Texas House District 98 candidate platforms range from border security to public school funding

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

Texas House District 98 candidate platforms range from border security to public school funding

Candidates for Texas House District 98 include incumbent Giovanni Capriglione, left, Brad Schofield, center, and Scott White. (Courtesy photos | Giovanni Capriglione, Brad Schofeild, Scott White)
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Texas House District 98 has two Republican candidates vying for the seat — incumbent Giovanni Capriglione and challenger Brad Schofield. The Democratic candidate is Scott White.

The district comprises Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake, Keller, Westlake and Euless. Legislators earn $7,200 per year.

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Primaries will be held March 5, with early voting starting Feb. 20. The general election is Nov. 5.

To help voters make informed decisions at the ballot box, we asked candidates for Texas House District 98 to respond to a candidate questionnaire intended to touch on their priorities, if elected. 

The following answers have been edited for grammar, length and clarity. The Report has not independently verified the accuracy of some of the statements made below. 

Giovanni Capriglione

State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione announced Nov. 11 that he is running for reelection for Texas House District 98. He was elected to the House in 2013. (Courtesy photo | Giovanni Capriglione website)

Age: 50

Occupation: Private equity 

What are your qualifications to serve Texas House District 98? 

It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the residents of House District 98 since 2013, and I’m looking forward to serving them again in my seventh term. Over the past 11 years, I’ve learned not just the Legislature and how to pass effective laws, but I’ve learned about what my voters want, what they need, and what I can use to go fight for their interests in the Capitol. 

I spent a lot of my time not campaigning, per se, but by going into people’s homes. It’s having those face-to-face conversations with voters that has given me that experience.

What are your top two priorities if elected to the Texas House? Describe briefly how you would accomplish these priorities.

The top priority is securing the border. It’s clear that Texas has been doing and needs to continue doing the job that the Biden administration refuses to do. We have had success in doing that. I was at Eagle Pass with Governor Abbott and other members of the Legislature. Not only did I help push laws that funded the construction of not just a wall, but other physical security measures. We’ve changed laws to make it easier in Texas to be able to apprehend criminals that are coming across the border and helped designate these cartels as terrorist organizations.

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No. 2 is that property taxes are too high and people are worried about those expenses. I helped support the largest property tax cut in Texas. Given how fiscally conservative we handle our budget in Texas, we’re looking forward to another surplus in the next session, which I will push to help buy down property taxes again.

What is the single biggest issue your particular district faces? 

I’d hate to repeat myself, but those are the top two issues. People in my district absolutely prioritize securing the border, and property taxes affect our district, I would say unfairly and unevenly than other areas. 

How would you balance the concerns of your district vs. the state as a whole?

That’s actually a significant part of the job — to go and fight for your constituents first and foremost. You want to make sure that their concerns are addressed, and that their needs are met. I am in the enviable position that my district’s needs are very similar to the state’s. People who move here want an exceptional quality of life. They want safety and a community they can be part of. As long as I continue to make sure this district remains an incredible place to live, our needs will be met and match that of the states.

As northeast Tarrant County grows, how can the cities that encompass District 98, ensure they keep up with the pace of development?

As more people move right here into northeast Tarrant County, we need to make sure that our infrastructure keeps up with the pace. It’s making sure that our transportation funding is adequate. It’s making sure that our electrical needs and water needs are met.

Brad Schofield

Brad Schofield is challenging incumbent Giovanni Capriglione in the Republican primary for Texas House District 98. (Courtesy photo | Brad Schofield’s campaign website)

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Republican candidate Brad Schofield did not respond to the Fort Worth Report’s multiple requests for comment before publication time. The Report pulled the following information from Schofield’s campaign website. 

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Occupation: Texas-licensed certified public accountant 

If elected, Schofield’s priorities include funding schools with the state budget surplus money, and not by raising local property taxes, according to Schofield’s website. 

“Our property taxes are slated to go up if you don’t act. Our schools are hurting financially due to inflation, and the funding gap has to be closed. The choice is raising property taxes, or the state can use budget surplus money to fill the gap,” Schofield wrote on his website. 

Scott White

Scott White is running in the Democratic primary for Texas House District 98. (Courtesy photo | Scott White)

Age: 57 

Occupation: IT consultant 

What are your qualifications to serve Texas House District 98? 

This would be my first opportunity to support in public office. I’m a 25 year resident of Northeast Tarrant County. I spent most in Southlake and the past four years in Grapevine. I am a pro-business guy. My background is working with large companies and clients so I have a deep understanding of problem-solving for large organizations. The idea of a politician should be that you come into the political arena with your expertise from your private world. I want to work on both sides. 

What are your top two priorities if elected to the Texas House? Describe briefly how you would accomplish these priorities.

The first priority for me is funding the ISDs in District 98. They are all working with a funding level that was set in 2019. It’s completely unacceptable from a business perspective. You never run a business where you don’t expect that your costs rise and your revenue rises to match your costs. This has put just tremendous strain on our three ISDs and we absolutely have to fund them. That is tied with my efforts to disconnect vouchers from school funding. 

The second priority is around reproductive health topics. Our House District is responsible for the Texas abortion ban, HB 1280. In no other place have we ever written a law that penalized a medical professional in such a way. It’s very important to have a thoughtful approach to this whole topic, and each individual dealing with reproductive health issues should have a right to deal with it along with their medical doctor.

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What is the single biggest issue your particular district faces? 

We need the funding to go to our schools, so that our school districts keep up their impressive level of contribution to our communities. That would keep our property values relevant and high, which of course allows more taxes over time to be generated to support not only our local schools, but everybody else. This particular district has a very important obligation, not only to ourselves to take care of ourselves, but also to the rest of the state. 

How would you balance the concerns of your district vs. the state as a whole?

I’m running as a middle of the road politician. I want to listen to every single point of view from all sides. What I will always do is vote my district, which means I will have a network of people that help me understand things to come up with a good approach. I will vote for my district ahead of what happens at the party level where they come in and arm twist people into voting certain things. I was a former Republican until I started moving six years ago. I think between the two parties, the Texas GOP absolutely have to vote a certain way ahead of their constituents in many cases. That’s not the way I would behave if I was in office. 

As northeast Tarrant County grows, how can the cities that encompass District 98, ensure they keep up with the pace of development?

This region is still developing, but many of House District 98’s areas are a bit more landlocked now. We still have growth in Keller, but less in Southlake and Grapevine. We’re probably going to grow by securing our role as the professional community that supports DFW International Airport and many corporations that come through the airport. 

David Moreno is the health reporter for the Fort Worth Report. His position is supported by a grant from Texas Health Resources. Contact him at david.moreno@fortworthreport.org or @davidmreports on X, formerly known as 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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