It is a bittersweet moment today as I pen my last Candidate Column. Early voting starts on Monday, October 24th and continues until Friday, November 4th. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th. It has truly been an honor to know that so many residents of McLennan County have read my weekly columns and have supported this campaign. Every day of this campaign, I have tried to reveal that I am an honest, transparent, articulate and knowledgeable candidate totally qualified to represent our community in the Texas House of Representatives.
Now it is up to you, the voters of McLennan County, to decide who should be your next representative in Austin. The differences could not be clearer. You can choose to continue to be represented by an almost 80-year-old retired veterinarian, who has received Texas Monthly’s “Furniture Award” twice, who has never chaired a committee in the Texas House and has never singularly authored a major piece of legislation during the entire 18 years that he has served in the Texas House of Representatives. Alternatively, you can elect new, effective leadership from a mom, well respected lawyer, owner of two small businesses, former teacher and wife of a veteran.
The differences between your two candidates for the Texas House could not be clearer. One candidate will spend the next legislative session trying to imprison our young women and doctors. The other candidate will work to prevent unplanned pregnancies through prevention and education, work to remove the criminal penalties off of our doctors and medical staff who are treating women with medically challenged pregnancies and work to help find solutions allowing us to live together in this post Roe world. One candidate does not believe that Climate Change is real. The other candidate believes we must address the climate challenges facing our world while still respecting the significant economic benefits our state receives from the oil and gas industry. One candidate will continue to serve as Vice Chair of the Livestock Committee. The other candidate will strive to obtain committee assignments to the most important and influential committees in the Texas House. One candidate will vote to defund our public schools by once again voting in favor of school vouchers. The other will vote to fully fund our public schools, give our teachers, staff and retirees a much-needed raise and will vote against public school vouchers. During one candidate’s years in the House, our property taxes have increased by $15 billion. The other candidate will work to fund our public schools by relying on income sources other than homeowners’ property taxes and will seek to permanently reduce the property tax burden on property owners. One candidate is a retired veterinarian with degrees in veterinary science.
The other candidate is a well-respected local attorney, with three college degrees all in law and politics, who has personally represented over 6,000 Central Texans in and out of federal court here in Waco, Texas. One candidate didn’t even show up to debate his opponent. The other candidate accepted the debate invitation and debated an empty chair as the picture above reveals.
I believe that the voters of McLennan County realize it is important to vote for the more qualified candidate. I believe the voters of McLennan County are tired of being ineffectually represented in the Texas House. I believe the voters of McLennan County believe that twenty years is too long for any politician to hold on to a seat. I believe that representing a community in the Texas House is so much more than sending every resident of McLennan County the same birthday card, attending strangers’ funerals and giving out awards. Our community needs and deserves a representative who will listen to and advocate for her community and bring our hard-earned tax dollars back to McLennan County.
A friend recently asked me what surprised me the most about the campaign trail. My answer was simply this, “How much I enjoy it”. I have truly enjoyed meeting so many of you, knocking on your doors, shaking your hand at events and writing columns for you to read. In this campaign, I have studied, prayed, read, written, worked and listened to you. I am ready to represent this community in Austin and it would be an honor and a privilege to represent you in the Texas House of Representatives. I humbly request your vote and I promise that I will never, ever win the “Furniture Award”.
If you believe, like I do, that we deserve better representation in the Texas House, please vote for Erin Shank on November 8, 2022. Thank you.
Published in the Waco Tribune-Herald on 10/23/2022