As Texans across the state face looming threats such as exorbitant property tax bills, restrictions on free speech, and hindrances on parental authority over their child’s education, Texas Scorecard sat down with state representative candidate Jennifer Fleck to hear her plans if elected.
Fleck is running to be the representative for Texas House District 47, an area encompassing much of west Austin. She said the reason she’s campaigning is that she doesn’t feel represented as a citizen.
Her district’s current state representative, freshman Democrat Vikki Goodwin, earned a dismal score of 20 last session on the Fiscal Responsibility Index, voting repeatedly against her own constituents, choosing to raise taxes on citizens, strip away protections for preborn children, and silence free speech on college campuses.
“I don’t feel represented as a mom, as a female, as a conservative … and that resonated with almost every door,” Fleck said. “[People in my district] could relate to that, they could relate to that message. They felt what I felt, and I was able to win people at the door with that message.”
Fleck was the top voter-winner in the March Republican primary election, but since no candidate in the race earned above 50 percent of the votes, the top two candidates will face off again in May to determine who will be the Republican nominee to face Goodwin in the November general election.
“As a conservative and grassroots activist, my top priority is to be attentive to and prioritize the Texas Republican Party legislative priorities,” Fleck said. Those priorities last session included plans to advance pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-border security causes, most of which failed to happen in the Republican-controlled legislature.
Fleck said she is also prioritizing various social issues such as public education curriculum, juvenile justice reform, and the protection of parental rights.
“I’m very interested in making sure schools don’t undermine parental authority. Parents should be the lead and the primary educator of their child, and schools should come second,” Fleck said.
“Most of what I want to work on are social issues, and part of that is because I’m a female and mom, but I also have, over the last couple sessions, seen social issues ignored or not given due attention because we don’t have very many female legislators in the House,” she added.
Fleck also addressed property taxes, saying the root problem is government officials’ spending sprees.
“And as long as we keep adding million-dollar programs to our public education budget, which makes up most of the state budget, we can’t cut taxes,” she said. “We have to cut spending, and we have to stop adding these needless programs.”
Fleck added she’d also like to change the way property appraisals work.
“I would definitely be interested in looking at capping appraisals in some way, giving some protection to our more elderly homeowners, but also potentially an every-other-year break to homeowners, where they didn’t have to anticipate their property values increasing every single year,” she said.
Regarding social issues, Fleck addressed her campaign’s endorsement from Texas Alliance for Life, an organization who recently did not support a heartbeat bill in the state legislature, which would have made killing babies illegal after a heartbeat was detected in the womb, nor did they support giving life-saving medical care to baby Tinslee Lewis of North Texas.
“When I accepted the TAL endorsement, I did get some pushback from my grassroots friends, and this is what I said: I knocked 5,500 doors myself [during the campaign]. And when I’m knocking doors, the voter wants to know if I’m pro-life. Period,” Fleck said. “I’m for both incremental steps to end abortion and an all-out abolition of abortion … I’m not as harsh on TAL for not being more conservative because if you’re at the Capitol like I am, there aren’t that many conservative members to align with.”
When asked about President Trump, Fleck said though she doesn’t like everything he says, she likes that he stands up for citizens, especially when their rights are being assaulted.
“I feel like he’d fight for me, so that’s what I like about him, and that’s what I want to be for my voters,” she said. “I want them to know I will stand with them, for them, and fight for them.”
The primary runoff election is currently set for May 26, though that may be postponed due to coronavirus concerns. Fleck says those interested in helping her campaign can visit www.flecktexasstrong.com, and those interested in hearing more details of Fleck’s plans can watch our full interview below: