Two conservative East Texans are vying to represent the area as District 11 State Representative. Incumbent Chuck Hopson says he still has some items on his agenda that he hopes to accomplish by serving another term in office. However, his opponent, Travis Clardy, says it's time for a newer and fresher voice for the people.
"We need somebody there that can stand up and be seen and be heard and have a voice and have something to say. And, what we don't need are career politicians," said Clardy.
Lawyer Travis Clardy says going into a run-off election against his incumbent opponent Chuck Hopson has further fueled his desire to gain the District 11 State Representative position. At the top of his agenda, Clardy says he wants to protect natural resources in East Texas, starting with completing the Lake Columbia water supply project.
"That's my job number one in House District 11. Nothing would be more important to preserve and to build the water resources that we already enjoy," said Clardy.
Representing the Pineywoods for nearly 12 years, Chuck Hopson says he's also well-aware of the importance of continuing to protect the area's resources.
"I'd like us to have a 50 year water plan. I'd like to have us a 50 year transportation plan so that we're not patching, that we're actually building," said Hopson.
Since taking office, Hopson also says he's worked to balance budgets in the state. He says properly handling funding helps create and build successful jobs and businesses.
"I think some of the first goals we have is to make sure Texas leads this nation and continues in small business. And, we have one-thousand people a day coming to this great state, and they're coming here because we don't have any income tax. They're coming here because we have jobs," said Hopson.
Having a background in business, Clardy says it's important that government looks like private enterprise. That's why, he says, it's important for people to voice their concerns so he can better represent them.
"We're going around in all three of the counties, talking about the issues that are important, the issues of education, water, energy, you know. I want the people to know we're out there fighting for the teachers to protect the teachers' retirement system," said Clardy.
If elected, Clardy says major reform needs to take place in the public school system. In a similar viewpoint, Hopson says learning needs to go back to the basics.
"What we need to do is do away with some of our standard testing in our schools. We need to make sure those kids are prepared for their future," said Hopson.
Clardy feels it's time East Texans have a new voice representing them in Congress. Meanwhile, Hopson says he has the knowledge and experience to continue serving the people.
The primary runoff is July 31, with early voting taking place July 23 to 27. Registered voters who voted in the primary can vote in the same party runoff election.