Republican candidate Kevin Simmons is running for the Texas House District 65 seat.

He will run against Ron Simmons in the March Republican primary election, which is March 6.

Community Impact Newspaper sent Simmons a series of questions on his candidacy. His written responses, edited for publication style, are below.

Why did you decide to run for this office?

There is an awakening taking place not only in Texas but within the entire United States.  We, the silent majority, are taking a long hard look at the performance of our government and taking corrective action.  I am disappointed with a number of decisions made by our sitting representative, Mr. Ron Simmons; particularly in the area of public education that will result in an increase in your property taxes.  In 2017, my opponent, Rep. Ron Simmons, made a motion to allow voucher-like programs to benefit for-profit private schools. Taking away dollars earmarked for public education and giving those dollars to for-profit private schools will increase your property taxes. Reducing your property taxes and protecting public education from school vouchers is the cornerstone of my decision to run for office.

Simply put, I disagree with sending taxpayer money to for-profit private schools.  Article 7 of [the] Texas State Constitution defines protection of education. Article 7 establishes provisions for public schools.  Section 1 states, "It shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”  I will honor and respect the constitution of our great state of Texas.

If elected, what will your top priorities be?

I will protect Texas’ economy and reduce property taxes.  I will reduce property taxes by imposing a tax on financial transactions that send American dollars out of Texas’ economy into Latin America.  Too many wages earned in Texas are sent out of Texas.  A tax on sending wages earned in Texas south of our border will make Texas’ economy stronger.  Let us keep wages earned in Texas flowing into our small- and medium-sized businesses.  Keep Texas strong.

I will support school finance reform without the consequence of vouchers. Simply put, no taxpayers’ dollars will be allocated to for-profit private schools.  I will not allow your property taxes to increase due to school vouchers. I will raise the bar for public education based on curriculum, not by throwing money at the problem.

I will repeal business regulations and barriers of entry that prevent growth of business development in Texas.

What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?

I am well-versed in policies, procedures and negotiations. In college, I excelled in student and social organizations, including serving Student Government Association as senator for College of Business, Interfraternity Council as an executive board member and fraternity as vice president. For my academic progress and active student involvement, I was awarded the prestigious Phil Goodman Award for Outstanding Campus Involvement. I graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a bachelor's of business administration. Further, I am a successful small-business owner and a seasoned entrepreneur with a wealth of management experience.

Philanthropy is a tremendous part of my life. My goal is to continue to be an asset to my community.  It has been an absolute pleasure to serve Dallas Children’s Charities 501(c)(3) for the last seven years. I spent five of those years on the board of directors, and two years as vice president of sponsors (the primary revenue generating role on the board of directors). Dallas Children’s Charities provides underprivileged children in Dallas/Fort Worth with any and all items necessary to the benefit of their health, education, etc.

What else do you want constituents to know about you and your background? 

I have not accepted a penny from any special interest group.  My opponent cannot truthfully state such.  I am beholden to no one but God.  I want voters to know that I am running for office with the best interest of Texas at heart.  I am the only candidate on the ballot that can bring District 65 together.

I'm a native Texan born in Sweetwater, Texas. I graduated from Keller High School with advanced honors. My wife Angie and I make our home in Carrollton. I am a small-business owner.  All of our products are made in Texas.  I could outsource our manufacturing outside of Texas for larger profits, but I refuse to do so.  I practice what I preach.  My strongly principled morals and beliefs were developed and solidified with a small-town Christian upbringing.

Texas is an open election state, including primaries. Regardless of your political affiliation—be it Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, etc.—I am openly asking for your vote.  Send the best candidate to Austin with your best interest at heart, not the candidate with the best interests of special interest groups.  Vote early on Tuesday, Feb. 20 and be certain to vote before or on Tuesday, March 6.