JACKSONVILLE — Candidates for state office discussed subjects ranging from conservative values to voting records during a forum Tuesday night, giving residents a glimpse of how they would govern.
It was the second candidate forum hosted by the Cherokee County Republican Club before the May 29 primary election.
During the forum, attendees weren't able to ask questions, but candidates introduced themselves and fielded questions from a moderator.
Texas Senate District 3 candidate Tammy Blair, an accountant and former chairwoman of the Tyler Tea Party, said she looked at what the state has done and is not satisfied.
“We need people who will fight and stand up for principles of government,” she said.
Steven Albright, who spoke on behalf of incumbent Robert Nichols but did not field questions, said Nichols is running based on his proven conservative record.
He went on to point out the senator's experience, saying Nichols has “always worked for smaller government and more efficient government” and “never has voted for a tax increase.”
Texas House District 11 candidate Tony Sevilla told voters he wants to make a difference in the community while another candidate, Nacogdoches attorney Travis Clardy, said he ran because he believes a new voice is needed in Austin.
“Energy, education, water, (these) things need to be addressed. We need someone to stand up and be seen and heard,” Clardy said, adding that he is not a disagreeable person.
When asked about his last minimum wage job, and if he would accept a raise from the Legislature, Clardy said his last minimum wage job was at a car wash as a child and that he would not accept a raise.
“I would accept no raise from the Legislature, but I would accept a raise in my day job. I work hard. (But it's) important that when I go into the Legislature, I go as a servant. I go to serve, not be served,” he said.
Sevilla, who described himself as young and energetic, said he likely will get below minimum wage on the potatoes he recently planted, and when he was younger, he worked on the farm during his vacation time.
Ratliff said he ran because he has two children in school and wants the state board to focus on education rather than politics. He also told attendees that he's a big believer in local control.
Stevenson, a Tyler business owner and financial planner who previously served on the State Board, said he is running again because “our nation is in trouble on all fronts.”
“I can help in education,” he said. “I believe East Texas deserves a conservative voice. I want to serve you again and will work hard to make sure Texas controls Texas schools.”
Both candidates said they were “absolutely” in favor of prayer at school sporting events.
Stevenson said he has a lot of respect for Scott.
“He's worked hard and done a lot…” he said. “Liberals have fielded left wing candidates to run as representatives, but I would hate to see all his hard work be reversed.”
Ratliff said he and Scott haven't agreed all the time but work well together.
Others who participated in the forum include Rafael Cruz for U.S. Senate candidate; Ted Cruz; a representative for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; Precinct 1 commissioner candidate Earl Socia; Precinct 3 commissioner candidates Katherine Pinotti and Jesse “Jay” Hooker, Cherokee County Attorney candidates William “Bill” Wilder and Kelley Peacock; Tax Assessor/Collector candidate Linda Little; a representative for Precinct 1 constable candidate Lynn Kelley; Precinct 1 constable candidate Mark Johnson; Precinct 3 constable candidates Eddie Lee and James Stewart; and a representative for Republican County Chairman candidate Jean Harlan-Brewer.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Kelly Traylor was not there because of a previous commitment.