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The Battalion

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

Student launches state representative run

Tanner+Garza+%26%238212%3B+THE+BATTALION%0AAndrew+Metscher%2C+economics+junior%2C+balances+schoolwork+and+family+life+while+running+for+Texas+state+representative+in+district+14.
Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION Andrew Metscher, economics junior, balances schoolwork and family life while running for Texas state representative in district 14.

Twenty-seven year old Andrew Metscher, junior economics major at Texas A&M, is campaigning for Texas state representative, district 14, while pursuing his undergraduate degree. Trying to balance the two tasks poses significant challenges but Metscher said he wants to show students they can be involved in politics and make a difference. He sits down with Wade Feielin, news reporter.
THE BATTALION: What made you decide that you wanted to run for state representative?
METSCHER: One of the big ones is that my wife and I were talking about having our first kid. We’ve both been born and raised in Texas, and we want our kid to be raised in Texas. My wife grew up in College Station and I grew up in Fort Worth, meaning we had very different high school experiences. We want to make sure our kid goes to a good school.
THE BATTALION: What is the process to get into a state representative race?
METSCHER: It’s incredibly easy — well, part of it is. That was another part that motivated me to do this. I was researching the process a few years ago and there’s a pretty low threshold of entry into this. You pay a filing fee or you get signatures to get on the ballot for the primary. The problem is if you win the election, you don’t get paid much. You work for a few months once every two years, for the most part. You can’t really do that unless you have a job or are independently wealthy because the process requires a lot of time. You see a lot of people in Austin who represent that independently wealthy demographic, so it’s a very imbalanced system and I wanted to see if I could beat that.
THE BATTALION: Do you think you’re the youngest candidate to run?
METSCHER: I believe I’m the youngest in this election. There has been some debate on that because there are a few other races around the state I haven’t looked into yet. When I was doing candidate training about a year ago I met some people considering it who were younger than me, but the age threshold for state representative is 24-25 so there aren’t many people who can be younger than me to do this. I’ve been a student for a little while now, and I know students don’t vote very much. I wanted to show students they can do something. It’s not just their vote that matters, they can make a difference themselves.
THE BATTALION: Have you had any issues trying to balance the campaign with academic work?
METSCHER: Oh yes. I’m a full-time student with a part-time job. My wife recently lost her job so I’m donating plasma to help pay bills and doing the campaign when I can.
THE BATTALION: If you were to be elected, what would you like to accomplish in office?
METSCHER: There’s a lot of work to be done, and a lot of it comes down to the state constitution. Our state constitution is incredibly old, outdated and convoluted. It is easier to pass an amendment in this state than it is to pass a law. The school funding ruling, gay marriage ban and other bills have all been found to be unconstitutional and those are kind of just the tip of the iceberg. Texas has a lot of natural resources and one of those is land. We definitely need to use our natural resources, but we aren’t taking very good care of the land. I’m not saying we need to stop drilling for oil, for example, but I’m saying we’re kind of burning our foundation to the ground just trying to exploit resources. Growth is important, but growth without planning turns into a problem, like the water shortages we’re experiencing. It’s a lot about sustainability — we make a lot of short-term patches for problems but don’t look at the long-term implications. We need to turn into a state that focuses more on the long term.

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