Texas Senate District 27 Democratic candidates make their case during Harlingen forum

11 months 4 days 12 hours ago Thursday, February 24 2022 Feb 24, 2022 February 24, 2022 10:53 PM February 24, 2022 in News - Local

Seven candidates are running to represent a portion of the Valley in the Texas State Senate.

In a forum hosted by the Greater Harlingen Chamber of Commerce and Raise Your Hand Texas on Thursday, four Democratic candidates made their case to represent District 27 of the Texas Senate, which covers all of Cameron and Willacy Counties and a portion of southeastern Hidalgo County. 

The candidates tackled questions on how they would address education as senator for District 27. All members collectively agree that teachers need a raise. 

RELATED: Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. announces retirement

District 27 candidate Salomon Torres says it’s time that state funding is invested into public schools so that Texas is able to rank higher among other states.

“We are way too conservative right now when it comes to our state budget, and it’s up to us as Democrats to really sit at the table and show how the fiscal responsibility can be defined as more than just careful spending of dollars, but it’s also an investment in taxpayer dollars, how does it pay off in the long-run,” Torres said.

Alex Dominguez, a former educator and most recently a state representative for House District 37, says he would put aside dedicated monies for public schools.

“If I was elected to the Senate, the way that I would earmark this money is I would refocus on our teachers and more importantly, on the technical support that they need to bridge the technology gap for much of our schools that are impoverished,” Dominguez said. “I think this will allow our students to have greater opportunity to quickly get up to speed for any time lost during the pandemic.”

READ ALSO: District 37 candidates participate in local forum  

Morgan Lamantia, who has been endorsed by Eddie Lucio Jr., says if elected, she will have an open line with educators.

“Throughout each of the counties, I’ve been able to meet with teachers, the school district, school board members, superintendents and some of the principals as well, because I believe forming those relationships now are incredibly important now,” Lamantia said. “So, when we are in session, and if a bill comes across my desk, I can reach out to them individually and ask them how it’s going to impact them and get their feedback right away.”

Sara Stapleton-Barrera, who lost against Lucio in 2020, says that the now-retired senator didn’t always support education.

READ ALSO: Democratic primary candidates for District 15 working to gain voters  

“I think his main flaw was taking a bunch of money from these pro-charter groups,” Stapleton-Barrera said. “So, first things first, I will vow and promise to never take any funding from anti-public school groups, and then from there, like I’ve been preaching for years now, is we have that teacher pay and get us amongst the national average which we so desperately need.”

In total, there are seven candidates who are running for this vacant seat. The three candidates missing from Thursday’s forum were Republicans.

For a look at early voting polling locations and more election resources, head to krgv.com/elections

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