State Rep District 13 Republican nominees share priorities
Feb. 8, 2018 at 9:42 p.m.
Updated Feb. 9, 2018 at 6 a.m.
Five Republican Party candidates who are each concerned about property rights will face off in March for the State Representative District 13 nomination.
Competing for the Republican nomination are David Stall, of Fayetteville; Marc Young, of Sealy; Jill Wolfskill, of Bellville; Daniel McCarthy, of Brenham; and Ben Leman, of Grimes County.
Current State Rep. Leighton Schubert announced in December he would not seek re-election and wanted to spend more time with his family.
The winner of the Republican primary will face Democratic Party challenger Cecil Ray Webster Sr. in the Nov. 6 general election. He is unopposed in the Democratic Party primary.
District 13 includes Lavaca, Austin, Burleson, Colorado, Fayette, Grimes and Washington counties.
Stall has been involved in politics since 1972, when he volunteered with a local Republican group.
Stall said he has experience working both inside and outside government offices.
"There are a number of various battles related to water, eminent domain and property rights," Stall said of the issues he would face if nominated.
Stall said he has worked with legislators and coalitions and led a group against the building of the Trans-Texas Corridor.
"I've learned how to be effective and how to get things passed and how to stop things that don't need to pass," Stall said.
Stall said he feels his experience dealing with legislators in Austin will help him as a state representative.
"I feel an obligation to my community and neighbors to take on some of the challenges the state is facing today," he said. "I have a unique experience that I feel will allow me to be very successful."
Young said his personal experiences with state issues motivated him to run for state representative. Young fought against the Trans-Texas Corridor when five alternative routes were mapped across his farm, he said.
The issues he would like to take on for the district are landowner rights against eminent domain, landowner groundwater rights, county roads and bridges, public education funding and issues that affect agriculture. These are issues, he said, that affect rural residents.
"If you don't protect your land, someone else will take it away from you," Young said.
Even if he doesn't have experience with a certain topic - such as the Teachers Retirement System or educational funding - Young said he will research to find the best solution for residents.
Wolfskill has never sought public office before but has been active at the grassroots level. When she found out Schubert would not seek re-election, she felt it would be her chance for conservative representation for her district.
"I'm not afraid to speak out on the issues that are important to the families in our community," Wolfskill said.
The issues Wolfskill said she would take on are those that affect rural communities, such as private property rights, pushing back against eminent domain, property tax reform, school finance reform and water rights.
Wolfskill said she would also advocate for small businesses to help them succeed.
She also opposes abortion.
"I am going to continue to do the right thing for the right reason," she said. "I will bring moral clarity, determination, integrity and courage (to the position)."
DANIEL E. MCCARTHY
McCarthy said his concern for his neighbors and his family motivated him to run for state representative.
"I'm just a concerned Texan who wants to keep the values now for my family in the future," McCarthy said. "I pretty much have the same political experience as Donald Trump, and so far he's doing pretty good."
McCarthy said the district has been facing the same issues, such as rising property taxes and land rights, and feels the issues do not get resolved.
McCarthy said he would like to bring power back to the local government and would like to bring in services to the district to cut costs. For example, he said, having local morgue and autopsy services could save taxpayer money.
"We just need to strip everything back and find out what is needed and what is not needed," he said.
McCarthy said he would also fight against eminent domain on behalf of property owners.
He also sees a need for bail reform, he said, and would like to see judges have more discretion when setting bond than having to follow a bail guide.
Leman, who has served as Grimes County judge, said he decided to seek a different position this election season. When Schubert decided not to seek re-election, Leman said he was concerned about the qualifications of any candidates who would represent the district.
Leman said his background as a rancher and experience as a county judge is reflective of District 13.
"I understand the issues that affect our justice system as well as mental health issues and jails - all the issues that affect us on a local level," Leman said. "I think it's very helpful to have that perspective."
Leman said he would help rural Texans have a strong voice in Austin by taking on issues such as property taxes and illegal immigration.
Leman said immigration is not just a federal issue but a local one. He said costs in the justice system, jail system, health care, education and welfare programs can be tracked back to immigration.
Leman said he would like to bring solutions to the state that would make Texas unattractive to undocumented immigrants.
He would also fight against eminent domain and rising property taxes.