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Martinez Fischer for state House

October 7, 2018

Democrat Trey Martinez Fischer represented Texas House District 116 well for 16 years. He then made an unsuccessful run for the state Senate. He’s now running to regain his former seat.

His opponent, Republican Fernando Padron — a former county employee who now has his own business — says he is running because the district was not adequately represented by Martinez Fischer and he is too combative to be effective.

We don’t see it that way, and the residents who repeatedly voted to return Martinez Fischer to the Texas House didn’t either.

We recommend Martinez Fischer — because he was effective in his opposition to ill-conceived, harmful legislation when he was in office and because those skills still will be badly needed in the House. That’s because, with Speaker Joe Straus and his bottlenecking of bad legislation gone, the House will need all the help it can get to block such bills.

Martinez Fischer, well-versed in parliamentary procedure, has been adept at this. Though public school financing and other weighty matters should top the agenda of everyone in the Legislature, we suspect legislation such as the bathroom bill will again sap the focus of lawmakers.

Martinez Fischer also seems to have a better grasp of key issues than Padron.

Padron said he would have voted for SB 4, the bill approved last session that penalizes so-called sanctuary cities that, in reality, don’t much exist. What will exist is growing distrust of law enforcement by the immigrant community, which will fear any encounter with police will result in their profiling and perhaps deportation. Martinez Fischer stopped an earlier version of the bill.

Padron said a shifting of Department of Public Safety resources to the border to help make the area more secure is necessary, essentially because of lawlessness there. But statistics don’t back up that assertion. Martinez Fischer says this is not money well-spent — it might have been spent, for instance, on education.

On financing public education, Padron says only more money for schools for good performance. Martinez Fischer recognizes the general state of underfunding and that property tax bills have gone up because the state’s percentage of school funding has diminished in proportion to student growth.

Martinez Fischer can once again be an asset for good governance in Austin. Voters should return him there.

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