1 race, 6 candidates: Voters in House District 97 have options in primary election

dfwnewsa | February 20, 2024 | 0 | Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

1 race, 6 candidates: Voters in House District 97 have options in primary election

Republicans Cheryl Bean, John McQueeney and Leslie Robnett, left to right, top image, and Democrats Diane Symons, William Thorburn and Carlos Walker, left to right, bottom image, are all running to represent House District 97. (Camilo Diaz | Fort Worth Report)
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Rep. Craig Goldman’s decision to run to replace Rep. Kay Granger in the U.S. House after she retires has created a wide opening for candidates seeking to represent State House District 97.Six candidates have seized the opportunity and jumped into the race — three Republicans and three Democrats.In two nights of back-to-back debates hosted by the Fort Worth Report and other nonpartisan nonprofits KERA, SteerFW and the League of Women Voters, the candidates made their bid to potential voters.Republicans Cheryl Bean, Leslie Robnett and John McQueeney took to the stage on the first night of debates.Each candidate described border security, supporting business and expanding school choice as important tenets of their respective platforms. Their educational and professional backgrounds are what sets them apart from one another, they said. 

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Democrats Carlos Walker, William Thorburn and Diane Symons took their turn on the second night of debates, when education took center stage.All three candidates expressed their support for investing more state funding into public education at all levels, including public universities and trade schools. Investing in teacher pay is key to reducing teacher turnover and improving educational outcomes, they said. 

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In addition to the difference between the two parties’ platforms, the gap in campaign funding is cavernous, according to each candidate’s most recent campaign finance reports.Republican John McQueeney has the most cash on hand of either party at $227,188. His fellow party members Bean and Robnett follow him with $61,559 and $60,415 cash on hand, respectively.Democrat Carlos Walker has the next highest amount of funding, with $4,543 of cash on hand in his coffers. Thorburn and Symons have $700 and $361 cash on hand, respectively.

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Early voting for the primaries runs Feb. 20-March 1. 

Election Day is March 5. Winners of the GOP and Democratic primaries will oppose each other in the general election on Nov. 5. Find out more information about voting here.Marcheta Fornoff covers the arts for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at marcheta.fornoff@fortworthreport.org or on Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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