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2015-11-26

Sayin' 'Howdy' to Senate candidates

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Photo by Judith Pannebaker
Patricia Moffitt, daughter of Texas Senate District 24 candidate Dr. Brent Mapes joined him at the Bandera County Republican Women meeting in October.

Photo by Judith Pannebaker
Jon Cobb, candidate for Texas Senate District 24, has proved to be a faithful participant in the meetings of the County Republican Women.




Four candidates vying for Texas Senate District 24 spoke to members and guests who attended the October meeting of the Bandera County Republican Women.
Current State Senator Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay has chosen not to run for another term. He was first elected to the office in 1996, representing Bandera, Bell, Blanco, Brown, Burnet, Callahan, Comanche, Coryell, Gillespie, Hamilton, Kerr, Lampasas, Llano, Mills and San Saba counties, as well as portions of Taylor and Travis counties. During his tenure, however, elected officials in Bandera County elected officials never managed to meet Fraser on their home turf.
On the other hand, state senate hopefuls, Ryan Downton, CJ Grisham, Dr. Brent Mayes and Jon Cobb - on another visit - happily made a trek to the Cowboy Capital.
Mayes, a retired physician and former small business owner, who lives in Fredericksburg, believes that "no issue is more important than water." Decrying the former and current situation at Medina Lake, he said there is a district-wide lack of accountability and transparency with regard to LCRA and BAM. "LCRA needs to be audited. They cannot be a law unto themselves."
According to Mayes, the three main problems surrounding water include state over-regulation of local government and water districts; non-local for-profit and governmental entities wanting to take local water, particularly large cities like San Antonio; and on-going attempts to erode the property rights of the owners of ground water. "Rural districts are under assault by urban centers that want our water and resources," he said.
Mayes entered "politicking" because he feels "the world is going to hell in a hand basket." He continued, "If we want to save Texas, we're going to have to save it ourselves."
Considering an unsecured border an existential threat to the state, he advocates that employers, both public and private, use eVerify during the hiring process; stop in-state tuition, EMS and social services to illegal aliens and prohibit sanctuary cities. "The Democrats want them for votes and the Republicans want the cheap labor," he opined.
Regarding his commitment, Mayes said. "My opponents have day jobs. I have the will and ability to be a full-time representative."
Taking respectful exception to Mayes' statement, Cobb said the Texas Legislature wasn't designed to be a full-time job. "Because the 'thieves are in town every two years,' the makeup of the Texas Legislature allows people with jobs and small businesses to be elected and to govern the state," he said.
Calling Texas the "greatest state in the greatest country in the history of the world," Cobb deplored the face that the state is falling behind in power, water, infrastructure and roads and bridges. These items, along with border security, would become his priorities as a state senator.
Cobb advocates building a 40-foot wall to secure the southern border and sending the bill to the federal government of reimbursement. "If they don't want to reimburse the state, we'll take the feds to court," he said.
"I'm a firm believer in low tech solutions to problems. Technical solutions don't always work. However, until the border is 100 percent sealed, there can be no solution to illegal immigration."
A audience member noted that walls only deter people from crossing if there are guards on them able to use deadly force. "Would you be willing to do that?" the man asked.
"I won't go on the record as saying I'm willing to shoot people who cross the border illegally," Cobb rejoined. "It's a lot easier to detain them."
However, he did go on the record - along with other candidates, Mayes, Downton and Grisham - with a promise never to vote for an unfunded mandate. "The legislature never raises taxes on Texas citizens because they disingenuously shift the burden to another level of government," Cobb said. "This is not a conservative principle and unfunded mandates are not sustainable."
Cobb also promised to fight for rural Texas - of which Bandera County is a prime example. "Nobody in Austin cares about Bandera, Llano or Kerrville, but if we lose rural Texas, we have lost everything."