Two newly-elected local Republicans are eager to get to work in the Texas House of Representatives.
Ben Bumgarner, a former Flower Mound Town Council member, defeated Democrat Denise Wooten for the District 63 seat with 55.9% of the 64,207 votes, according to unofficial results from the Texas Secretary of State.
Kronda Thimesch, a former Lewisville ISD Board trustee, received 59.8% of the 71,668 votes for District 65, defeating Democrat Brittney Verdell.
Bumgarner replaces longtime HD-63 Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, who ran a successful campaign for State Senate District 12 to succeed the retiring Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound.
Bumgarner said campaigned on the issue of high property taxes, and he said his top priority in the Legislature will be to provide property tax relief for homeowners.
“The biggest chunk of our tax rate comes from the education side,” he said. “If we keep going the way we’re going, we’re going to tax everybody out of their homes. My taxes have almost tripled since I moved to Flower Mound.”
Bumgarner said elected legislators will sit down and figure out how to reduce property taxes and properly fund education at the same time.
“We really need to sit down and look at how to pay for education going forward, because we can’t kick the can down the road any longer. We’ve got to do something to ease the burden off of our homeowners.”
Thimesch also said that property tax relief is an important issue to her, and she wants to reform property appraisals.
“To buy down property tax obligations as a one-time effort, with one chunk of surplus revenue, creates only a short-term micro-impact,” Thimesch said. “Meanwhile, we know we need to fix a systemic problem. While we’ve got the money to invest in solutions, I want to work with experts to identify strategies which will create lasting recurring savings for Texans.”
Bumgarner said border security is also extremely important to him.
“We have drug and sex trafficking coming through Denton County, and we need to secure the border,” he said.
Thimesch, a member of the Denton County Child Protective Services Board, said another one of her priorities will be improving CPS and foster care.
“I absolutely have seen the challenges within our foster care system, firsthand,” she said. “I am very passionate about legislation that will support and strengthen families and children.”
A third priority, Thimesch said, will be reducing burdensome overregulation.
“I believe there are places in our business code and local government code where well-intentioned legislative band-aids have accumulated over the years, resulting in onerous and expensive policies that trip over themselves while making life harder for taxpayers,” she said.
Thimesch, Bumgarner and well over a hundred other state legislators will be sworn into office in January.