and we must protect their quality of life.
 
NOTICE: This candidate is up for the runoff election on May 24, however, the opponent has yet to respond to our questionnaire. You may find more information about Jolanda's runoff opponent at the link below:
 
 

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