With early voting beginning in the Republican primary election on Monday, February 14, Texas Scorecard asked candidates in the race for Texas House District 150 a series of questions to help voters make up their minds before heading to the polls.

Candidates
Valoree Swanson (No response received)   
Valerie McGilvrey  
Debbie Riddle (No response received)   
Bryan Le (No response received)   

The following are the full, unedited responses we received.

Why are you running for office?
McGilvrey: I reached out to Chris Daniel, our now former Harris County District Clerk, for help getting access to driver’s license photos and mugshots for private process servers when there is a question of someone’s appearance who’s the subject of a lawsuit. This is a task that has become more difficult with the vast numbers of privacy-minded people who’ve left social media. He was actively working on solving this issue when he lost his re-election. It was then that I reached out to Valoree Swanson. She gave me her direct number and told me I could call so when I did, she hung up on me. I tried again with the same result. Frustrated, I decided to ask my neighbors about Swanson and this is where I was encouraged to run because she refused to meet with constituents. She is dubbed the Absentee Rep in our area. We have no time for old management. 

What are the three main issues facing the district you hope to represent? How will you address them?
McGilvrey: In our district, in the recent past, we’ve had 300% more missing children than over the national average. I believe this is mainly due to an interstate running through it and also the high volume number of cheap motels that line either side of the feeder road (a majority went in when the Olympics was considering Houston as a location). I’ve spent countless hours driving around them and to spots where the homeless congregate searching for missing girls and runaways. Valoree Swanson, nor Debbie Riddle have ever done this. I have some recorded conversations with Debbie Riddle and in one of them, she tells me she doesn’t even, “Go that way” when I explain that homeless people are living behind the trees and bushes alongside the i-45 and FM 1960 W. underpass. No one could miss the used syringes by the curb and the stacks of stolen bikes behind the trees, except Debbie Riddle and Valoree Swanson.

In addition to this, we have had more affordable subdivisions turn nearly 70% Section 8 due to the Harvey floods and Houstonians looking north looking for a place to live. This brought crime with a large poverty-level demographic. Now, people deserve good schools for their kids, a decent home for their families, and to be able to work close to where they live. All of this is accomplished by moving to 150. But, we were not prepared for the influx of crime, in addition to this, our local constables also have not proven to saturate the district with the needed police presence. This is a priority for me. CP4 doesn’t even share our embarrassing crime stats with Lexis Nexis Community Crime Maps.
 
Lastly, since there is a poverty level and below demographic in our district who rely on the Harris County Hospitals for health services and since we have no bus stops (Swanson put in a Park and Ride which isn’t convenient to the low-income areas of 150) I want to bring a Harris County clinic to north Houston in the most southern part of our district. It grieves me to hear that someone doesn’t go get their chemo treatments because of the distance to travel, no public transportation, and the long wait to be seen. There are clinics all over Houston, there’s no reason to not have a facility here.

Texans all across the state are reporting an ever-increasing property tax burden. Should the property tax system be fixed? If so, how?
McGilvrey: Residential property taxes should be eliminated entirely, only residential. Raising sales tax by 1 or 2 percent would be a short-term bandaid for the missing revenue but would be necessary in order to make it happen. This can be accepted by Texans by extending tax-free weekends by a day or two and by adding a tax-free weekend mid school year. Tax on corporate properties should see a small increase as well. Tax on working lands, farmlands, should be assessed according to the dilemmas farmers are currently facing. 

Should Democrats serve as committee chairs in the Texas Legislature?
McGilvrey: I understand Democrats are people too, but since Dem committee chairs have killed conservative bills that deserved to go to the floor, I say nay.

How would you characterize the state’s response to the coronavirus? What would you have done differently?
McGilvrey: It’s highly unlikely I would have done anything differently because we had to (and still are) learn about the virus as evident in our news relating to Covid vaccines and the severe health issues the vaccines have caused children, young adults, and seniors. Many people in my family refused to get vaccinated, while we’re unsure if it’s the right choice, it’s our choice. 

Texas Scorecard

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