West Texans have an important choice to make in the GOP Primary run-off between State Rep. Jim Landtroop and challenger Ken King. The first is a proven conservative who made good on his word; the other a tax-raising double-talker.

State Rep. Jim Landtroop

During his 2010 campaign, Mr. Landtroop vowed to support conservative reforms and policies, including Voter I.D., spending caps, zero-based budgeting, private property protections, and not raising taxes. Those were all promises he kept, proving he really is interested in governing as a conservative – not just campaigning as one.

In contrast, his opponent Ken King had no such interest in defending taxpayers when he served on the Canadian ISD school board.

Mr. King voted repeatedly to short-change the district’s I&S funding by shifting the overall tax burden over to M&O – effectively giving the district a short-term funding boost while saddling it with needless debt. To be more precise, Canadian ISD added more than $26 million in bonds in just four years while Mr. King was on the board.

Ken King

Making matters worse for taxpayers, King’s vote to raises taxes in 2011, bring rates up from $1.16 to $1.21 of $100 in total valuation. Mind you, Canadian ISD was spending an abysmal 19.2% of their total funds in the classroom at the time!

Sensing GOP primary voters’ disapproval of tax-hikes, King accurately predicted he would be branded as “the guy that raises taxes,” — telling the audience at a debate in Spearman “I did. I actually did… We voted to raise taxes.”

Tellingly, Mr. King refuses to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Rep. Landtroop did sign the pledge and followed through on his word in his freshmen term.

He’s is also a supporter of the Texas Budget Compact, and actually voted or co-authored legislation enacting its principles (such as spending caps, truth in budgeting, and no tax hikes) before the compact even existed.

That type of conservative leadership is what earned him the distinction as a Taxpayer Champion on our Fiscal Responsibility Index, as well as the 4th most conservative member of the Texas House according to the James. A. Baker Institute at Rice University.

In addition to our organization, Rep. Landtroop has also been endorsed by the Young Conservatives of Texas, Texas Right to Life, Texas Farm Bureau, Attorney General Greg Abbott, Comptroller Susan Combs, and Governor Rick Perry.

Texas needs leaders that understand we don’t have a revenue problem — we have a spending problem. Rep. Landtroop has demonstrated the understanding and the willingness to actually cut spending and reduce the size of government.

Mr. King on the other-hand, has only shown a willingness to cave to the “spend more” crowd. That’s more in line of Speaker Straus’ philosophy, who is on record saying he doesn’t know if Texas needs more revenue or not. (Rep. Landtroop was one of 15 conservatives who voted in opposition to Rep. Straus’ re-election as speaker in 2011.)

The 83rd Legislature will assuredly be pressured by big-spenders and special interests seeking to grow government and increase revenues. Likewise, Texas needs leaders who are willing to stand up and fight for their conservative principles, not just recite them on the campaign trail. In HD 88, only one man fits the bill.

Send Jim Landtroop back to Austin.

Dustin Matocha

Dustin Matocha is the CFO and COO of Texas Scorecard. Dustin graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Management, a BA in Government, and a minor in Marketing. He’s a self-described Corvette enthusiast, baseball purist, tech geek and growing connoisseur of local craft beer.