Two running for State Senator District 3

State Senator Robert Nichols says, since taking office, he has worked hard to keep Texas economically sound.

"Every morning when I get up, all I think about is how to make Texas a better place to be," said Nichols.

Coming from Jacksonville, he says he understands how important it is to protect East Texas resources. He feels that understanding is important when he represents his home region in Austin.

"Water is going to become extremely important in Texas. East Texas has all the water; everybody else wants it. So, it's going to be very important that we have rural members that understand places like East Texas, who can try to create legislation that's being crafted or watch after it," said Nichols.

Nichols claims he also has protected citizens' private property rights while in office.

However, his opponent, accountant Tammy Blair, says that's simply untrue. She says the state can regulate things, like tell property owners when they can use their own water.

"If you can have it regulated against your will, how is it yours? I would also like to see property tax abolished. It's unfair to property owners," said Blair.

Blair says she was asked by a conservative coalition to run against Nichols, in an effort to take leadership back to the basics.

"Our legislators are not doing their job, that they have not defended the constitution. We are headed in a wrong direction, and we need to restore true principles," said Blair.

Blair says Texas needs to stand on its own. She says legislators have not addressed immigration problems, more tax cuts are needed, and property rights need to be restored.

"We've lost a lot of our liberties. They have not defended them because they don't understand it well enough to do that," said Blair.

Most importantly, Blair says we need to stop letting politics dictate the public school system.

"One of the things we have to do to correct our problems is take the federal government out of our education system," said Blair.

Nichols agrees that insufficient school funding is a problem.

"It's wrong. It needs to be fixed. The state is going to have to step up, take a bigger piece of it," said Nichols.

In the next session, Nichols anticipates this problem being addressed and possible solutions proposed.

"The balancing of funding, our school districts are coming up short. And so, it's going to be real important," said Nichols.

Nichols says his experience places him as the best candidate for the job, while Blair feels it's time for a new voice for the people.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.