Morrison faces November challenger

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

March 2, 2012 at 6:03 p.m.
Updated March 1, 2012 at 9:02 p.m.

A Crossroads-born native wants to unseat a long-standing state representative in hopes of inspiring change.

Alex Hernandez Jr. is seeking the Democratic party's nomination for state House District 30, which includes Victoria.

Republican Geanie Morrison, of Victoria, has served as the district's representative since 1999.

"Everybody was been pushing me to do it," said Hernandez, a 40-year-old Port Lavaca-born lawyer. Hernandez will officially file Monday in Austin. "I've received an outpouring of support."

He and Morrison are unopposed so far in the primaries. If no one else files, they will face one another in the Nov. 6 general election.

Hernandez, a constitutional, injury and criminal defense lawyer, held off on the decision to run because of the drawn-out shuffle to redraw the district maps. Morrison, however, filed in December in hopes she would keep most of her district intact after the final map was approved.

Morrison declined to comment about her opponent because she is not familiar with him.

Morrison said she is glad to finally have a settled map and a primary election date.

"I look forward to listening to the voters throughout the district," Morrison said in an email statement. "I have represented four of the six counties in the past, and I am eager to get to know more of the voters in Aransas and Calhoun counties."

On Friday, Hernandez's Facebook page for his supporters had a growing number of "likes."

Hernandez said he does not believe in smear campaigns and hopes voters will see how his knowledge of the area and his experience as an attorney make him a viable candidate.

"I'm very qualified for the state representative position," he said.

If elected, Hernandez's big issue to tackle would be education by strengthening its existing standards, he said.

He also would like to improve the area's infrastructure by increasing jobs and businesses.

Meanwhile, Morrison has authored and co-authored several House and Senate bills in her seven terms. The most recent and notable accomplishment was the passage of HB 1056, which transformed the University of Houston-Victoria into a four-year institution - the only one within 100 miles of Victoria.

Hernandez said he does not doubt Morrison's abilities, but when he heard she was unopposed, he knew he had to do something.

"A lot of what I do is progressive," he said. "It's just time for something new. People need a voice."



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