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Candidate Forum: Liz Campos, George Garza Vie To Represent Texas House District 119

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Liz Campos and George Garza will go head-to-head in November to represent Texas' 119th House District.
Courtesy of Liz Campos and George Garza
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Liz Campos and George Garza will go head-to-head in November to represent Texas' 119th House District.

Come November, San Antonians will vote to fill many elected statewide positions, including seats in the Texas House of Representatives.

Republican George Garza and Democrat Elizabeth "Liz" Campos are running to represent District 119, which covers east and southeast San Antonio, including communities near China Grove, Converse and Schertz.

The open seat is vacated by Democrat and former San Antonio City Councilman Roland Gutierrez, who is running for Texas Senate.

“The first issue that I want to tackle in session is fighting for the district making sure that we continue to get the funding that we need for human and healthcare services, and education,” Campos said.

Campos said there are many issues in District 119 she believes need to be addressed. Additionally, she said she wants to focus on helping the homeless.

“I feel that people don't wake up in the morning to decide to be homeless. They have issues, whether it's addiction, whether it's mental health. So I want to make sure and try to collaborate with the City of San Antonio to try to resolve that issue and work with the nonprofits and you know, maybe do some workshops and really reach out to the individuals,” she said.

For Garza, his main priority is 50-50 parenting. He said the 70-30 custody arrangement doesn’t allow proper growth for families or children with divorced parents.

“With this kind of arrangement, this kind of 50-50 parenting, this would allow parents the opportunity to actually develop and grow with their children. Because as of now, raising your child anywhere from four to six days a month is at a disadvantage to the non custodial parent and to the child,” Garza said.

Garza said this 50-50 parenting is beneficial to noncustodial parents who fall on hard times.

“You know, sometimes unfortunate things happen. The job market does falter. And parents fall behind and to get a reevaluation of child support sometimes can take up to two years,” he said. “And in that time period, you have these noncustodial parents that are falling behind.”

Both Garza and Campos said the city’s current government has done an adequate job of handling the COVID-19 crisis.

Garza added that though the reopening has been to the city’s benefit, not enough has been done for small businesses.

“We do need our small businesses to be able to reopen. And our small businesses are suffering the most here in San Antonio, which we have a high, high number of entrepreneurs, family owned businesses that have felt the brunt of this COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Campos said that she’s supportive of the city’s upcoming propositions — which include funding for workforce training post-COVID and will be voted on in November.

“I'm very happy because it's going to benefit a lot of the people that are now you know, out of work and COVID has definitely hurt our economy. So I'm very happy that we've got that on the propositions and hopefully, the people will vote for it,” she said.

What are the candidates' qualifications and goals for the district? What are D-119 residents' priorities?

How would the candidates approach issues facing their constituents and the state as a whole in the 2021 legislative session?

Early voting in Bexar County is Oct. 13-30. Election Day is Nov. 3. More information here.

Antonio Padron (G) and Arthur Thomas IV (L) are also on the ballot for D-119 but did not meet TPR's requirements to participate in the forum.

Guests: 

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call  833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, September 29.

Kathleen Creedon can be reached at kathleen@tpr.org or on Twitter at @Kath_Creedon