Q&A with incumbent Rep. Ron Reynolds, challenger Tom Virippan—candidates for Texas House District 27

Early voting for the November election, when voters will choose candidates for national, statewide and local positions, begins Oct. 13. Election Day is Nov. 3. (Community Impact staff)
Early voting for the November election, when voters will choose candidates for national, statewide and local positions, begins Oct. 13. Election Day is Nov. 3. (Community Impact staff)

Early voting for the November election, when voters will choose candidates for national, statewide and local positions, begins Oct. 13. Election Day is Nov. 3. (Community Impact staff)



HOUSTON



Texas House District 27




* indicates incumbent






Ron Reynolds*



D



Occupation: state representative


Experience: 10 years as a state representative; former associate municipal judge for the city of Houston






What are your top five legislative priorities?



RR: 1. Access to affordable healthcare; 2. Criminal justice reforms; 3. Maintain adequate funding for our public schools; 4. Address climate change; 5. Enact common-sense gun control reforms.



Why do you feel you are the best candidate to represent HD 27?



RR: I have the experience, background and training to continue serving as state representative. I grew up in the district and went to local Fort Bend schools. I have a long history of volunteer service with Fort Bend ISD, Fort Bend Chamber Leadership, Boys Club and Missouri City NAACP.



What is the biggest challenge facing the district and how would you address it?



RR: The biggest challenge facing the district is to help our local small businesses survive the financial impact caused by COVID-19 to stay in business. I have worked to assist our local small businesses with the Fort Bend Entrepreneur Program to provide them resources to help them to overcome the unique challenges they face. I have fought for additional funding, provided PPE and used my platforms to encourage my constituents to shop local.



How should the Texas Legislature respond to the coronavirus pandemic?



RR: The governor should call for a special session so that the Texas Legislature can address the record unemployment, school safety, virtual learning and Medicaid expansion to address the nation's highest percentage of uninsured residents.



How will you ensure school districts are adequately funded despite shrinking state revenues because of the pandemic?



RR: I will vote to change the funding formulas to address the state revenue shortfalls and also suggest tapping into the state’s Rainy Day Fund. Bottom line is we must reallocate our resources to ensure that our public schools are adequately funded.









Tom Virippan



R



Occupation: real estate professional


Experience: real estate; education and public service






What are your top five legislative priorities?



TV: 1. Lower property taxes; 2. Strengthen education system and school safety; 3. Ensuring justice and equality for all; 4) Economic opportunity—support businesses and create more high-paying jobs; 5. Improve health care and veteran assistance



Why do you feel you are the best candidate to represent HD 27?



TV: House District 27 representation is lacking honesty and integrity. I will bring honesty and integrity to the district. I am a hardworking individual and I will work hard to improve the district from its current situation. I will focus on more economic opportunities. I will not be influenced by lobbyists or special interest groups from doing the right thing for the people.



What is the biggest challenge facing the district and how would you address it?



TV: The district has been represented poorly for almost a decade. Part of the reason, the incumbent was fighting criminal issues and spent time in jail while serving as state representative. There was no leadership in bringing economic improvements. Education system needs major developments. I will work smart to bring real changes and economic prosperity in the district.



How should the Texas Legislature respond to the coronavirus pandemic?



TV: [The] Texas Legislature responded well to the COVID[-19] crisis. More legislation related to multiple areas addressing matters such as public education, unemployment, health care, adult care [and] availability of quality testing/detection systems should be needed.



How will you ensure school districts are adequately funded despite shrinking state revenues because of the pandemic?



TV: Controlling unnecessary spending should be the No. 1 goal, as there is no easy way of increasing revenue during the pandemic. Increasing taxes should not be an option. Focus should be given to allocating resources in enhancing quality of education and teacher’s development. I would suggest each school board should investigate ways of reducing budget 10%-20% in a responsible manner without affecting employments.


By Claire Shoop
Claire joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2019 as the reporter for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 where she studied journalism, government and Arabic. While in school, Claire was a fellow for The Texas Tribune, worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and spent a semester in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing cards with her family and listening to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.


MOST RECENT

Dozens of clinics throughout the county offer COVID-19 testing services. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
COVID-19 testing locations remain open in Montgomery County and more local news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

Heading into Thanksgiving, Texas Medical Center continues to report uptick in hospitalizations

The total number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Texas Medical Center facilities has increased by more than 50% over two weeks.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

Attendees are asked to reserve their family’s meal package in advance of the event, which requires masks and adhering to social distancing guidelines. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Missouri City to host holiday food giveaway

Be sure to RSVP in order to reserve your family's holiday meal package.

The latest Fort Bend County coronavirus updates from the week of Nov. 13-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fort Bend County hospital leaders warn of increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations

Fort Bend County Health & Human Services reported 685 new cases of the coronavirus Nov. 13-19, a 135% increase in the number of new cases compared to the week prior.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

Shake Shack opened its new standalone location at The Woodlands Mall in November. (Courtesy Christine Han)
Shake Shack opens in The Woodlands Mall and more Houston-area updates

Read the latest business and community news from the Greater Houston area.

The Skeeters will be the first-ever independent baseball league team to become an MLB team's Triple-A affiliate. (Courtesy Sugar Land Skeeters)
Sugar Land Skeeters selected as Triple-A affiliate for Houston Astros

In joining the Houston Astros organization, the Sugar Land Skeeters will be the first-ever independent baseball league team to become an MLB team's Triple-A affiliate.

Schools now have the power to temporarily suspend on-campus instruction if “a significant number of the instructional staff at the campus is impacted due to a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak." (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency authorizes schools to close doors for 14 days due to coronavirus-related staffing concerns

Campuses can now instate a hybrid or fully remote instruction model for up to 14 days if adequate instructional staffing is not possible due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases among employees.

Tickets are on sale now. Sugar Land Holiday Lights runs from Nov. 20-Jan. 3. (Screenshot courtesy Sugar Land Skeeters)
Constellation Field gets festive with 7th annual holiday light display

Tickets are on sale now. Sugar Land Holiday Lights runs from Nov. 20-Jan. 3.

Visitors to Sugar Land Town Square will be able to interact with Santa through a mixed-reality holographic snow globe created by Dallas-based Flight School Studio. (Courtesy Public Content)
Sugar Land Town Square to host mixed-reality Santa meet-and-greet Nov. 27-Dec. 24

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the tradition of meeting Santa will look and feel different this year.