Primary Election Q&A: Democratic candidates vie for Texas House District 146 seat

Ashton P. Woods is challenging incumbent Texas House District 146 Representative Shawn Thierry.
Ashton P. Woods is challenging incumbent Texas House District 146 Representative Shawn Thierry.

Ashton P. Woods is challenging incumbent Texas House District 146 Representative Shawn Thierry.

Two Democratic candidates for Texas House of Representatives District 146 are vying for a spot on the November ballot.

Community Impact Newspaper contacted each candidate with questions about their campaign priorities for the district, which covers parts of southwest Houston. Answers may have been edited for length.

Early voting begins Feb. 18 and ends Feb. 28, and election day is March 3. Find a polling location here.

*indicates incumbent

Rep. Shawn Thierry*

Occupation/experience: lawyer, current state representative HD 146


How will your professional or personal experience prepare you for this position?

I have proudly served my constituents in House District 146 since 2017 and have authored many significant pieces of legislation. I believe that experience, successful results, and proven voting record all uniquely qualify me to continue in my tenure as State Representative and set me completely apart from my opponents. As State Representative, I serve my constituents through writing and approving laws to improve life in Texas. In addition, I fight for and amplify my constituents' voices in state business and support my community in every way I can.

What will be your top priority if elected?

My top priority is to continue to advocate for issues that I stand on wholeheartedly such as maternal mortality and public education. African American women are disproportionately affected by maternal mortality, as they are the most at-risk population in the nation. I have worked tirelessly to spread awareness of this vital women’s health issue during the 86th Legislative Session, and I plan to continue the fight for all Texas mothers.

How can you represent the diverse needs of this district?

Most legislation that are proposed and passed affect a majority of minorities in my district. The people should elect someone who represents them and fights to be their voice in the House.

Ashton P. Woods


Occupation/experience: I have been a fearless advocate for the LGBTQ community, having been appointed to Houston’s first LGBTQ advisory board in 2016. I am the cofounder and lead organizer for Black Lives Matter Houston and am the co-chair for the Black Humanist Alliance. I have fought tirelessly with Houstonians for the protection of our Homeless community, fought against the creation of ICE detention centers, and police accountability. Being a part of the Black Community, the LGBTQ Community, and living with an HIV diagnosis has put me in position to be around people who don’t have access to things they need.

How will your professional or personal experience prepare you for this position?

For too long, the vulnerable among us have gone without the proper resources and support to get ahead. My campaign is about bringing people together to create comprehensive solutions to build a better Texas for all of us. Building a better Texas for all requires thoughtful planning and working in collaboration for our communities. Texas is our home and we should want it to be the best possible place for all. Through my proven track record as a human rights activist, I believe that I am prepared to lead in HD146.

What will be your top priority if elected?

We have a broken criminal justice system that needs to be re-imagined by: Decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis, Expunction of all criminal records of those formerly incarcerated by the state of Texas. Create re-entry programs that affords opportunities to those affected by Cannabis criminalization to be first in line to receive help in starting dispensaries as well as access to a level playing field when it comes to employment. Legalization (which is not the same as decriminalization) would allow the legal sale and consumption of Cannabis products without fear of legal consequences.

How can you represent the diverse needs of this district?

Looking at the issues that affect our communities and families, there are opportunities to adopt programs and initiatives that fundamentally change our collective wellbeing. Protecting the equal rights of all Houstonians and texans is at the heart of our fight. It’s time for us to take charge of the decision-making to create an equitable and just city. Together we can make sure that everyone has a good outlook in life. As your candidate for Texas House of Representatives 146, I am committed to making this happen.

By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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