Texas 2016 Primary Endorsements

It’s time for the Texas Primary Elections! Early voting begins on February 16 and runs through February 26. Election Day is on March 1, 2016

FARFA endorses the following candidates based on their positions on food and agricultural issues, as well as closely related issues such as water rights and use. FARFA’s endorsement does not constitute an endorsement of the candidates’ positions on other issues.

As you will see, FARFA is only endorsing two candidates in the primaries (one Democrat and one Republican). Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list of good candidates! We decided to endorse in these two specific races because they are hotly contested and there is a candidate with a strong record on our issues. We want to also recognize some of the legislators who were local food champions last session.

Huey Fischer for State Representative for District 49 in AustinHuey-Fischer

FARFA endorses Huey Fischer in the Democratic Primary for House District 49, which was previously held by Representative Naishtat.

Huey has served as a policy analyst and legislative staffer for several sessions at the Texas Legislature. In the 2015 session, he played an important role in working on bills to support urban farms and local food production. In particular, Huey devoted significant time and effort to bills to reduce property taxes on urban farmers and regulatory burdens on small-scale food businesses.  These measures are important for reducing costs for producers — and ultimately making local food more available and accessible to consumers.

Huey remained involved after the session ended, demonstrating his commitment to the long-term changes needed to support local food production and access.

Click here to download a map of the district

LEARN MORE: www.hueyfischer.com

 

Susan King for State Senator for District 24

susan king texas house representative district 71

(Photo Credit: Abilene Reporter)

FARFA endorses Susan King in the Republican primary for Senate District 24, which was previously held by Senator Troy Fraser.

In her tenure are a State Representative, Susan King has been a strong advocate for local food bills. As a member of the House Public Health Committee, Representative King was an outspoken supporter during the Committee discussions on raw milk, cottage foods, and other local foods bills.

Susan King has authored and passed two important local food bills. In 2013, she authored the “DSHS Better Communications Act,” which requires the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to respond promptly to inquiries about food laws and protects producers from inconsistent actions by inspectors. In 2015, Susan authored HB 1846, which requires DSHS to publish on its website any cooperative agreements with the FDA to implement new federal food safety regulations, creating transparency and accountability in how our state agency implements new federal requirements.

Susan King has also spoken up for farmers’ access to water. In a recent water forum, every other candidate for the Senate seat supported raising the rates that farmers pay for water, so that farmers would pay the same rates as cities and commercial users – an approach that essentially says that green lawns and golf courses are just as important as food. Susan King was the lone candidate to point out that water is necessary for food, and that raising water rates for farmers not only hurts the farmers, but ultimately the consumers as well.

Click here to download a map of the district.

For more information, visit: www.susankingcampaign.com

WANT TO HELP?

It’s very important that we have strong allies in the Legislature! In addition to considering voting for these candidates, we encourage you to:

1) Spread the word! Share these endorsements with your friends and social networks.

2) Volunteer your time. You can contact the campaigns through their websites and volunteer to help.

3) Consider a donation. FARFA is not a PAC, and we do not give donations to any political candidates. So the financial support comes from you.

 

Local Food Champions

Legislators of both parties were champions for our farms and local foods in the 2015 session:

  • Representative Dan Flynn, author of the raw milk bill,
  • Senator Carlos Uresti, sponsor of the raw milk bill
  • Representative Eddie Rodriguez, Co-Chair of the Farm-to-Table Caucus and author of bills for fair property taxes for small farmers and expanded home-processing options
  • Senator Judith Zaffirini, author of the agricultural ombudsman bill and sponsor of the fair property taxes bill
  • Representative John Cyrier, author of bills to protect rural aquifers
  • Representative Borris Miles, author of the community gardens limited liability bill
  • Representative David Simpson, author of a bill to protect the rights of rural communities to make decisions about their water
  • Representative Carol Alvarado, author of a GMO labeling bill
  • Senator Brandon Creighton, author of the hobby beekeepers bill and sponsor of the community gardens bill
  • Senator Lois Kolkhorst, author of a bill on eminent domain reform

You can read more about what these legislators fought for in the 2015 session in our legislative report