Q&A: See what Republican candidates for Texas House District 126 had to say about flood mitigation and public education reform

With State Rep. Kevin Roberts leaving District 126 to campaign for the U.S. Rep. District 2 seat, several candidates have filed for the March 6 primary election, including Republicans Kevin Fulton, Sam Harless and Gail Stanart.

Find a Q&A with the Democratic candidates running in the primary election for District 126 here.



Kevin Fulton


Top priorities: Infrastructure (flood control), property tax relief, reduced business regulations and licensing fees
Occupation: Attorney/small business owner
Years lived in District 126: 13
Phone number: 832-304-4329
Email address: [email protected]
Website: www.votekevinfulton.com  

Why are you running to represent District 126 in the Texas House of Representatives?

Three time periods of my life helped shape my decision to run for office: 1) Early adolescence—I watched as the low income community I grew up in offered social programs but no opportunity for growth. These social programs were pitched as a solution but in fact were hurting the progress in the community, and I watched their devastating effect. 2) Young adult—While serving in combat I witnessed the consequences of an oppressive and unchecked government. This experience made me vigilant in making sure that this great country and this great state continues to allow the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. 3) Adult—As a small business owner I have had to deal with the burden of overregulation and unnecessary licensing cost that directly impacted my ability to hire more staff and pay higher wages. These lessons in different stages of my life ha[ve] shaped my call to service for my community and for my state. I knew that I was the right person to fight for what my district needs and to push back on any attempt at government overreach. 

If elected, what efforts would you make toward flood mitigation, and how do you believe those projects should be funded?

Flood mitigation must deal with the current situation that has been ignored and [be] forward-thinking to account for the increase in population that is projected for the district. To deal with the current situation, we must push up the timeline on modernizing the Addicks and Barker reservoirs. All potential failure modes identified in the Dam Safety Modification Study must be completed. This modernization must include work that was identified as non-structural and structural. We must also look at reclaiming open space that served to help with flooding and have a plan to balance future development flooding issues. However, that is a short term solution. Ultimately, with the projected growth in population, we must build an additional reservoir to relieve the burden on the Addicks and Barker reservoirs.

The funding for the existing modernization of Addicks and Barker should be funded in its entirety with federal funds since those reservoirs are under federal control. Any new reservoir should also be federally funded. Additional measures such as creating green space and helping with development in flood prone areas should be carried out with a mixture of federal and state funds.   

What are the most significant challenges facing the state’s public education system, and how would you address them if elected?

  1. We must cut down on the use of standardized test as a measuring tool for intelligence. Teaching to the test has become a common mantra in the educational arena. Standardized testing has handcuffed educators who have to worry more about standardized test results then teaching to the student’s creativity and curiosity.

  2. Revise the current education funding mechanism to stop reliance on property taxes and the “share the wealth” recapturing of funds.

  3. Allow schools to create more vocational training opportunities in 9th to 12th grade

  4. We must do a better job evaluating and providing a quality education for students with disabilities. I would make this a priority in funding decisions and require the Texas Education Agency to monitor school district compliance with state and federal law. Parents must also be granted a voice in decisions regarding the needs of their child.


What issues do you think need to be addressed regarding health care in Texas? What legislation would you look to file or support?

Although the general consensus is that the health care system is broken, one area of health care has been completely ignored and must be addressed immediately. That area is mental health. The mental health hospital system is past the critical juncture and is unable to meet the needs of a growing population. Currently you have facilities that are not equipped to handle the amount of patients who need mental health services, and the result is people pushed out into the streets or several squeezed into limited bed space in a mental hospital.  

Revenue must be shifted to repair and restructure the mental health inpatient system. This includes improving the availability of outpatient services, which will help relieve some of the pressure and cost on our criminal justice system and emergency rooms.






Sam Harless


Top priorities: Property tax relief, education, flood control
Occupation: Owner and operator of an independent used automobile dealership
Years lived in District 126: I have lived in the current district lines of 126 for 22 years but lived in the 1960 area for 41 years.
Phone number: 281-655-0254
Email address: [email protected]
Website: www.samharless126.com

Why are you running to represent District 126 in the Texas House of Representatives?

I have lived in Northwest Harris County for 41 years and have been very active in the local community. I believe we need a strong leader in Austin who is from the district, understands our issues, and will fight to deliver real results. I am not running to build a career; I am running to get results. 

If elected, what efforts would you make toward flood mitigation, and how do you believe those projects should be funded?

We need to fund additional reservoirs. We need to clean out existing bayous and make them deeper and wider where possible. The State has money in the Rainy Day Fund that can be used to pay for one time improvements.

What are the most significant challenges facing the state’s public education system, and how would you address them if elected?

Equitable funding for public schools. The State should pay its fair share to educate our children. Currently, the State is only paying about 37 percent of the cost while property owners pay the balance. 

What issues do you think need to be addressed regarding health care in Texas? What legislation would you look to file or support?  

I think we need to continue increasing mental health funding. If we properly funded mental health at an early age, fewer people with mental health issues would be incarcerated, saving the State money in future budgets.






Gail Stanart


Top priorities: Property tax reform, flood control, education reforms
Occupation: Sales
Years lived in District 126: 29 years
Phone number: 281-728-6376
Email address: [email protected]
Website: www.gailstanart.com

Why are you running to represent District 126 in the Texas House of Representatives?
I am running to advance property tax reform in order to decrease the tax burden on district families and homeowners; promote pro-family legislation that supports traditional family values; resolve district flooding problems with a focus on Cypress Creek; unshackle businesses of all sizes from heavy regulation and the tax burden, including elimination of the franchise tax; seek wiser solutions to our public education system to help all our students realize a successful future. This race is about policies that will strengthen families, schools and businesses in this district. Obviously, with the damaging effects of Hurricane Harvey, flood management must be addressed quickly.

If elected, what efforts would you make toward flood mitigation, and how do you believe those projects should be funded?
I am already cooperating with Congressman Michael McCaul, County Judge Ed Emmett, and Commissioner Jack Cagle to discuss what should be done, what can be done and where the money will come from. I will push to get the Cypress Creek Reservoir built as quickly as possible along with fixing Addicks and Barker reservoirs. I will work with the Harris County Flood Control District to see what they can and should be doing along Cypress Creek. I understand from Congressman [McCaul] that the federal government understands what funding is necessary to facilitate much of the infrastructure to prepare for future flooding. I will continue to look for solutions and ways to partner together with the state and the county to get the job done.

What are the most significant challenges facing the state’s public education system, and how would you address them if elected?
There are three significant challenges: (1) Teacher Retirement System and the current teacher’s pay scale; (2) Introducing curriculum changes that will enable students to function in the real world with real jobs; (3) Redirect education funding to follow the child rather than go to the ISDs. Funding the individual student will increase competition in the educational systems between public, private, charter and homeschooling. Competition will put more money into the teacher's pocket and the classroom as well as put pressure to pare administration costs and get rid of wasteful spending. Public education will always be our primary source of educating our children and should have the best teachers available. I will endeavor to encourage the best teacher to be paid according to merit. I will work to fix the TRS so that educators will have the retirement that was previously planned. The curriculum needs to focus on etiquette throughout the school years, concentrating on treating others with respect. Giving respect develops self-respect. and the atmosphere will change where this is done. I will encourage the development of training so that students will have job skills that will translate into jobs after high school.

What issues do you think need to be addressed regarding health care in Texas? What legislation would you look to file or support?

Texans need affordable and accessible health care. I would file or support bills that reject Obamacare and support the ability to offer health care solutions across state lines in a competitive fashion. We have to get our emergency rooms out of the primary care role and support measures at the federal level that allow people to have good health care at a reasonable price. I will always be looking for ways to support that at a state level in the Texas House.


By Danica Lloyd

Editor, Cy-Fair

Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2016. As editor, she continues to cover local government, education, health care, real estate, development, business and transportation in Cy-Fair. Her experience prior to CI includes studying at the Washington Journalism Center and interning at a startup incubator in D.C., serving as editor-in-chief of Union University's student magazine and online newspaper, reporting for The Jackson Sun and freelancing for other publications in Arkansas and Tennessee.



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