The Dallas Morning News: We recommend Kelly Hancock for Texas Senate District 9

October 13, 2018

Dallas Morning News Editorial

It takes more than passion to be effective in the Texas Legislature. It also takes experience, a grasp of a broad range of issues, and the ability to anticipate what’s next. In the Texas Senate race to represent northeast Tarrant County, Democrat Gwenn Burud brings a deep passion for education, but incumbent Republican Kelly Hancock offers experience.

For Texas Senate District 9, we recommend Hancock, 54, based on his proven effectiveness. Hancock, who lives in North Richland Hills, is chair of four committees, including the key Senate Business and Commerce committee. He has also been in the fray on a number of important issue, such as transportation, school funding and safety.

Burud, 50, is a deaf education teacher and says her top concern is school funding in Texas and her No. 2 priority is healthcare. But she offers few specific solutions that the Legislature could enact next year. We would be more enthusiastic about Burud, who lives in Colleyville, cutting her teeth in a lower office, where she could serve Texas with her intelligence and enthusiasm.

Hancock does offer specifics. On school funding, he aims to reduce the property tax burden while prioritizing school funding. He says schools don’t necessarily need more money, but to improve student outcomes they should prioritize teacher pay. “I was on the school board for 13 years, and we always seemed to make it work under the existing funding system,” he said.

He also offered an intriguing idea: Collect the property taxes paid by power generation plants into a state school fund, rather than local school funds. Power plants are generally in rural areas where school funding needs are relatively small, and they pay big property taxes out of revenue that comes from all Texans who use electricity.

Hancock’s response to school safety concerns is to arm administrators, and he helped write the school marshal bill that passed the Legislature in 2013. He is also a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, where he has pushed for measures to relieve traffic congestion in North Texas.

Where we differ from Hancock is in his support of the bathroom bill last session and the Texas voter ID law.

But overall, Hancock is the better choice.

Ready to vote?

Part of a series of Dallas Morning News recommendations in the Nov. 6 general election.

Voter Guide: Compare candidates’ answers to questionnaires tailored to their contest.

Recommendations: List of our recommendations to date.

Early voting starts: Oct. 22

Election Day: Nov. 6

For more information:

Collin County 1-800-687-8546

Dallas County 214-819-6300

Denton County 940-349-3200

Ellis County 972-825-5195

Kaufman County 972-932-0298

Rockwall County 972-204-6200

Tarrant County 817-831-8683

For more help, including how to check your registration status, contact the Texas secretary of state at 800-252-8683 or visit

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