8 candidates speak at monthly TEA party meeting

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By Emily West, Correspondent

The TEA Party of Bell County had its monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 19, at which 10 campaigning candidates were invited to speak, of whom eight attended. After usual party business, such as nominations and bylaw amendments, was tersely addressed, candidates for the positions of the following offices gave their presentations: Texas Railroad Commissioner, Texas Senator, Justice of the Court of Criminal Appeals, Texas District 54 House Representative, and Bell County Commissioner. Each candidate urged Bell County locals to get out and vote on May 24th of this year.

The first candidate to present was 14-year veteran of the Texas House of Representatives, Wayne Christian, campaigning for the position of Texas Railroad Commissioner on the platform of support of the freedom of Texas capitalists.

Next to present was Dawn Buckingham, campaigning for a seat in the Texas Senate. Buckingham has over a decade of experience working in the Texas State Capitol, and has been a devout Travis County Republican for her entire political career. She and her opponent, career politician and current Chair of Defense of Veteran Affairs, Susan King, each heavily addressed the overreaching of federal government oversight, especially in the area of education. Buckingham stands fully against Common Core, and King stands for deep reformation of the legislation.

Attorney Brent Webster, campaigning for the fifth Justice’s Seat of the Court of Criminal Appeals, presented next. A 10-year veteran in Criminal Appeal Prosecution, Webster informed the electorate that the Criminal Appeals Court is the court that applies constitutional rights.

He urged voters to read about the _Faust_ case as an example, and informed them that his true conservativism would be a beacon of true justice. His opponent, Scott Walker, was unable to attend.

Next, Dr. Austin Ruiz spoke on why voters should elect him to represent District 54 in the Texas House of Representatives. A native Central Texan and practicing optometrist informed the TEA party voters of his successful history in business and local leadership, and claimed that he would be “everyone’s representative.” Ruiz also spoke out against Common Core, and agreed that a Second-Amendment Constitutional Carry Bill would definitely merit his signature. His opponent, Scott Cosper, current Mayor of the City of Killeen, and nine-year veteran of the City Council, claimed that his history in local politics qualified him for the District 54 seat. He spoke about education reform, and detailed his history in support and opposition of the Second Amendment for practical reasons.

Next-to-last, Russell Schneider, campaigning for the first seat in the Bell County Commissioner’s Court, gave his unswerving and simple presentation: “I’m a ‘what you see, what you get’ sort of guy.” He claimed that he was applying to be employed by the people of Bell County, and to work in their service, putting his 12 years of experience on Temple’s City Council to use for the county as a whole.

Finally, Richard Cortese spoke about his 23 years as Bell County Commissioner and responded to heated debate about county employee pay raises. He explained that property taxes in Bell County have remained flat, and that Bell County’s debt retirement plan has been working effectively and smoothly. He also presented plans for a new 9-1-1 call center and for education reform.

For more information on Bell County TEA Party meetings, visit them online: centraltexasteaparty.org.