A Letter From TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee:
Dear TRTA members, supporters and friends,
The information you have below is a great explanation of why you should vote and where you can find information about candidates. Many people who see this information may feel incredibly frustrated. Many people just want one simple answer to the statement: “just tell me who to vote for.”
Well, here is the deal: TRTA does not endorse candidates. Even if I personally wanted to answer your question, TRTA does not endorse and I cannot tell who to vote for.
I knew you’d be frustrated when I said that, but before you stop reading, I want to challenge you to ask three people in your area who they are voting for. I am certain you will get an answer to your question! There are some very wealthy and well-connected people who are hoping that you just give up and do not vote. They love that you are frustrated and less interested in these elections.
TRTA truly believes our issues are not partisan. We believe our members are a diverse cross-culture of voters with many personal interests and views, but that protecting and improving their retirement benefits is not defined by partisan politics.
This is where the extremely partisan groups who work only for party “purity” or partisan gains at any cost have so much more bluster than groups like TRTA. While we believe in working with everyone to achieve the best results, the purity and party groups attack anyone who chooses not to agree with them. Most of the time, this negative activity results in ugly campaigning.
Opponents Of Public Education Are Hoping That You Won’t Vote
Unfortunately, many of these people and interest groups want to see your pensions reduced and your health care changed. They would rather take away the promise of future benefits for education employees.
These interest groups and well-connected, politically savvy people are COUNTING on you not to show up at the polls. Their entire strategy seems to be designed around discouraging well-intentioned, hard-working, rock-solid communities from being motivated to vote.
By now, you know that there are many interests that would do much better if pensions, health care, and our schools were privatized. You and your family, friends and colleagues, and school children across the state may not be better off, but the special interests that want to keep you away from the polls will be richer and happier if you don’t vote.
So, while I cannot tell you who to vote for, I will tell you that if you want to make a difference for yourself, if you want to see retired and active educators feared and respected and appreciated as a group, you must vote in EVERY election. Especially runoffs!
Why Does My Vote Matter?
Voting is all that matters right now. Voting is power. We can either claim that power as our own and send people to elected office who want to help us, or we give that power away to people who want to see your benefits put on the table.
There are some VERY tight elections this runoff season. Your vote may be all that is needed to have a friend in office. Sitting in the sidelines allows that friend to be pushed away for someone else who may be less inclined to help retirees.
We need every TRTA member talking about the runoffs. When the runoffs are over, we will need every single TRTA member talking about voting in the General Election in November.
The battles for better healthcare and properly funded pensions are being waged right now! Truthfully, an order to “stand down” never gets signaled. This fight is non-stop, always present and all-consuming. The legislative session is just one piece of this campaign. The real differences on our issues are realized in the ballot box every election cycle. Ground is claimed and defended during every primary, every runoff and every general election.
If you believe our ability to win on the issues that matter most to you are defined by the legislative session, let me assure you that’s only half the battle, and it’s the last half of the battle. The battlefield always begins during the elections process!
What You Can Do
Elections have consequences. If you live in a runoff area, PLEASE make a plan to vote. If you do not know who to vote for, call your local TRTA members and ask them. I am positive someone in your area knows who these candidates are and what they think about our issues. You can click here to find out information about our TRTA local units in your area. Call people and ask who they are voting for and why. I know they will be happy to share their opinions. If you know the candidate that you are voting for, contact your fellow retirees and inform them of the importance of voting for the candidate.
You can also look at all the other resources TRTA is providing from our friends in the active educator community. This information is being provided so you can see what active teacher organizations and other groups friendly to our cause are saying. Some endorse, some do not. These are not TRTA’s comments but are shared so you can have more insight.
While we are providing the information for your benefit, I still believe the best way to get this information is by calling a friend, sending them an email or checking their social media feeds.
Runoffs are about turnout. Very few Texans are registered to vote, far fewer actually show up and do it. Legislative agendas are defined by those who win their elections. Elections are won because people went to the ballot box and voted for someone to represent their interests.
The only question is, what interests will show up at the polls in the upcoming runoffs? Will you be there? If you want TRS-Care and your pension benefits to be a top priority this coming session, go hire the people you want to do the job. Otherwise, you may not like who is working against you and not for you!
If elected officials know they will be held accountable at the voting booths, your concerns will be given more attention during the legislative session. These elections are so close, I have no doubt that your vote will pay dividends for us as we fight for you in the Texas Capitol.
It’s time for action. It’s time to vote!
Texas Retired Teachers Association
Texas Primary Runoff Races to Watch!
As the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) recently reported, the Texas Primary Election Runoffs are being held soon, and your vote holds tremendous power at this critical time! Below, TRTA features a list of all races for the Texas Legislature facing a Primary Runoff and lists the candidates competing for the specified party’s nomination. (For a complete list of all Primary Election results for statewide and congressional races, please click here).
If you are not sure what Texas Senate or Texas House district you reside in, please click here to find out.
Please also remember the following:
- Even if you did not vote in the first round of Primary Elections, you can still vote in the Runoff Election – and it is IMPORTANT that you DO!
- You can vote in the Republican Runoff as long as you did not vote in the Democrat Primary.
- You can vote in the Democrat Runoff as long as you did not vote in the Republican Primary.
- If you did not vote in the first round of Primary Elections, you may vote in either Runoff Election.
- VOTE-BY-MAIL deadline: The County Clerk must receive applications by Friday, May 11.
- EARLY VOTING: Monday, May 14 through Friday, May 18 (five days only!) Make a plan now to VOTE EARLY and avoid the long lines on election day.
- ELECTION DAY for Primary Runoff: Tuesday, May 22 at the precinct where you are registered to vote.
How Do I Determine Who to Vote For?
TRTA does not endorse candidates for political office. However, we encourage you to ask your fellow retirees who they are voting for and why.
TRTA also recommends researching candidates using the following resources:
- http://www.txparentpac.com/Texas Parent Pac’s website will feature endorsements as they are released in the coming weeks.
- Candidates Themselves Are the BEST Resource! If you’re not sure where a candidate stands, you should always feel like you can call and ask them! Reach out to candidates through their websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, email, and by phone. Always be courteous and ask them to tell you where they stand on issues affecting Texas public education retirees and education issues in general.
- https://www.texansforpubliceducation.com/The Texans for Public Education website, and associated Facebook page, ranks candidates as friendly, unfriendly, or neutral regarding education and retirement issues.
- https://apps.texastribune.org/2018-texas-primary-candidates/The Texas Tribune is a non-profit news publication. This list contains all primary candidates for both parties.
- Read candidate statements from Gregg Abbott, Andrew White and Mike Collier.
- http://www.vote411.org/The Texas League of Women Voters site allows you to find your polling place, build a ballot based on where you live and vote, and includes a non-partisan voter guide on every candidate.
- https://www.teachthevote.org/The Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) site is non-partisan, specific to education issues, and allows you to view candidates by legislative district as well as statewide candidates. The site includes voting records and candidate surveys on education issues.
Below, TRTA features a list of all races for the Texas Legislature facing a Primary Runoff and lists the candidates competing for the specified party’s nomination. (For a complete list of all Primary Election results for statewide and congressional races, please click here).
Texas Senate Primary Runoff Races
|D||✓ Rita Lucido||17,603||48.9%|
|D||✓ Fran Watson||12,621||35.1|
Texas House Primary Runoff Races
|R||✓ Stuart Spitzer||9,376||45.8%|
|R||✓ Keith Bell||5,367||26.2|
|R||✓ Cody Harris||8,864||44.9%|
|R||✓ Thomas McNutt||7,786||39.5|
|R||✓ Jill Wolfskill||8,874||38.5%|
|R||✓ Ben Leman||8,349||36.2|
|D||✓ Rene O. Oliveira Incumbent||3,096||48.4%|
|D||✓ Alex Dominguez||2,329||36.4|
|D||✓ Rebecca Bell-Metereau||5,133||45.4%|
|D||✓ Erin Zwiener||3,466||30.7|
|D||✓ Jose “Chito” Vela||6,209||39.6%|
|D||✓ Sheryl Cole||6,000||38.2|
|D||✓ Vikki Goodwin||5,347||33.6%|
|D||✓ Elaina Fowler||4,651||29.2|
|R||✓ Scott Cosper Incumbent||4,472||44.6%|
|R||✓ Brad Buckley||4,173||41.6|
|R||✓ Reggie Smith||7,885||45.8%|
|R||✓ Brent Lawson||5,916||34.3|
|D||✓ Mat Pruneda||3,063||41.7%|
|D||✓ Andrew Morris||2,842||38.7|
|R||✓ Deanna Maria Metzger||3,413||45.3%|
|R||✓ Joe Ruzicka||2,064||27.4|
|D||✓ Deshaundra Lockhart Jones||6,897||44.7%|
|D||✓ Carl Sherman||6,196||40.2|
|R||✓ Matt Beebe||4,351||29.5%|
|R||✓ Steve Allison||3,884||26.3|
|D||✓ Sandra G. Moore||3,761||49.9%|
|D||✓ Marty Schexnayder||3,084||40.9|