Denton County voters will decide whether Pat Fallon or Amber Fulton will lead the newly created District 106 in the Texas House of Representatives.
Both Republican candidates, boasting different education and experience, say that they should be tasked with representing The Colony, Little Elm, Pilot Point, Sanger and Cross Roads.
Early voting continues through Friday with the primary set for Tuesday.
Fulton said she wants to work on public education funding, setting new priorities for spending without making cuts to education. Fulton also plans to propose an ethics reform plan, which would include term limits and strict penalties for ethics violations.
“I can’t possibly know everything right now, I am sure there will be more issues, challenges when the session starts, and I won’t know until then what I can and can’t do and the effectiveness one person can have,” Fulton said.
She spoke about her experience on the Lewisville school board, saying she had represented a broad geographic area during her six years in that position.
“Those cities have needs,” she said. “It’s a balancing act to make sure students in all areas are educated fairly and appropriately, while everyone received what they needed not necessarily what they wanted.”
Fulton said the $450 million budgets the board members oversaw, as well as the 6,000 employees, gave her a wealth of business experience.
Fulton, who holds a number of certifications from the University of North Texas — including mediation, alternative dispute resolution, volunteer and community resource management — said her skills will be useful in Austin “to get people to work together and not against each other and be a combining force, not a polarizing force, to actually get things done.”
Fallon said his concern over representation in the new district was a large part of his decision to run.
“Everyone needs a voice in this new district,” he said. “You have suburban and rural, and I was concerned, being I grew up in a small town, the rural area could be ignored.”
Fallon, who touts his frequent visits to areas in the district, said he spends as much time in the suburban as the rural areas. Fallon said his openness and communication with area residents and officials about their concerns have won him support.
“If I were to win the seat, I have already told everyone I want to make myself available to meet with each city and ask them their priorities or concerns and not wait until March when you have Denton County Days,” Fallon said. “You have to do it and be proactive prior to the session.”
Fallon, an U.S. Air Force veteran, said that leadership training coupled with founding and maintaining his own business for two decades shows his ingenuity and innovation, traits a representative needs to have.
“A lot of people claim they are business folks, but they haven’t done anything more than get a Doing Business As license,” he said. “It’s a good first step, but the first of a thousand. I have taken those steps. It’s about leadership, building consensus and knowing good people can disagree.”
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is email@example.com .
TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 106
• Age: 44
• Born: Pittsfield, Mass.
• Education: bachelor’s degree in government and international relations, University of Notre Dame, 1990
• Experience: U.S. Air Force veteran, president and CEO of Virtus Apparel
• Age: 42
• Born: York, Neb.
• Education: associate’s degree, Collin County Community College, 1991; bachelor’s degree in applied arts and science, University of North Texas, 2008; earned certificates in mediation, alternative dispute resolution, volunteer and community resource management from the University of North Texas.
• Experience: Six years on Lewisville school board; stay-at-home mom; served 17 years on boards, including Texas PTA, Communities in Schools of North Texas and UNT College of Education Development Board