Republican candidates to compete for Texas House District 28 primary

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020
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HOUSTON, Texas -- The Republican primary for Texas House District 28, which represents the Katy area, Fulshear and Sugar Land, will include two candidates.

Incumbent Gary Gates won the Jan. 28 special runoff election and will be on the 2020 Republican primary ballot.

Schell Hammel is also on the Republican ballot, but she said she has dropped out of the race due to treatments for her recent leukemia diagnosis. According to the Texas Secretary of State, if Hammel were to win the Republican nomination in the primary, she can either run in November or withdraw her name on or before the 74th day before Nov. 3.

Early voting for the primaries runs Feb. 18-28, and election day is March 3.

The winner of the Republican primary election will proceed to the November general election against candidate Eliz Markowitz, the only Democratic candidate who filed for the 2020 primaries for the position. Community Impact Newspaper only publishes candidate Q&A's for contested races.

In this Q&A, candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Their responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

*indicates incumbent candidate

Gary Gates*

Top priorities: cut property taxes, flood mitigation, support public education and secure the border

Occupation: business owner

Years in the district: 30

Campaign contact information: 281-301-5477,,

Why are you motivated to seek this public office? After my father, a U.S. fighter pilot, was murdered when I was 18 years old, I went to work to help support my family. I never forgot how hard life can be, so when my hard work led to financial success, I've devoted my life to serving others. I have lived in the district for over 30 years, and my wife and I raised our family here. Fort Bend County has given so much to us. I want to go to Austin and be a voice for our community.

What is the most pressing issue specific to HD 28? Texas has the third-highest property tax rate in America. I employ over 500 people and have seen first-hand the devastating impact that these outrageous taxes have on families in Fort Bend County. Young families are being squeezed out of the American dream of homeownership and seniors, on fixed incomes, struggle to keep up with the tax bill. We must provide property tax relief.

If elected, what do you hope to accomplish during the 87th legislative session? We have to focus on our core needs: property tax relief, supporting our schools and securing the border. We need to look at all aspects of property taxes next session, including appraisal reform, and find ways to reduce the burden on our families. We must secure the southern border and stop illicit drug and human trafficking in their tracks to ensure that our communities are safe and secure. And we need to ensure our schools and teachers have the resources they need to provide quality education to our kids.

Schell Hammel

Hammell did not respond to the questionnaire.

Campaign contact information:

This story was published through our partnership with Community Impact Newspapers.