Written by Lorena Saenz
Southwestern University is centered in the heart of Congressional District 52 which includes Williamson, Bastrop, Lee and Travis counties. Incumbent state Representative Mike Krusee (R) is a business executive and graduate from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Krusee has played a crucial role in the development of the Central Texas region to due to his passionate interest in urban planning and design which earned his seat as board member of the Congress for New Urbanism in 2005.
Representative Krusee voted to place caps on property tax appraisals and limits on local revenue increases, in order to give a substantial break to property owners and families.
In recent months, Krusee has altered the tax system to help Texas Public school funding, raising it by $2.2 billion while giving $2000 yearly raise to teachers. Krusee helped to author House and Senate bills to bring a branch of Southwest Texas University (JOSH: should this be Texas State?) to Round Rock. Krusee also stands to increase Texas Border Patrol state funds to increase security along the 1200 mile Texas-Mexico border.
In contention for the 2008 election are Democrat Diana Maldonado and Republican Bryan Daniels. Maldonado moved to Round Rock in the mid-nineties to find more affordable homes, good public schools and safer neighborhoods for her two children. Maldonado has a long history of supporting teachers and students in the classroom. After her time spent in the education system, Maldonado served as President of the Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees.
During her tenure, Round Rock ISD became one of the fastest-growing and highest-rated school districts in Texas. In total, Maldonado has 22 years experience in state government under her belt working with Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and Tax Applications Section. In her time there she has created a 200% increase in business sales tax inventory productivity, a 50% increase in hourly productivity through cross-training of staff employees and a 78% increase in staffing productivity to improve customer service across 25 field offices. Maldonado promises to pursue federal matching funds that will ease the price of healthcare to Texas taxpayers, make public school funding more of a priority, prevent roads we have already paid for from becoming toll roads and bring affordable access to public higher education institutions.
“I am running for State Representative in District 52 because we need leadership that represents people, not special interests or a particular political ideology.” Maldonado said.
Her opponent, Republican Bryan Daniel is currently the Vice President for Business Development and a member of the Board of Directors for Agricultural Workers Mutual Auto Insurance. Prior to this position, Daniel served as the Texas State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture. As State Director, Daniel led USDA’s economic development efforts in Texas. Daniel supports revenue caps, the requirement of Taxpayer-Elected Appraisal Board Members, and he hopes to fight liberal attempts to undermine the sanctity of life in abortion procedures. Daniels plans to reduce government spending by creating a limit to spend no more than the rate of inflation plus the growth of the Texas population. He opposes tolls on existing roads and will fight for additional funding to alleviate traffic congestion. He also opposed foreign-owned toll roads.
On Wednesday October 8, Southwestern will host a forum for these candidates running for state representative in District 52. The event is being organized by students in Professor Gilbert St. Clair’s Media and Politics class at Southwestern, as well as students from the Young Democrats, College Republicans and SU Libertarians. Third party representation will also take part of the event. Libertarian candidate Lillian Simmons will be present at the forum. Simmons, a wife and mother, grew up in a city out skirting Havana, Cuba. She has lived in Alaska and is now proud to be a part of Texas.
“I’m a native Cuban, and having seen individual freedoms be lost in my native country, I’m very concerned about maintaining individual freedoms.” Simmons said.
The forum will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Red and Charline McCombs Campus Center ballrooms..