2020 Primary Election Guide Q&A: Get to know the Republican candidates for state District 129

Dennis Paul, Ryan Lee, 2020 March primary elections, 2020 March primaries
Incumbent Dennis Paul (left) faces newcomer Ryan Lee in the race for Texas District 129.

Incumbent Dennis Paul (left) faces newcomer Ryan Lee in the race for Texas District 129.

This year’s Republican primaries include two candidates for Texas District 129, which includes the Clear Lake area.

Community Impact Newspaper asked the candidates for their thoughts about district flooding and traffic. Early voting runs Feb. 18-28, and election day is March 3.

The winner of this race will proceed to the November general election against candidate Kayla Alix, the only Democratic candidate who filed for the 2020 primaries for the position. Community Impact Newspaper only publishes candidate Q&A's for contested races.

In this Q&A, candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Their responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

*indicates incumbent candidate


Ryan Lee


Occupation: Houston Fire Department senior captain


Email: ryan@ryanleefortexas.com

Website: www.ryanleefortexas.com

Years in District 129: 5

If elected, I would change: The level of community involvement that our representative has.

What work can be done to mitigate flooding in District 129?

We must start thinking outside the box on flooding: better drainage, detention areas and long-term options such as the Rice University levee. The levee could be completed in seven years, compared to the “Ike Dike” which would take 15 years or more to complete. A public-private partnership along the Houston Ship Channel could get the levee started. Protecting our nation's energy production is important, but industry also should invest to lower the burden on taxpayers and protect its interests.

How can transportation be improved in the area?

The I-45 reroute project is ill-conceived. As a captain on the Houston Fire Department water rescue team, I saw first hand how people lose their lives at underpasses during flooding events. It makes no sense to move portions of I-45 underground. League City is growing, for example. We need more park-and-ride options. From bond issues to mismanagement of resources, METRO is broken. The state legislature should be part of that solution.

What do you bring to the table that your opponent does not?

High energy and a commitment to engaging the district. We have a family-run small business in Clear Lake. Like other residents, we are concerned about crime and homelessness. As a public safety advocate, I am not afraid to take on the liberal Houston politicians that ignore our communities. We have a young family, so protecting our local school districts is a priority. Strong schools maintain our property values, which keeps businesses strong. My opponent supports private schools. His focus is on status-quo political patrons and special interests, not the community.


Dennis Paul*


Occupation: engineer

Email: paulforhd129@gmail.com

Website: www.dennispaul.com

Years in District 129: 58

If elected, I would change: I'm currently the State Representative for District 129, and while we've made great strides in the legislature, there is still more work to do when it comes to real flooding solutions, ensuring we get a coastal barrier, border security and meaningful property tax reform.

What work can be done to mitigate flooding in District 129?

While passing the bond in 2018 should significantly help to fund major flood mitigation projects, creating a comprehensive drainage plan that looks at the entire watershed is crucial. That is why I have had the state Water Development Board start developing a comprehensive drainage plan for the state. This is something that I have been pushing for in Austin and will continue to do so. State oversight can also ensure proper coordination by all local organizations to make sure new drainage plans will protect homes from future floods.

How can transportation be improved in the area?

We need to continue to push for the completion of the entire Grand Parkway to ensure that we have transportation capacity for development and storm evacuation. I have been instrumental in pushing for Hwy. 3 expansion, and we need to keep pushing this project to completion. We also need to work on dedicated truck connectors at the container ports to have more truck and car separation at the ports. Additionally, we will be working on local pre-cuts in Hwy. 3 and will push for an expansion to Beamer Road.

What do you bring to the table that your opponent does not?

I have a long and verifiable track record in both the Clear Lake area community as well as in the Republican party. I have put in the hours and sweat equity talking to voters, hearing out their concerns and actually working towards positive solutions in Austin. I believe I have produced real results while in office and look forward to continuing to do so. I'm well respected by my peers in the legislature as well as local community leaders, as evidenced by my endorsements. I also feel my life experiences as a small business owner and involvement in my community and local church qualify me for this position.
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

<

MOST RECENT

District officials shared storm damage photos at a Feb. 22 board meeting. (Courtesy Clear Creek ISD)
Clear Creek ISD updates: 88% of campuses sustained damage during winter storm, quarantine practices revised

District safety officials briefed trustees at a board meeting Feb. 22 about the extent of damages and gave other details related to CCISD’s storm responses. Of the 42 campuses, 37 sustained damages requiring immediate action, officials said.

key in door lock
Evictions continue in Houston as new measures aim to stem tide

Over 32,000 eviction cases were filed in Harris County courts in 2020.

Houston City Hall in rainbow lighting
Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce celebrates five years of service

The organization is open to all and serves members throughout the Greater Houston area.

Reedy Chapel, one of more than a dozen historically Black churches in Galveston, is a stop on the tour. (Courtesy Clayton Kolavo/GICVB Marketing)
Galveston tourism app guides visitors through city’s historically Black institutions, monuments

The interactive app, offered by the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, allows visitors to customize a tour itinerary based on interests and time allocation.

(Courtesy Reunion Court of Clear Lake)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Reunion Court of Clear Lake coming soon and more

Here is a roundup of Clear Lake and League City business news.

The new Fort Bend Epicenter multipurpose facility could be used as a spot for trade shows and sporting events, could act as a large-scale shelter for county residents in an emergency and more. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Large multipurpose complex coming to Fort Bend County; Sugar Land to widen University Blvd. and more top Houston-area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Houston area.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

Keith Luechtefeld spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about some of the short-term and long-term repercussions of the storm as well as some of the reasons why so many homes saw burst pipes during the freezing weather. (Community Impact staff)
Q&A: Greater Houston Builders Association President Keith Luechtefeld discusses power, plumbing, frozen pipes after Winter Storm Uri

Keith Luechtefeld spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about some of the short-term and long-term repercussions of the storm as well as some of the reasons why so many homes saw burst pipes during the freezing weather.

Winter Storm Uri led to closures across the Greater Houston area during the third week of February. (Courtesy Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County)
‘It’s been a rough year for us’: Expert explains economic effects of winter storm, ongoing pandemic in Houston region

“It's been a rough year for us economically; it's been a rough year for us public health wise. It's just been a rough year for us psychologically—first the coronavirus and then the freeze," said Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research with the Greater Houston Partnership.

The $560 million central processor, which is part of the new Mickey Leland International Terminal, will replace the parking garage for terminals D and E. (Courtesy Houston Airport System)
Parking garage at George Bush Intercontinental Airport to be demolished to make way for new Mickey Leland International Terminal

The international central processor, which is part of the new Mickey Leland International Terminal, will replace the parking garage for terminals D and E.