During an election night watch party in North Texas, citizens shared their legislative priorities for the 2021 Texas legislative session. Among them are election integrity, taxpayer-funded lobbying, property taxes, healthcare, and the powers of the governor.

At the Tarrant County GOP watch party Tuesday night, Texas Scorecard asked a number of citizens about the top concern they want the Texas legislature to address next year.

Monique Worthy, who unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination for Congressional District 13, said her concern, after Republicans holding the Texas House, is election integrity.

“If somebody tells you they’re fraudulently doing ballots on video, are we still counting those ballots or not?” she asked, referencing a video from Project Veritas that appeared to show ballot harvesting in San Antonio.

“She said she did 1,800 of those,” Worthy said about Raquel Rodriguez, the subject of the Project Veritas video. “Imagine her on a wider scale. Ten, fifteen, a hundred more of her doing that that didn’t get caught. That is how this election is so close right now.”

“They had a chance to strengthen our voting laws,” she said. “Greg Abbott could’ve called special sessions and got that stuff done. He chose not to.”

Another citizen said out-of-control spending was his top concern.

“They need to control the spending,” said Dave. “They need to stop giving money away; they really need to put the voter first, put the taxpayer first, not all these other projects.”

“I think we need to rein in property taxes, too,” his wife, Anne, added.

We asked if they saw any significant difference in their property tax bill since property tax reform passed in 2019.

“It varies. They always push for the most that they can get,” Dave replied. “Until we come up with a real alternative to property tax, we’ll never truly be property owners.”

Brian Bledsoe’s main concern is constitutional carry, but his friend Thomas talked about healthcare, particularly pre-existing conditions.

“Make sure they keep [their] benefits and take care of those [types] of people,” he said. He also expressed concern for those on Medicaid who’ve already paid into it. “Make sure they already take care of [those] people. They already paid their dues.”

Activist Carlos Turcios, who has led Back the Blue rallies in Fort Worth and Dallas to counter the “defund the police” movement, feels it’s time for the legislature to step in on this issue.

“I would like them to address the defund, radical, “abolish the police” agenda that’s literally just playing out in our cities, like Austin,” he said. “They’re pushing that in San Antonio. They’re pushing that in Dallas.”

Turcios also expressed concern about public education, saying he thinks critical race theory is the greatest threat Texas and students are facing.

“I just wish that our state representatives, primarily the Republicans, would just go visit our schools [and] literally see what on earth is happening.”

“I think what I would like to see them address is the power of the governor,” Tarrant Young Republicans President Derrick Wilson said. “I would like to see them rein in and put some limits on the governor because if ever the sad day comes where there’s a Democrat in office, we do not want [the governor] to have the kind of powers that we have recently seen from Gov. Abbott.”

Former congressional candidate Chris Putnam mentioned that redistricting will be “critically important,” as well as taxpayer-funded lobbying.

“It’s at the root of so many things that are wrong that are going on in this state, whether it’s property tax reform [or] cleaning up our public schools, which have been completely taken hostage by the left and their lobbyists and unions.”

“Knowing as little as I do, it’s the broad stroke issues with me,” Nick said. “I’d like Texas to remain pro-2nd Amendment. I know there’s going to be a talk about the infrastructure. I don’t see a whole lot of [problems] with that.”

“Overall, I’m happy where Texas is as a state.”

Citizens with concerns they want the Texas legislature to address may contact their elected state representative and state senator.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.