WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Texas begins their 87th legislation as early voting continues for the Texas House District 68 seat.
Two more candidates in this race are Jason Brinkley, who was in his second term as Cooke County Judge before he decided to run, and John Berry, a financial planner from Jacksboro.
Jason Brinkley stepped down from his second term as Cooke County Judge with hopes of being the representative of District 68.
“I really think that there’s a lack of knowledge on how local government works at the state level. And so having somebody that has that experience that can bring that to the table,” Brinkley said.
Aside from being County Judge, Brinkley has also been Cooke County justice of the peace and has served as the president of the Texoma Council of Governments and also on other committees. Along with fighting for rural broadband access, Brinkley said redistricting will be a concern for whoever takes the seat.
“There’s gonna be a bigger push to eliminate a rural seat because the population is simply not there,” Brinkley said. “Rural Texas is really struggling and if we want to keep our younger families here, we’re gonna have to find ways to offer some of the same services that you see in some of the urban areas.”
Along with Brinkley is Jacksboro native and financial planner John Berry. Berry has also served as a Jack County commissioner.
“Our voice is gonna be lost and we’ve got to make sure that they understand that what works for some of these larger urban counties doesn’t necessarily work so well for these smaller rural counties and that we have a limited base with which to work from,” Berry said.
Berry said that his background as a financial planner helps him be a better candidate. He says he can make tax dollars work for residents of District 68 while protecting the agricultural industry.
“We need to make sure that we protecting ag exemption because the margins are so slim on ag industries, that a little tax can significantly hurt them. So we’ve gotta work to protect that exemption,” Berry said.
With the 87th legislation already in session, both men said they are ready to be voted in to be a voice for rural texas.
To bring that voice, having represented a rural county for the past 12 years, bringing that voice to Austin I think is imperative,” Brinkley said.
“I’m not looking to write laws to just put more laws on the books. What we need to look at is what regulations and the impact that regulations have on individuals from a business standpoint and from an individual voter standpoint,” Berry said.
Charles Gregory, the lone Democratic candidate, declined an interview.