With early voting beginning in the Republican primary election on Monday, February 14, Texas Scorecard asked candidates in the race for Texas House District 31 a series of questions to help voters make up their minds before heading to the polls.

Alen Berlanga (No response received)
Ryan Guillen (No response received)
Mike Monreal
Alena Berlanga (No response received)

The following are the full, unedited responses we received.

Why are you running for office?
Monreal: I am running because we need strong conservative leadership in Austin and we are headed in the wrong direction. I cannot sit idly by and see the nation and state that I love being run into the ground. I am running for future generations of Texans, our children and grandchildren so that they can grow up in the Texas we love and cherish, a Texas where we can live and work in safety, harmony and prosperity!

What are the three main issues facing the district you hope to represent? How will you address them?
a. Secure the border! We must restore law and order in our border district and
prevent the open borders and free flow of illegals and the criminal element from
brazenly and openly trafficking humans and drugs.  
      i. Build the Wall 
      ii. Observe the wall with sensors, thermal imaging, drones and aerial
      iii. Increase and empower Texas state Law Enforcement Authorities to
          apprehend, and prosecute criminals and work with Border Patrol to
          process illegals for deportation.  

b. Legislate Election Integrity!  
       i. Require Voter ID – we need an ID for practically everything else, so we
      must require Voter IDs 
       ii. Absentee ballots should be sent to only those who request ballots and
            who offer credible justification, i.e. Military service, hospitalization, out of
       iii. Make audits a part of the routine process using statistical sampling
             techniques and not only as requested.  
       iv. Increase the penalty for violation of the voter fraud to a felony. 

c. Parents Rights in the Education of their children. Prohibit the teaching of divisive
woke curriculum such as CRT and re-imagined history that detracts from the verifiable history we need to teach.  We must educate our children, not only on true history, but in civics and government and character development based on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which our nation was founded.

Texans all across the state are reporting an ever-increasing property tax burden. Should the property tax system be fixed? If so, how?
Monreal: Property taxes have continued to be a major burden to Texans. I believe we should deliver a phased approach to elimination of property taxes, balancing sales taxes and other revenue streams that have little visibility, and lower priority programs, to offset a major shock to the average cost of living as we gradually eliminate the property tax.

Should Democrats serve as committee chairs in the Texas Legislature?
Monreal: Democrats should NOT serve as committee chairs.  They have demonstrated consistent unprofessional behavior by introducing obstacle after obstacle in the committees and failed to process key legislative agenda. After the democrats broke quorum in a disgraceful act of fleeing the state in the summer of 2021, I am convinced they should be held accountable and NOT be assigned committee chairmanship in the Texas Legislature. If the Republicans want to actually make progress on our critical priorities, Republicans must be assigned as committee chairs.

How would you characterize the state’s response to the coronavirus? What would you have done differently?
Monreal: The state overstepped its constitutional bounds by shutting down the state. This had far reaching negative impacts that will take years to recover.  Rural districts and small towns saw small businesses close, supply chain issues and unnecessary fear and panic as a result of this federal and state overreach. Hindsight is 20/20, but it was a mistake. I would have kept the state open and reinforced personal responsibility to take account of the individual’s health risks as they continued to live and work in our great state.

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