Plano-area candidates for state offices talk school funding, toll roads at chamber-held forum


School finance, toll roads and property-tax reform were at the center of discussion at a Plano candidates forum on Thursday as eight hopefuls for state offices vied for support from the region’s business community.

Candidates pursuing for seats in the Texas Legislature spoke in downtown Plano ahead of the March 6 primaries at the forum, which was organized by the Plano Chamber of Commerce and the Collin County Business Alliance.

The four candidates running to replace state Sen. Van Taylor—a Republican leaving the state Legislature in a bid for U.S. Congress—are Democrats Brian Chaput and Mark Phariss and Republicans Phillip Huffines and Angela Paxton.

Chaput, an engineer by trade, and Phariss, a business lawyer, will square off in the March 6 Democratic primary. Huffines, the identical twin brother of state Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, will face off on the Republican side against Paxton, a career educator who is married to state Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Here is a list of Plano-area Texas Legislature candidates on the ballot for the March 6 primaries:

Texas Senate District 8
Democratic candidates: Brian Chaput, Mark Phariss
Republican candidates: Phillip Huffines, Angela Paxton

Texas House District 66
Democrat Sharon Hirsch (unopposed in primary)
Republican Matt Shaheen, incumbent (unopposed in primary)

Texas House District 67
Democrat Sarah Depew (unopposed in primary)
Republican Jeff Leach, incumbent (unopposed in primary)

Texas House District 89
Democrat Ray Ash (unopposed in primary)
Republican candidates: Candy Noble, John Payton

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Daniel Houston
Daniel Houston covers Plano city government, transportation, business and education for Community Impact Newspaper. A Fort Worth native and Baylor University graduate, Daniel reported previously for The Dallas Morning News and The Associated Press in Oklahoma City.
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