Community Impact Newspaper sent Payton a list of questions about his candidacy. Below are his answers, edited for publication style.
Q: Why did you decide to run for this office?
A: As a justice of the peace for 27 years, I regularly work with educators, first responders, individuals with mental health issues, young people, business owners, county, state and federal agencies, non-profits and churches. I know first-hand the needs in our community and the effectiveness—and ineffectiveness—of our laws and state resources. Through community partnerships, innovation and a strong commitment to excellence, we have made huge strides locally. I want to draw upon this experience to identify viable solutions to many of our state’s pressing issues.
Q: What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
A: As stated before, I have been a justice of the peace for 27 years and have had a tremendous success rate with those I have worked with in my court. I am a firm believer in servant leadership and have worked hard to represent that in my position. I have worked with county, state and federal agencies. I have extensive experience reading and interpreting legislation, and because I have spent a great deal of time in Austin working with lawmakers on legislation, I have a firm understanding of the legislative process. Texas House District 89 needs a strong voice in Austin, someone willing to stand-up and stand out. I have been leader in the Collin County Republican Party for more than 25 years, serving as the victory chair in both 2014 and 2016 and heading up block-walks, phone banks and sign distribution. Because of my extensive work in the party and my long-time commitment to furthering our conservative principles, I have received numerous recognitions, including the Dixie Clem Award, three chairman awards, the Fred & Mazzie Moses Community Builder Award and the John McVeigh Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, the Golden Corridor Republican Women presented me with the Golden Hat Award in 2014. It is this same drive and dedication that I will take to Austin.
Q: If elected, what would be your top priorities?
A: If elected, some of my legislative initiatives will include reforming education and education funding; eliminating wasteful government spending; cutting taxes and repealing unnecessary regulations; defending the Second Amendment; securing the border; protecting the lives of the unborn and fighting for patient rights during end-of-life care; health care reform; and finding long-term solutions to our transportation issues.
Q: What else do you want constituents to know about you and your background?
A: For more than 27 years, I have had an opportunity to help mold the lives of more than 80,000 children who have come through my court. My court has been extremely successful in our efforts. The citizens of House District 89 need, want and deserve an experienced servant leader who is focused on people, not politics. I humbly ask for your vote.