Republican lawmakers across Texas who are failing to represent their conservative constituents in Austin continue to draw primary challengers.

In East Texas’ House District 11, Republican voters will have at least two choices in the March 2018 primary: an incumbent with a record of voting against taxpayers’ interests, or a political newcomer.

Danny Ward is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran whose resume includes professional rodeo cowboy, rancher, and telecommunications field technician – and he’s ready to add state representative.

Ward says Cherokee, Nacogdoches, and Rusk county residents deserve principled conservative leadership in the state legislature, and they aren’t getting that from three-term incumbent State Rep. Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches).

“I think if (voters) do research, they are going to find out – if they are conservative – that they are not happy with the way he’s voting,” Ward told the Longview News-Journal.

Clardy’s voting history bears that out.

Clardy has a career “F” rating on Empower Texans’ Fiscal Responsibility Index. He’s spoken out against property tax reforms that empower voters and continues to obstruct pro-taxpayer reforms. Clardy also joined Democrats in opposing a bill to stop abusive hailstorm lawsuits that drive up the cost of Texas homeowners’ property insurance – a reform House Speaker Joe Straus killed in 2015 at the request of trial lawyers and the Democratic caucus.

Ward, on the other hand, strongly supports property tax reform that lets voters decide if local governments can raise their taxes more than four percent a year. In fact, he’d prefer to eliminate property taxes altogether in favor of a consumption-based tax.

“I feel like we really don’t own our own property if we have to pay taxes on it,” Ward said.

Ward also wants to reduce government regulations, citing the excessive burdens they place on public and private industries – and the individual Texans who work in those industries.

Clardy has already announced his plans to run for a fourth term. When he does, conservative voters will have at least one other choice on the primary ballot.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.


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