Our news partner, The Longview News Journal reports, in the race for Texas House District 9, ex-Marshall Mayor Chris Paddie is challenging incumbent Wayne Christian in Tuesday’s Republican Primary. No Democrat is running for the seat.
Christian is serving his seventh term in the Texas House.
He said he is seeking re-election so rural Texas can keep the seniority it “desperately needs” rather than start over with a freshman lawmaker.
The composition of District 9 changed dramatically when the Legislature changed voting lines based on the 2010 census. As much as 80 percent of the district is comprised of new voters.
“I did not want to step down and effectively make the decision for the voters and deprive them of the seniority House District 9 has earned through their years of trust in me,” Christian said. “It would not be right, as this seniority and its power do not belong to me, but to the voters; and it should be their decision to keep or lose it.”
Taking office in 1996, Christian was the first Republican in East Texas elected to the Texas House since Reconstruction.
Since 2007, he has served as the president of the Texas Conservative Coalition and is a board member of the tea party caucus. During the last legislative session, he was appointed to the Ways and Means Committee and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
Christian said, if re-elected, he will represent the people of East Texas the same way he always has, “openly, honestly, and most importantly, humbly.”
“I won’t ever sell out to the big money or big interests in the Capitol,” he said. “In fact, they don’t quite care for me, because I believe in a government of the people, by the people and for the people.”
If re-elected, he said he would continue to fight to abolish property taxes, and he hopes to increase primary care access in rural parts of Texas and address what he called out-of-control growth of the Health and Human Services budget.
Paddie served as Marshall mayor, on the city commissioner and as chairman of the chamber of commerce. He is a former president of the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Pines and is a stockholder and director of Hanszen Broadcast Group. In that capacity, Paddie is the general manager of KMHT Radio in Marshall, where he hosts a daily talk show.
Since making the decision to run, Paddie said he’s conducted a grassroots campaign.
He said he spent the past eight months knocking on thousands of doors and making personal phone calls. He said since October, he and his volunteers have made more than 25,000 visits and phone calls to the constituents of the district, all the while getting a feel for residents’ concerns.
“People are concerned about jobs, the economy, education, taxes, concerned about government infringing upon liberties, particularly religious liberties. And, most importantly, they are concerned about where we are heading,” he said.
He said it is important for the candidate who is elected to represent what the community is concerned about, and not the individual’s concerns.
“I found what people expect in a representative is they want someone who is conservative, but they also want someone who can be effective,” he said.
Paddie said if elected he would vote to protect the right to bear arms, defend private property rights, create jobs, stop illegal immigration and support public education.
He said while on the Marshall City Commission, he and his fellow commissioners may have had different views, but they always found a way to settle issues.
“I realize there are 150 people in the House of Representatives, and one person can’t do everything,” he said. “You have to be able to work with others, so I think that is critically important.”