Q&A: Texas Senate District 4 candidates share their legislative objectives

Texas Senate District 4

* indicates incumbent

Brandon Creighton* R
Occupation: Attorney, small business owner, rancher
Experience: Texas House District 16 representative, 2007-2014
Contact: www.brandoncreighton.com

What are the top challenges now facing residents in your district, and how do you plan to address them?

BC: Senate District 4 and the entire state are facing serious health care concerns and risks from COVID-19, and the resulting economic crisis from shutdowns. Residents here want the same as everyone else in the state-they want to go to work, build a business, send their children to good schools, and live in a safe community. And those challenges will be addressed in all of my legislative priorities next session.

What are the largest effects of the COVID-19 pandemic you have seen in District 4, and what role does the state government have in local recovery?

BC: Small businesses have been forced to shut their doors, and still have the burden of rent and payroll. And I am committed to opening up Texas 100% so the job creators, the ones who constantly give back to our communities, have a fighting chance to keep their doors open. That means, opening up all businesses, schools for families that want in-person instruction, and encouraging confidence in getting back to our lives, whether that is at a restaurant, in church, at a concert, or a football stadium.

Why do you believe you would be a good voice to represent District 4 in the Legislature?

BC: I work every day to promote pro-family, pro-business policies. To ensure prosperity, we must work toward improving the Texas economy, focus on job creation and pro-business policies, education and workforce initiatives, property tax reform and relief including appraisal reform, continued border security and making sure that Washington, D.C. allows Texas to run Texas.On a personal note, I am an eighth generation Texan, I grew up here and am raising my family here, and I do everything I can to stay engaged with every community, and every industry throughout the district.

What are one to two specific bills you are looking to file or support at the start of the 2021 session?

BC: My staff and I have been in meetings over the last year and a half developing policy for this upcoming session. I'm working on pro-taxpayer priorities including lowering appraisal caps, building off the success of last session, I will work for continued improvement of disaster response and preparedness, while reviewing the proper role of government during that response. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, I'm working to improve the path for people seeking career and tech training, and finding more cost-efficient credentialing and degree plans to help people get back to work and prepared for a 21st century economy. It is also my intention to pass a balanced state budget with no tax increases as we find ways to cut the size of government and operate lean as Texas families have been required to do during this downturn.

Jay Stittleburg D
Occupation: Oil and gas project manager
Experience: Montgomery County Behavioral Health and Suicide Prevention Task Force member; U.S. Navy Submarine Warfare Officer, 1992-2006; Montgomery County Judge candidate, 2018
Contact: www.jaystittleburg.com

What are the top challenges now facing residents in your district, and how do you plan to address them?

JS: Public education funding, property tax relief, health care and flooding are the top challenges and in order to address them I intend to close loopholes in our tax laws that give billions of dollars in relief to corporations on the backs of Texans to ensure long-term appropriate funding for public education and help reduce property tax burden, author/support Medicaid expansion and start discussions on land use and enforcing responsible development to address flooding.

What are the largest effects of the COVID-19 pandemic you have seen in District 4, and what role does the state government have in local recovery?

JS: Struggling small businesses, job loss, money and food insecurity has had major effects on District 4 and the state government should be communicating a consistent message of how we get past the shutdowns and restrictions and outline the milestones we need to achieve to reach that point based on science and data from public health professionals. We all need to work together in order to have a faster recovery.

Why do you believe you would be a good voice to represent District 4 in the Legislature?

JS: My career has taught me that listening and learning can never stop, public service is about the people in this district and not me and District 4 deserves a senator that will work hard every day for legislation that creates the greatest benefit for the residents of District 4 regardless of the political repercussions. I am running to serve the people in District 4 and not big business and special interests.

What are one to two specific bills you are looking to file or support at the start of the 2021 session?

JS: Most important is Medicaid expansion. Texas is one of only 13 states that has not expanded Medicaid and we must remove politics from people's health and work to make health care accessible and affordable. Second, I am going to support and fight for closing tax loopholes in our state, to ensure that corporations pay their fair share and ensure we have long-term public education funding from the state level to lower the tax burden on Texans.

Cameron Brock L
Occupation: Media, former chemical plant operator
Experience: Youth coaching
Contact: N/A

What are the top challenges now facing residents in your district, and how do you plan to address them?

CB: It's a simple loss of freedom. Gov. Abbott is destroying people's lives with the closures of businesses and a mask mandate that places fear into citizens. A recession is when your neighbor loses their job. A depression is when you lose your job. Many people are experiencing a depression which could easily be avoided. I move to recall Gov. Abbott which Brandon Creighton has failed to do.

What are the largest effects of the COVID-19 pandemic you have seen in District 4, and what role does the state government have in local recovery?

CB: The state government has a small role, if any role at all, in the local recovery. What is best for Austin isn't what's best for Winnie, Anahuac or Humble. The people know what's best and we should empower the people. The shutdown and the mask mandate are unconstitutional. My goal is to legalize success. We should eliminate property taxes and allow the free market to regulate itself. More entrepreneurs please! More ideas please!

Why do you believe you would be a good voice to represent District 4 in the Legislature?

CB: The reason I want to be elected is to leave the citizens alone. It is my intention to empower people. Let's legalize success! Why does Mattress Mack have to go across state line to protect his investment of the "Win it all! Get it all!" promotion? Our state lost $20 million because sportsbooks and gambling are illegal. Senate District 4 takes a massive hit every time Houstonians cross the border to gamble. Legalize success!

What are one to two specific bills you are looking to file or support at the start of the 2021 session?

CB: The number one bill I want to create is ending sovereign immunity. We have legalized slavery in the state of Texas. Texas Tech University owes Mike Leach millions of dollars. Kirby Hocutt has hired multiple coaches who he had to cut loose because of abuse. Why is Hocutt still around? I want to legalize gambling, especially sportsbooks in the state of Texas. You should be able to do with your money what you decide is best.

This article comes from our ABC13 partners at Community Impact Newspapers.