Republican State Sen. Lois W. Kolkhorst and Michael Antalan, a Democrat from Katy, will face off for the District 18 seat in Texas Senate in the general election.
Kolkhorst, a 55-year-old Republican from Brenham, was elected to the seat in 2014 after spending seven terms in the Texas House.
She authored and passed 107 bills during the 86th Legislature, including many focused on Hurricane Harvey recovery and Senate Bill 6, which enhanced training and education for local emergency management to better prepare them for future natural disasters.
Kolkhorst is chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and serves as a senior member on the Senate Committees of Finance, Transportation, Nominations and Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs.
As chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, Kolkhorst expanded the quality and availability of health care in rural Texas and secured a record $106 million for rural hospitals.
In addition to advocating for rural hospitals, she has used her seat to fight for high-risk pregnant women and newborns, private property rights, peace officers and first responders and parks and historic sites.
In 2019, she authored Proposition 5, which changed the Texas Constitution by permanently dedicating revenue generated from the sporting goods sales tax to state parks and historic sites.
Antalan is a 52-year-old attorney who listed a Katy address when he filed for the senate seat, according to the Texas the Secretary of State website. He did not respond to several phone calls and emails.
Antalan spent eight years as an aviation maintenance officer in the U.S. Navy and served three years in the Army National Guard before starting a career in law, according to his campaign website, which appears to not have been updated since he filed for candidacy in 2019. His campaign website says he began his practice law in 2006 after graduating from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
Antalan was defeated in an election for the Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace position in 2018.
If reelected, Kolkhorst said her goals for the next session will be to improve health care delivery systems, fight for appraisal reform and create more educational and economic opportunities for all Texans.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kolkhorst office assisted with responses to COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing facilities, worked to improve turnaround times for mobile testing sites in rural counties and pushed for easily accessible, transparent and accurate COVID-19 data for the public, she said.
If reelected, she said she would continue working to rebuild the economy, support health care workers and ensure adequate pandemic response resources.
“Another of the key issues will be to reform how public health intersects with our constitutional rights and liberties,” she said. “All businesses are essential to someone and there must be more checks and balances about how the draconian public health policies we have seen this year can be used as pretext to take away our liberties and freedoms.”