Candidate Forum: DeBerry, Hortick Go Head-To-Head For Kevin Wolff's Seat On Bexar County Commissioners Court
San Antonians will vote to fill a variety of local, state and national-level elected positions in November, including two new Bexar County Commissioners.
Republican public relations specialist Trish DeBerry and Democratic children's court attorney Christine Hortick are in the final race to represent Precinct 3 on the Commissioners Court, which covers a large northern swath of the county.
DeBerry said her experience as a small business-owner will help her revitalize the Bexar County economy post-pandemic.
“The reason why I got into this race is because I really felt like there needed to be some pragmatic business experience on the court. Having been a small business owner for 25 years and founded two businesses. I mean, I think that's what you need, especially as we recover from COVID,” DeBerry said.
Hortick has had her own law practice for nearly 15 years. She said her experience in children’s court has given a firsthand grasp on the challenges facing the community.
“I wanted to be in a position where I could help more than just one family at a time and I thought a position on Commissioners Court would be a great opportunity to do that. My platform has got three main components: healthy families, smart transportation and durable community,” Hortick said.
Property taxes is a large concern for constituents of Precinct 3, DeBerry said.
“It's not enough for County Commissioners to say, ‘Hey, we've kept the tax rate flat,’ when appraisals go through the roof every single year. That's an effective tax increase. And the people of Precinct 3 are smart enough to know that,” DeBerry said.
DeBerry added that her plan is to get more taxpayer representation on the Appraisal District’s appointed board.
Hortick said appraisal and tax reform must be done in tandem with representatives in Austin.
“It takes the legislature. So it's not something that Commissioners can do on their own. I guarantee if they could have changed it by now, they would have. They're paying high taxes just like the rest of us,” Hortick said.
Providing the public with adequate information about taxes and tax use is the most important task at hand, Hortick said.
Kevin Wolff, the court's lone Republican, held the seat for three terms before announcing in August that he would not seek reelection.
The victor will be the first female county commissioner in two decades and the third in its entire history.
Early voting in Bexar County is Oct. 13-30. Election Day is Nov. 3. More information here.
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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, October 1.