Texas House of Representatives District 97 seat is open after current Rep. Mark Shelton chose to challenge incumbent State Senator Wendy Davis for the District 10 position.
Vying to replace Shelton in District 97, which comprises the southwestern portion of Tarrant County, are Democrat Gary Grassia, Republican Craig Goldman and Libertarian Rod Wingo.
Both Grassia and Wingo were unopposed in the May 19 primary for District 97, while Goldman won the Republican vote with 54.7 percent.
Grassia’s campaign platforms promote women’s rights, restored state funding to public schools, well-funded law enforcement and adequate industry oversight, according to his campaign website.
“I’m not a politician. I’m a small business owner, a husband, a father and a citizen of District 97 who is willing to stand up and fight for the people,” Grassia said.
Grassia’s campaign promotions are family- and small business-oriented, with the tagline “husband, father, friend, small business owner” appearing under his name and many appeals to family and family values in government.
According to the electronic filings records of the Texas Ethics Commission, total political contributions to Grassia’s campaign were $560 and total expenditures were $2,423.
Goldman’s website states he promotes small business, job creation, education reform, cutting government spending, tightening border security and working to repeal ObamaCare by working against Democratic agendas. He plans to lower taxes, promote pro-life legislature and fight the imbalance of power between state and federal government.
“I’m campaigning to make sure voters know that if they elect me to represent them in the Texas State House, they will be getting someone who will fight to continue to balance our budget, oppose new tax increases, make more transparency in government and promote a small business-friendly environment that will create more jobs in Texas,” he said.
Goldman was officially endorsed by Governor Rick Perry for the Disctrict 97 Republican Primary as well as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Editorial Board for the District 97 seat.
His own website describes him as a “conservative republican with a small business background.”
Total campaign contributions were $28,542 with total expenditures of $5,771, according to the Texas Ethics Commission.
According to Wingo’s website, his platform includes cutting taxes and government spending, ending the war on drugs by legalizing marijuana use, implementing relief programs for small businesses, and providing liberty for Latinos by encouraging involvement in Libertarian government.
“Win or lose, every single vote for a Libertarian sends a clear message for liberty,” Wingo said. “I’m asking people not to waste their votes on encouraging the Democrats and Republicans who keep making things worse.”
Total political contributions and expenditures for Wingo’s campaign were both zero, according to the Texas Ethics Commission.
District 97 has a strong history of electing Republican representatives with consecutive wins as far back as 1992. Democratic and Libertarian candidates most often ran unopposed in their own primaries, while two Republican candidates were on the ballot in their primaries, according to the Texas Tribune.
The new District 97 representative will take office in 2013. District 97 is one of 17 districts out of a total 150 with three candidates running for election, according to the Texas Tribune.