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Forsythe challenges Estes for District 30 seat

Profile image for By Bj Lewis / Staff Writer
By Bj Lewis / Staff Writer

Though he knows it’s a steep climb to knock incumbent District 30 state Sen. Craig Estes off the political mountain, Libertarian candidate Richard Wells Forsythe Jr. is willing to try.

Estes, who defeated Jim Herblin in the Republican primary, is confident in his bid for re-election, while Forsythe said his campaign is more about getting the message of the Libertarian Party out to the people.

“Even if we just run an educational campaign on the direction the government should go, we think the people will eventually pay attention,” Forsythe said.

Forsythe said he wants to get rid of all state taxes, especially property tax, and really fix the school systems. He offered a program idea generated by his party in which property tax money could be used to help pay for private school education.

Forsythe also said water systems in the state are in bad need of repair and that he would strive to attract more businesses to the state.

Forsythe is no stranger to running political campaigns, having run for the Texas House of Representatives a few times in recent years.

He has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and has run numerous businesses, including a used-car company, and he has worked in the commercial explosives industry. For the last 12 years, he has been working on his family’s 3,000-acre cattle ranch.

“I have always had a job since the time I was 13 or 14 — I am familiar with capitalism,” Forsythe said. “Capitalism is not the enemy — corporatism is the enemy. Our government isn’t much more than a bunch of multinational organizations looking out for their own interests.”

Forsythe said while it may not be this election that helps his party break through, progress is being made.

“People are starting to wake up. And thanks to Ron Paul, his campaign got the message out quite well and many people saw it,” he said. “A lot of people are learning government is massively out of control and needs to be downsized. As people see this message, it will resonate — people will get fed up.

“I would say the next two to four years you will see a large liberty contingent tired of large government.”

Estes, R-Wichita Falls, is running for his fourth full term.

Estes was not available for comment, deferring to his campaign director, Bryan Eppstein.

“The last two weeks, candidates are wall to wall on the campaign trail,” Eppstein said.

He said Estes is campaigning on the platform of jobs, lower taxes, property-owner rights, border security and less government.

On economic development and jobs, Eppstein said, the issue is creating more private-sector jobs.

He said Estes will continue to support a balanced state budget by prioritizing and recognizing that the Texas economy is stronger than it was two years ago. And considering 57 percent of the state budget goes to public education, that remains the top issue for Texas and for the senator.

Estes went on a tour of the border recently with the Department of Public Safety to see the needs of law enforcement to protect Texans from illegal drug and human trafficking and immigration. “He’s excited about things we can do from a state perspective in homeland security,” Eppstein said.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is



Age: 59

Born: Wichita Falls

Education: Oral Roberts University, 1977; Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program, 1993

Experience: three-term District 30 senator



Age: 53

Born: Washington, D.C.

Education: associate’s degree in English, Richland Junior College, 1979; bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, University of Texas at Dallas, 1982

Experience: Thermex Energy Explosives, 1980-89; KPAR-AM radio, 1983; started Marathon Mothers, 1990-99; Stream International, 1999-2000; worked on family-owned cattle ranch, 2000 through present