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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Delayed Texas primary gives voters few choices

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Today, polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. for voting in the long-awaited Texas Primary. Students who are registered voters in Brazos County can go vote at the Memorial Student Center in room 1400 on campus. Students are reminded to check their voting precinct before going, because depending on their address, they may have to go to alternate locations. Visit brazosvotes.org for more information.
On the ballot are federal, state and local offices. Voters will cast their ballots for who they want to be on the ticket in the general election in November.
On the Republican primary ballot, candidates are listed for the following offices: U.S. President/Vice President, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative District 17, Railroad Commissioner, Railroad Commissioner- Unexpired Term, Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas places 2, 4 and 6, Presiding Judges for the Court of Criminal Appeals, Member of the State Board of Education, State Senator District 5, State Representative Districts 12 and 14, Chief Justice for 10th Court of Appeals District, District Judge 272nd Judicial District, District Attorney 85th Judicial District, County Attorney, Sheriff, County Tax Assessor-Collector, County Commissioners for Precincts 1 and 3, and County Chairman.
On the Democratic primary ballot, candidates are listed for the following offices: U.S. President/Vice President, U.S. Senator, Railroad Commissioner, Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas place 6, Presiding Judge for the Court of Criminal Appeals, Member of the State Board of Education, State Representative Districts 12 and 14, and County Chairman.
Though voting comes the day after a holiday weekend, candidates said they hope that Memorial Day reminded citizens to go vote.
Candidates for State Representative, District 14:
Hal Hawkins, a local realtor, founder of BrazosDebtClock.org and communications director for the Brazos County GOP, has been endorsed by Young Conservatives of Texas and the Bryan/College Station Tea Party. Hawkins has a Master’s of Business Administration from UT Arlington and Bachelor’s of Business Administration from LeTourneau University.
In regards to higher education, Hawkins is supportive of concealed carry on university campuses, ending in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and legislative control of tuition rates.
“On the issue of “re-regulating” tuition rates, we currently have no control over who sets the rates. The Board of Regents is an unelected and unaccountable board answerable only to Gov. Perry,” Hawkins said. “Often these appointments are based off political connections rather than merit or dedication. Public universities are a public service for which we pay, so right now it is essentially taxation without representation. If we move tuition rates back in the hands of the legislature, the people and local communities will have more say over tuition rates because there will be accountability through elections.”
John Raney, graduate of Stephen F. Austin high school in 1965 and Texas A&M in 1969 with a degree in Business Administration in Marketing, has operated Texas Aggieland Bookstore since 1969. Raney has served the community in various ways including through the Chamber of Commerce, First United Methodist Church of Bryan, Republican Party of Brazos County, National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Texas Leadership Council and the Texas Retailers Assoxiation. Raney has been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business and the Texas Retailers Association.
Raney believes in investing in higher education. With one of the state’s premier universities in our back yard, John Raney said he will aggressively seek funding for research dollars at Texas A&M and better funding for high-need fields while working to create greater partnerships with A&M and the A&M System to bring jobs in fields like biotechnology and engineering to the Brazos Valley.
Judy LeUnes, Texas A&M University class of 1976, was president of the student education association during her senior year. She has taught in public schools for 30 years, and served many terms as President of the College Station Education Association, giving me my experiences lobbying for public education with the Legislature, LeUnes said. She now owns an education consulting and team building business. She has been active in the community with the College Station Parks Board, Lincoln Center Board, Rape Crisis Center Board and Brazos Animal Shelter Board.
In regards to higher education, LeUnes said she wants higher education opportunities available for every student in Texas.
“It is the responsibility of the State Legislature to adequately fund education and it is failing this job,” LeUnes said.
As far as representing the students at Texas A&M, I currently attend many student organizational meetings on campus including the Student Senate so I have contacts and a background of what is important to the student body, LeUnes said. She also is involved with students in chairing the annual Wiener Fest fundraiser for animal shelter each fall.
Candidates for State Representative, District 12:
Tucker Anderson, resident of Calvert, Tucker Anderson is a 6th generation Texan, graduate of Texas A&M, and graduate of St. Mary’s School of Law. He is a supporter of tort reform,, committed to protecting Second Amendment rights, and a pro-life conservative. He served as Legislative Director and Counsel for Texas Congressman Pete Sessions where he advised the congressman on legislation and issues related to agriculture, veterans’ affairs, immigration, transportation, energy policy, homeland security and legislative procedure. In addition, Anderson has assisted both State Senator Steve Ogden and Texas Congressman Bill Flores in their campaigns for office, and also served as Robertson County Chairman for Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. Anderson is a member of the NRA, Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association, and the Texas Farm Bureau.
Timothy Delasandro, resident of College Station, is a graduate of Texas A&M and a critical care registered nurse and nursing supervisor. Delasandro was a delegate to the 2010 Republican Party of Texas Convention, a leader in a group that successfully opposed a transportation tax in College Station and a leader in a group that opposed the forced annexation of Wellborn. On his website, he says that the next representative must stand up for our rural property and water rights.
Delasandro says he would work with the new House Seat 14 Representative to best represent Texas A&M and Blinn in Austin. He also says he will review automatic admissions policies at state universities.
Kyle J. Kacal, resident of Bryan, Kyle Kacal, lives and works on his 2,400 acre ranch in Brazos County. Kacal earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas A&M and a graduate certificate in ranch management from Texas Christian University. He is a supporter of independent liberties and personal freedom. Kacal serves the community with his involvement with the Texas Beef Extension, the Brazos Valley Farm Bureau and the Allen Academy School Board.
Chris Scotti, resident of College Station, co-founded and eventually sold his own information technology company, which made him familiar with the issues that small business owners face, he said in an article published by “The Eagle” earlier this month. Scotti served on the College Station City Council from 2005 to 2008.
In the article, he said he is willing to make hard — but necessary — decisions, even when they aren’t initially the most popular. That is a vital quality in the Texas Legislature these days, he said, as lawmakers push difficult decisions on education and transportation funding down the road to avoid political pain.
Scotti has been endorsed by the Texas Restaurant Association, the College Station Homebuilders Association and the Texas Apartment Association.
Josh Tetens is an attorney and resident of Waco. On his website, he says that this district will need effective leadership to represent the varied interests ranging from agriculture and water rights, to higher education funding for Texas State Technical School and Baylor and Texas A&M Universities. Tetens says that keeping the Texas business climate prosperous and regulatory climate fair and simple will be a challenge as the next legislative session will have several financial challenges to overcome.
Robert Stem, resident of Marlin, attended Baylor University and is an attorney running on the Democratic ballot for this position.
Candidates for State Senate, District 5:
Ben Bius, a graduate of Sam Houston State University with a degree in finance and a minor in agribusiness, was the Republican nominee in 1998 and 2000 and formed the Home and Landowners Association in 2004. Though not a graduate of Texas A&M himself, Bius said his grandfather was in the corps in the 1930’s and taught him how not to lie, cheat, or steal.
Bius said he feels like the people of this district need conservative representation, not moderate-centrist.
“Our campaign today is based on truth, enlightenment and fact,” Bius said. “I have promised to serve two terms. I believe in term limits. I have promised to return home and live under the laws I have helped pass or free from those I helped repeal.”
Bius said that his opponent voted for cutting $84 million out of the budget for SHSU and TAMU. A&M went from 34% funded by the state to 24% during the last legislative session.
“Our state institutions might as well be private at the rate the legislature is going,” Bius said. “Here’s the problem- healthcare and entitlement spending are consuming more and more and more of our tax dollars. If we get a handle on this, we can adequately fund education. There is plenty of money to fund the good and right functions of government in Texas, if we first secure our borders.”
Charles Schwertner, a resident of Georgetown, is managing partner and practicing physician of Georgetown Orthopedics, LLC, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the University of Texas at Austin. Schwertner is a member of the Williamson County Republican Party, Texas Right to Life, National Rifle Association and Texas State Rifle Association.
Having served in the House of Representatives during the last legislative session, he is an active member of the Texas House Republican Caucus. Schwertner was endorsed for state senate by the Conservative Republicans of Texas. While in the House, Schwertner was on the Texas House Committees on Appropriations and Public Health.
On his campaign website, Schwertner says that he will work to protect the best interests of Senate District 5 community colleges and institutions of higher learning. Additionally, he says he will work to protect Texas A&M University’s standing as a world-class institution and local economic driver for the Brazos valley.

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