Texas Republicans and Democrats will be choosing their nominees follwing the primary elections on March 2.

As of now, current governor Rick Perry, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Debra Medina are the Republican candidates, while the Democratic party has seven candidates including Bill White, the former Mayor of Houston; Dr. Clement Glenn, who is running as a statesman; and Farouk Shami, a businessman who is the CEO of Farouk Systems—the haircare line that created the CHI flat iron.

Since there are no term limits in Texas, Perry is able to run for a possible third four-year term. He has held the office since December 2000 and is the second longest-serving current governor in the United States.

Libertarians include Steve Nichols and Ed Tidewell, while Independents include David Carpenter and Stephen McGee.

Though analysts do not believe that Medina has a chance against Perry or Hutchinson, it is believed that she can cause much damage for the Republican Party even if she loses. She has been receiving much attention, after not being allowed to participate in the Jan. 29 debate in Dallas, because she did not meet the sponsor’s criteria to participate. However, a recent Rasmussen poll showed that Medina’s support had gone up, which qualified her to participate in the debate.

Two main issues for Medina are property tax and gun ownership. She believes that eliminating property taxes and broadening sales tax can help lead to new jobs. Medina is also known for her comments about seceding from the nation.

Glenn is an associate professor in the College of Education-Graduate Programs at Prairie View A&M University, where he received his BBA and Masters of Business Administrations.

“I’m a statesman, not a politician,” Glenn said. He said a statesman is someone who governs expertly with shared governance. Glenn feels that issues in Texas are not being handled thoroughly.

“Many of the critical issues that we need to get solved, never get solved to the degree that they need to be solved,” Glenn said. He believes in a comprehensive education, which includes four skill sets: academic, technical, social and values.

Though Governor Perry has been in office since 2000, he has been criticized for turning down approximately $555 million in stimulus for unemployment insurance. He also recently elected not to submit an application for Race to the Top—a stimulus for education that could provide Texas up to $750 million for education. Forty states, as well as the District of Columbia, submitted applications on Jan. 19 to be considered for stimulus funding from the Race to the Top program.

Race to the Top is a $4.35 billion initiative geared towards improving the quality of education in the United States. Reform would include states to adopt national standards and assessments; build systems that measure student success and inform administrators on how instruction can be improved; recruit, develop, reward and retain effective teachers and administrators—teachers will be paid based on how well their students do on tests; and low-achieving schools in the state would need to be turned around and show improvement.

However, Perry stated in his press conference on Jan. 13 that there is no need to change Texas’ education curriculum to that of a national standard that has not yet been created and is set by what he called “distant bureaucrats.”

Texas taxpayers would possibly pay up to $3 billion to restructure the education curriculum that is currently in place to fit national standards. Restructuring would include purchasing new textbooks, testing materials, and teacher development tools.

In his press conference on Jan. 13, Perry stated he is not applying for the federal aide “…because our state and our communities must reserve the right to decide how we educate our children and not surrender control to the federal bureaucracy.”

There are five categories of nonbinding budget ranges that break up the states that are determined by each state’s student population. California, New York, Florida and Texas were the only four states in Category 1 that could be awarded $350-$700 million.

However, Glenn doesn’t agree with Perry’s choice in rejecting the stimulus funds.

“I’m in disagreement with most, decisions that Governor Rick Perry has made in the last several years,” Glenn said.

Instead, Glenn wants to create programs that introduce college students to be entrepreneurial, and funding for these programs will be from state funding, private foundation as well as federal funding, which Perry is known for rejecting.

The Paisano attempted to contact other gubernatorial candidates, but was unable to secure interviews before going to print.

DEMOCRATS

Alma L. Aguado

Abortion: Supports the legality of abortion

Education: Expand grants for higher education

Guns: No background checks at gun shows

Immigration: Grant citizenship to 12 million undocumented immigrants already in US

Felix Alvarado

Abortion: Only in special circumstances

Education: Increase teachers’ pay

Health Care: Hospital in the Rio Grande Valley

Immigration: Grant citizenship to those with a clean criminal record

Bill Dear

Economy: Start manufacturing in Texas

Education: Increase teachers’ pay

Guns: Supports the National Rifle Association

Immigration: Texas must have a secure border by any means necessary

Clement E. Glenn

Education: Emphasize life skills in schools

Economy: Prepare people for careers instead of jobs

Health care: Provide quality care for elderly, children, disabled and Military Vets

Star Locke

Abortion: Against abortions

Economy: Stop outsourcing jobs

Military: Approves of Middle East foreign policy

Immigration: Tighten border control for National Security

Farouk Shami

Abortion: Against placing restrictions on emergency contraception

Economy: More opportunities for small businesses

Education: Increase vocational training in schools

Guns: Restrict the carrying of concealed weapons

Immigration: Build a fence between Mexico & US

Bill White

Economy: Invest in infrastructure

Education: Reduce barriers to higher education

Health care: Reduce costs of insurance

Energy: Diversify sources of energy and reduce dependence on foreign oil

REPUBLICANS

Kay Bailey Hutchison

Abortion: Only for maternal life

Bankruptcy Reform: Prevent home foreclosures

Education: Educational Savings Accounts

Guns: No background checks at gun shows

Immigration: Build a fence between Mexico & US

Debra Medina

Abortion: Life begins at conception

Tax Reform: Eliminate property tax in Texas

Guns: Protect gun ownership

Immigration: promote healthy immigration and trade through the legal ports of entry.

Rick Perry

Abortion: Only for rape, incest or maternal health

Bankruptcy reform: Limit Chapter 7

Education: Start a pilot voucher program in Texas

Guns: For concealed handgun ownership

Immigration: End the notion of sanctuary cities

For complete list of candidates: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/index.shtml

Sources: Associated Press, Ontheissues.org, Freedom Watch and candidates’ websites

Related Stories

More from Paisano1

Editorial Board

At the University of Missouri, real change happened — but only when loss of university revenue was threatened. Missouri student…

More In News

Heather Montoya Co-News Editor

The Center for Military Affiliated Students held its grand opening on Nov. 14. This center provides veteran and military-affiliated students…