Q&A: See what Republican candidates for Texas House District 150 had to say about flood mitigation and other issues


Incumbent State Rep. Valoree Swanson has one challenger in the March 6 primary election for District 150.

Valoree Swanson*


Experience: Swanson serves as representative of District 150. She received a bachelor of business administration from Baylor University and has lived in District 150 for nearly 15 years.

Top priorities: property tax reform, funding major flood controls, blocking low-income government housing


How does your experience qualify you to be a good representative for the district?

My experience in real estate and business acumen allows me to serve my district well. I have spent decades serving my community in various capacities including as state legislator, so listening to my constituents comes second nature and getting things done for them is always my priority. I also killed many “bad bills” and blocked all proposed low-income housing projects in my district.  Additionally, my district has recently been hit hard by natural disasters, increased crime and rising property taxes. I am not only dedicated to these three priorities but any issues that concern my district.

What bills would you plan to file or sponsor in the next legislative session?

I will sponsor or file bills that protect freedoms, that are absolutely necessary, and those that are cost-effective. Texans need a balance of protection from over-taxation while providing adequate infrastructure.

As an elected official, what role would you play in flood mitigation efforts in District 150?

I am working hard with federal, state and local authorities to get major projects built to protect our district from flooding. It is imperative that we not just repair the damages and go back to business as usual. I will continue to fight to get federal funding and use of the Rainy Day Fund to complete these desperately needed projects.

James Richard Wilson

Experience: Wilson works as an insurance agent and has lived in District 150 for 12 years. He previously served as legislative assistant for state Rep. Joe Driver, R-Garland, and chief of staff for state Rep. Bill Siebert, R-San Antonio, in the Texas Legislature as well as a member of the Klein ISD Strategic Planning Committee.

Top priorities: flood protection, solving community growth challenges, representing the community


How does your experience qualify you to be a good representative for the district?

My previous legislative experience allows me to hit the ground running and truly be an effective champion for our community on the first day in office. The knowledge and skills gained from the years I spent working in state and federal government are a valuable asset in my service to our community. Also, I’ve been an active resident in our community for the past 12 years and have close relationships with our school districts, law enforcement, and members of our chamber of commerce. I will work closely and coordinate with other community leaders to adopt effective solutions to the challenges facing our community, including our Harris County judge and commissioner, our state Sen. Paul Bettencourt and the other state representatives near our area.

What bills would you plan to file or sponsor in the next legislative session?

The first bill I file would be legislation to dredge and deepen our local creeks and bayous and reduce the risks of flooding in our community. Additionally, I would file legislation to encourage and require regional communication and coordination between counties—[such as] Harris, Montgomery, Galveston, Fort Bend—for flood control and prevention. I would also file legislation to reform our property tax system to prohibit the diversion of our local property tax dollars to the state general revenue fund through recapture. I would file legislation to reform our system of funding for public education in order to reduce our local property taxes. Additionally, I would file legislation to eliminate unfunded state mandates on local governments and file joint resolutions seeking the elimination of unfunded federal mandates on our state.

As an elected official, what role would you play in flood mitigation efforts in District 150?

Protecting our community from future flood disaster is my highest priority. If elected, I would work closely with our county judge and commissioner, state senator and local Congressmen to ensure that the needs of our community are included in any regional solution. I would also work with the Texas Water Development Board, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Harris County Flood Control District, and the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure coordination between these entities and a speedy implementation of solutions.  Finally, I would work closely with our congressmen, [Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Flood Insurance Program to make sure that local flood maps are accurate and that flood insurance remains affordable for our community.

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Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of the paper in March 2017.
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