Pineland educator looks to unseat longtime legislator

By Donna McCollum - email

UNDATED (KTRE) - With each term Wayne Christian serves he gets increasingly more vocal about his conservative stand on issues. He also gets farther from home with his views.

"I've traveled some 7,000 miles in the last 8 months," Christian said. "I've been to tea parties, town hall meetings, different Republican clubs."

Like the Texas Conservative Coalition which he serves as president and this week creating a tea party caucus. It's what Christian calls the biggest difference between him and his Democrat opponent, Kenneth D. Franks.

"I'm against Obama," Christian said. "He's far Obama."

East Texas educator Franks prefers focusing on state politics, rather than unhappiness with national leadership. Giving the voters a choice is the primary reason the educator continues to run in the reps race.

"Frustration was a little bit of it because I think we deserve a choice besides Wayne Christian and I hope people will vote for Kenneth D. Franks for state representative," Franks said.

For the first time in ten years redistricting will be placed on the battle ground. The outcome will determine representation in Washington to Austin. Over the years, Christian's district brought in new counties.

"When I started there were four counties," Christian said. "Now there's five and I'm sure we'll get another county and the cities will have more representation in the rural areas, so the one advantage I bring is my several terms of seniority that will allow me to pick committees and get different levels of service for my constituents that we wouldn't get if we start over."

According to franks, the larger district was obtained at Democrats' expense.

"I'm for real fair redistricting every 10 years instead of the partisan type redistricting," Franks said.

Then there's the state budget. An accountant's nightmare.

"They're projecting a $20 billion shortage of money and the folks have a decision: do we address it as we Republicans did it 10 years ago by restraining the growth of government or do we hand it to the Democrats in the Texas House," Christian said.

Franks fears education will end up paying.

"We've got to have a 21st century workforce and we're not going to have that if we don't have a very good public education system in the state," Franks said.

One candidate wanting to concentrate on state issues. Another, repeatedly referencing national leadership. A choice voters will make on Nov. 2.

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