Ruiz: Win confirms support for FISD direction
After winning an election to remain in her Friendswood ISD trustee seat, Denise Ruiz says she’ll continue working for issues she considers priorities for the district, including school safety, addressing the effects of state funding cutbacks and keeping teacher salaries competitive.
Ruiz, who defeated Dakota Carter in the Nov. 6 election for Position 2 with nearly 57 percent of the vote, said, “I was truly humbled by the amount of support from the community during the election.”
Ruiz, 56, is a 25-year Friendswood resident who also served as a FISD trustee between 2006 and 2010. She was appointed as interim trustee after urologist Matt Robinson left to run as a Republican candidate for Texas Board of Education District 7 and will serve the remaining two years of the four-year term. Robinson won his race against Democrat Elizabeth Markowitz, a teacher from Katy.
According to unofficial results, Ruiz received 5,456 votes compared with 4,145 for her challenger, Carter, a psychiatrist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Ruiz has three children who graduated from Friendswood ISD and has cited her history with the community and district as a leader and volunteer valuable resources in serving on the board of trustees.
She sees her win as confirmation that the community approves of the current direction of the district.
“It is very reassuring to know the voters want to continue the tradition of excellence in our school district, and I look forward to my continued work with the board on our forward vision for FISD,” she said.
Ruiz is vice president of Ruiz Cash & Carry, a family owned restaurant supply business in Houston.
During the campaign, Carter spoke about the need for the district to do more to identify underlying issues and developing preventive initiatives as a way to promote school safety, including more awareness to mental health issues among students.
In September, Carter, who is openly gay, decried comments on social media that claimed he was promoting an “LGBT agenda.” In an Aug. 29 public post on the Friendswood Republican Women Facebook page, Robinson stated, “Dakota Carter wants to promote the LGBT agenda in our Friendswood schools.”
When asked to respond to Robinson’s post, Ruiz said the former trustee’s comments did not reflect her views.