Your Voice, Your Vote: Trent Ashby, State Representative District 57 candidate
Candidate's Name: Trent Ashby
Date of Birth: October 9, 1972
Education: Henderson High School
Texas A&M University, B.S. Agricultural Economics – August 1996
Family: Spouse, Nickie - married 15 years.
Two sons: Garin – 4th grade, Grant – 1st grade.
Religion: I am a member of Harmony Hill Baptist Church.
Phone: (936) 634-1600
Mailing address: P.O. Box 412, Lufkin, TX 75902
Trent Ashby is a conservative Republican running for the newly drawn Texas House District 57. Ashby is president of Community Title and manages the company's offices in Angelina, Nacogdoches, and Polk Counties. Earlier in his career, Ashby served as the first ever executive director of the Texas Forest Country Partnership. The Partnership is a nonprofit organization that markets and promotes economic development activities throughout a 13 county region in East Texas.
Prior to joining the Partnership, Ashby worked on the staff of former congressman Jim Turner from Crockett. As a congressional aide, Ashby handled a variety of issues including agriculture, forestry, veterans, and budget. He also served as the staff liaison for the congressman's responsibilities as a member of both the House Armed Services Committee and House Select Committee on Homeland Security.
A native East Texan, Ashby was raised on a dairy farm and diversified livestock operation in Rusk County. Growing up, he was active and an elected leader in both the 4-H and FFA youth organizations. During his junior year at Henderson High School, he was elected Texas 4-H President. His senior year, he was elected to serve as Texas FFA State Vice President for 1991–1992.
He attended Texas A&M University, graduating in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics. While at A&M, Ashby was elected to the Student Senate, Class Treasurer, and Yell Leader. He continues to be involved with his alma mater through the Texas A&M Letterman's Association and Association of Former Students.
Trent and his wife, Nickie, are very active in their two son's schools and their church, Harmony Hill Baptist Church.
Other Career Highlights:
Trent serves as a board member for the Lufkin/Angelina Chamber of Commerce, Lufkin/Angelina County Economic Development Partnership. He is active with the United Way, the Mosaic Center, the Museum of East Texas, and the Texas Lyceum. He is also involved in his local Lions Club, Texas Forestry Association's Education Committee, and both his son's school activities.
Trent Ashby was elected to serve his community as a local school board trustee for the last 5 years, the last 2 years serving as President of the board.
What qualifies you for this office?
My rural background, business experience, and conservative principles uniquely qualify me to represent our district in Austin. Our region needs a state representative who understands the unique challenges facing rural East Texas, and who is committed to being a strong, energetic voice for our causes. Someone who believes in limited government, local control, maintaining Texas' favorable job creation climate, and who will fight tooth and nail to protect our water and private property rights. Lastly, having served as a local elected official, I feel I have a keen awareness of the impact state mandates have on local governments, and ultimately local taxpayers.
What are your plans if elected (re-elected)?
I plan to represent East Texas interests and not special interests. We need more people serving in Austin who care less about political expediency and more about simply doing what is right.
I want to help hold the line on spending and fight against tax increases. Using a zero-based budgeting method should help identify areas of government bloat and inefficiencies. Additionally, I want to help cut the bureaucratic red tape that exists in dealing with so many of our government agencies.
I'll be an advocate for helping bring about equitable funding for our rural schools. Our current school finance system allocates tax dollars based on zip codes. East Texas children deserve the same access to a quality education as kids from wealthier school districts. Injecting equity into a school funding system will improve per pupil funding for our rural schools and potentially lessen the property tax burden for our local taxpayers. We must have a well-educated workforce in order to remain competitive in an increasingly global society. I will support efforts to curb high stakes testing and work towards a more balanced accountability system.
I will roll up my sleeves and work to protect our East Texas water and private property rights. With our region of the state having an abundance of both surface and groundwater resources, I will work diligently to protect this vital resource so that it can be used for economic development and job creation purposes right here in our own backyard.
I will be a strong voice for protecting our rural values. I will fight for access to quality healthcare in rural areas, actively oppose any attempts to infringe upon our 2nd Amendment rights, work to secure funding for East Texas transportation projects by ending the current diversions from our highway trust fund, and speak out for preserving the sanctity of life.
Lastly, if elected, I plan to be a servant leader that acts in a manner that reflects the high moral and ethical standards that East Texans expect to see in their elected officials.