As the boots on the ground at the capitol during the last legislative session, I was given an “all access” pass of sorts to interact with our elected officials on a daily basis. I got to know them and their staffs. I had the opportunity to look them in the eyes, ask them directly where they stand, and then stand back and see if their actions lined up with their words. While I loved the thrill of the legislative session, I have to say I am pretty darn excited campaign season is now upon us.
It’s one of my most favorite times of the two-year cycle of Texas politics. Unlike the legislative session, campaigns are anyone’s game. There is no “job security” for those whose terms are up (every state representative and half of the senators) and no guarantee who will be returning once all of the votes have been counted. Yes, a little nerve wracking if I might say so myself.
It is sure to be a roller coaster ride, and it has only just begun with recent announcements on who is seeking re-election, who is challenging, who is retiring, and who is abandoning their position for a “promotion” to a higher position.
Which brings me to yesterday’s announcement:
Cindy Burkett (HD 113, Sunnyvale) is abandoning her re-election campaign for her House seat to launch a Senate run against our beloved TFVC-endorsed Champion, Senator Bob Hall (SD 2, Rockwall).
Now allow me to lay out the good, the bad, and the ugly about this announcement.
First, the good:
From a House of Representatives’ standpoint, this is a welcome change given Mrs. Burkett’s assignment on the public health committee. Even better- TFVC has been in communication with a candidate who has declared his campaign for the HD 113 seat. This candidate is already well-educated on our issue, and we have received his commitment to stand with us going into the 86th legislative session. (More on this to come.)
So, let’s get down to the bad and ugly:
On paper, Cindy Burkett looks like an ideal candidate. She touts pictures of herself with children and babies on her website and proudly claims to fight to protect the states most vulnerable – Texas children. She claims to fiercely value and defend life.
We had high hopes for Mrs. Burkett at the beginning of session, but it quickly became apparent that even just meeting with her was going to be very challenging. Time after time, her staff assured me they were “working on it,” but my requests went unanswered. Then, we thought we had found a glimmer of hope during our hearing on HB 2249 (campus level reporting bill) when she listened attentively and seemed to respond with compassion toward our families.
However, ANY bit of hope we thought we had was completely shattered when the time came to actually vote. Cindy Burkett not only received a BIG FAT F on her TFVC 85th legislative session report card, she flat out sold our children down the river. As one of the seven members (4 Democrats and 3 Republicans) on the public health committee voting in favor of HB 2249, she chose bullying and harassment of children over protecting their medical privacy. While she calmly comforted our families with a warm smile and said she was compassionate toward us, her actions said otherwise. HER vote made it clear where she stands on protecting life, liberty, and our most vulnerable citizens. (As you know, HB 2249 proceeded on in the legislative process, giving us quite the scare before dying a welcomed death in the Mother’s Day Massacre at the hands of those who value medical freedom and personal liberty.)
Fortunately, there is hope. There is TRUE compassion. There is a friend in the incumbent and TFVC-endorsed Champion, Senator Bob Hall. Unlike his newly-declared challenger, whose story I just laid out, Senator Hall welcomed not just me, but ALL of our families into his office. He was one of the only senators to make time to meet with us directly during the session, and his staff communicated with us regularly, reiterating their commitment to Texas families. He and his wife would even seek ME out at capitol events to get the latest on our legislative efforts. His track record of standing on the side of parents is long and commendable.
Bob Hall is a true Texas gentleman. He is a warm, compassionate individual who will defend the core principles that we at TFVC are fighting so hard to maintain. It is now our turn to fight for him.
However, he cannot do it alone. The time has come for us to stand with those who have stood with us. Battle lines have been drawn. Our marching orders are clear. Will you join us?
With love and gratitude,