With early voting beginning in the Republican primary election on Monday, February 14, Texas Scorecard asked candidates in the race for Texas House District 62 a series of questions to help voters make up their minds before heading to the polls.

Shelley Luther
Reggie Smith (No response received)

The following are the full, unedited responses we received.

Why are you running for office?
Luther: For too long, the ruling class in Austin has walked all over our liberties, freedoms, and values. It’s time for real leadership; we need conservative accountability and true Texas values. I am running for Texas house because I know what it’s like to have my Liberty taken away for standing up for what’s right. I’m through with letting the Austin swamp walk all over Texas. If we don’t act now and save our Texas, everything will be lost. It’s time to restore common-sense conservatism in Austin.

What are the three main issues facing the district you hope to represent? How will you address them?
Luther: I’ve already knocked almost 4,000 houses in the last months just by myself, and the overwhelming number one issue is property tax. People are tired of paying rent to the government for property they already own. I met a family who has been living on the same land in Grayson County since the MKT railroad first came to the area over 100 years ago. With rising property taxes, they can barely afford to stay on the family land.

People are also sick of the looming threat of being fired for not taking a vaccine. We shouldn’t have to rely on the Supreme Court to guarantee our rights. We have known since 2020 that vaccine mandates were coming, yet the so-called “most conservative session ever” (and it’s three equally pitiful sequels) failed to yield any meaningful relief for normal people who are scared to death that they will be terminated for refusing the shot.

As HD-62 braces for the extreme cold of late January and early February, we are reminded of the total ERCOT failure and power grid shut down. Many people are angry about how things went last year, but even more are scared of what could happen still. Last year, the Texas Legislature did nothing about the ERCOT disaster, instead crossing their fingers hoping for a mild winter. It’s time to end our blank-check subsidy of green energy. We need to reinvest in our energy, including ignoring Federal restrictions on Fracking and Natural Gas.

Texans all across the state are reporting an ever-increasing property tax burden. Should the property tax system be fixed? If so, how?
Luther: We need to start by ending corruption on the local level. We can start with reforming local appraisal boards, creating elected positions and ending the practice of “good ole boy” appointments. My ultimate goal is to abolish Property tax, which can be done with responsible spending practices and reform to the current sales tax system. 

Should Democrats serve as committee chairs in the Texas Legislature?
Luther: Hell no. RINO leaders who want to play ball with Democrats have no place in our party. While Democrats know how to use power and seize moments of opportunity, our side seems to spend 70% of our time catering to the priorities of Democrats. It’s sick, and if Dems were in power, they wouldn’t have even had a discussion before banning Republican committee chairs. It’s just common sense to not give our political enemies, many of whom are avowed socialists who hate us, powerful chair positions.

How would you characterize the state’s response to the coronavirus? What would you have done differently?
Luther: We need to reform the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 to curtail executive abuse and ensure that the power of the people through the Texas Legislature is expressed in times of crisis. Public Emergency on the scale of COVID-19 should automatically trigger a special session. What happened in 2020 was rampant tyranny by the executive branch, enabling county judges and mayors to get high on power and throw people like me in prison for believing in liberty.

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