Rains Junior High (RJH) School students welcomed Texas Lieutenant Governor candidate Scott Milder on Thursday, February 22. The Republican candidate, who is challenging incumbent Dan Patrick in the primaries, visited the school to see the reading walls started by RJH teacher Staci Ely. After taking time to look at the walls, Milder shook the hand of each student who had come to meet him, asking them about their classes and college plans while sharing personal anecdotes about his own family.
After the students returned to class, Milder stated, “The Reading Walls are fantastic. What I love about them is that they’re not on the wall of a big 6A school in the Dallas Metro area. It’s real Texas reaching out all over the world and showing students that the world is bigger than just Rains County, Texas. It’s helping students connect what they’re learning in school to the real world. It’s great.”
When asked why he decided to throw his hat in the lieutenant governor race, Milder said, “It was not an easy decision. Aside from marriage and children, it’s probably the biggest decision I’ve ever made. I don’t take it lightly at all. There are many reasons I decided to run but probably the most significant reason has been that I got sick and tired of watching our state of Texas treat educators in our public schools like second-class citizens.
“It’s not right. We have really good people, really great Texans working in our schools. We can all argue all day long on the best way to educate our kids but we need to do that with respect for those who work in our schools.”
Milder thinks that being a regular Texan, someone who gets up and goes to work every day, is part of what makes his message appealing to voters. “I think people are tired of the status quo in politics. They want rational leadership, particularly in the lieutenant governor’s office. [Patrick] is a ‘my way or the highway’ type of leader. He doesn’t believe in compromise, doesn’t believe in finding common ground, doesn’t believe in working well with others. He just believes that he has his agenda and he’s got to promote it at the expense of everybody else … People want someone to govern with respect and civility for all Texans.”
Milder said that a lieutenant governorship under his leadership would align with what he believes to be actual state responsibilities, which do not include regulating bathrooms. He believes that laws “already on the books” are enough to handle lewd or inappropriate behavior in a bathroom, and he is not interested in “winning political points by grandstanding in the office of lieutenant governor.”
Milder stated, “I’m interested in taking care of the people’s business. The people’s business includes making sure our public schools are funded, making sure that we are doing everything we can to accomodate the growing Texan population on our highways, bridges and every other type of infrastructure in the state of Texas, to make sure our property taxpayers aren’t taxed out of their homes. The rise in property taxes need to be addressed.
“We need to make sure we have policies that are pro-business, pro-growth, pro-job creation. Those are the types of things that the state needs to be addressing, not social and morality issues. I don’t think it’s the state government’s business to legislate morality. That’s for local communities, families, homes and churches.”
Milder plans to keep an open-door policy if he gets elected. “I won’t refuse a meeting with anyone, no matter what it’s about. I can sit down and listen even if we disagree. I don’t care if [people] are Republican, Libertarian, independent or Democrat, I’ll meet with everybody. I think that’s the kind of governing that Texans expect.”
Milder believes that this is an important time for our state. “Texas is a great state. We just need to keep building on our successes and make sure that our attention is focused on things that matter.”