As your local election headquarters, we are putting a spotlight on key local races that you’ll be considering inside of the ballot box. Wichita Falls residents will be voting on whether to elect either Democratic candidate Kevin Lopez or Republican candidate Pat Fallon.
For the first time since 2001 Texas Senate District 30 will be represented by someone other than Craig Estes. Pat Fallon is the Republican candidate who defeated Estes in the primary election on March 6, 2018. The Democratic candidate, Kevin Lopez, ran unopposed in the primary.
When the 86th Texas Legislative session begins next year Republican Fallon and Democrat Lopez admit school safety will be a priority issue, especially since the deadly Santa Fe High School shooting.
Lopez believes the conversation should start with increasing funding to public education.
“The other thing we need to do along with more funding to public education is to provide more counselors to the school districts. Have a better counselor to student ratio so that counselors can recognize issues before they occur.”
While Fallon said,
“We want to secure the entrances and exits to a school. Second thing, I would like to see, you know on your hotel door how it locks automatically, the classroom doors do the same thing, they lock automatically.”
Another key issue in January will be more criminal justice reform in Texas after Governor Greg Abbott rolled out his plan to fix what he calls a flawed bail system.
Both district 30 candidates believe reform is needed, but they differ on where those changes should start.
Fallon is focused on mental health reform,
“We are incarcerating some people who have mental health issues that aren’t even violent. That costs the taxpayer a whole lot of money. Where if we invest a little in getting them the care and help they need, at the end of the day it will be better for that individual but also for society as a whole and the taxpayer because it’s going to costs less.”
While Lopez would like to see a change in how some offenses are punished,
“Look at reducing minor offenses to different types of penalties or punishments, so community service, deferred adjudication or anything that might prevent a prison sentence but still pay back to society for whatever charges were brought against them.”
State lawmakers will likely also be zeroing in on more ways to secure the border.
“Our funds could go to putting more boots on the ground and surveillance techniques, satellite imagery or drones across the border to keep an eye out on what’s going on. It will not only help secure our borders better but also be a safety measure.”
“We can secure our border and help do that. We spent a little over $800 million in the last two legislative sessions to secure the border, We need to secure that border for the security and well being of all Texans.”