Posted by: Dallas Morning News Editorial | DMN
We narrowly recommend Rhetta Andrews Bowers over retired Dallas firefighter Billy Ingram in the Democratic primary for state House District 113, an open seat after GOP incumbent Cindy Burkett decided not to run.
Bowers and Ingram, both from Rowlett, would each have a steep learning curve in Austin. However, Bowers, 50, who lost to Burkett in the 2016 general election, displayed a broader understanding of state issues and seemed more in touch with the concerns of district residents — gained from knocking on doors during two election cycles in this mostly suburban district, which reaches from Rowlett to Seagoville.
Bowers, a substitute teacher, spoke passionately about the need for the state to spend more dollars to develop a skilled workforce, improve teacher salaries and fully fund all-day pre-K. As important, she displayed a collaborative spirit that could be useful in working with a GOP-controlled House, having served on a parks and recreation advisory board and a community investment task force in Rowlett.
Ingram’s resume includes leadership roles at the Dallas Black Firefighters Association and the group’s political action committee, which also could translate well in Austin; his work organizing youth community events in southern Dallas is also a plus. It’s clear that what he knows, he knows well — but he offered some confounding answers on major state issues during our interview.
He voiced nuanced support for a cap on property tax revenue growth, provided it isn’t as restrictive as Gov. Greg Abbott’s proposal for a 2.5 percent cap and if business tax loopholes are closed. Then Ingram, 58, seemed to contradict himself, saying that local government should control property tax revenue decisions, not the state.
The winner of this primary will face major-party opposition in the general election.