Fabby, Wray to face off Tuesday
The battle for the State Representative House District 10 position previously held retiring Rep. Jim Pitts will be settled on Tuesday in what is likely to be a close race between a pair of Ellis County Republicans.
John Wray and T.J. Fabby have campaigned strongly under the conservative banner and both have common strengths, including their faith. There are enough differences, however, to prevent saying they were split from the same piece of kindling.
Their campaign strategies have varied.
Fabby, 32, has personally knocked on the doors of over 10,000 district voters to “talk face-to-face and eye-to-eye about my plans as a state representative.”
Wray, 43, the mayor of Waxahachie until this month, has covered a lot of ground in meetings and by visiting over 2,000 area homes.
“I also knocked on a lot of doors. I am blessed with knowing a lot of people around the district from my businesses to interactions as mayor,” he said.
In regards to the issues, the candidates said there are a handful they hang their hat on in terms of importance.
Wray listed two — economic and business development and building infrastructure.
“We aim to enable our citizens to start and to grow businesses by helping them face the regulatory and tax environment required of them,” he said.
“My time on the city council has helped me understand things from a business development viewpoint. We can benefit them by keeping government out of the way of the private sector.”
“Focusing on infrastructure is necessary for growth. I believe we must focus on the basic needs of the people, like water, sewer, streets and public safety; fundamental government services.
“We need to be more conservative while maintaining adequate services. This will keep our cities moving forward.”
Fabby addressed two subjects — assertion of state’s rights and stopping Obamacare.
“States must adhere to the Constitution and cease overstepping their bounds,” he said. “We must stop Obamacare while we still can.
“It is the biggest over-reach ever, a mandate that we must purchase something reflects an all-powerful central government. Obamacare must be nullified.”
Both men spoke about their differences.
Fabby said he is more conservative than Wray. He listed two dissimilarities;
• “Texas needs to assert its sovereignty and push back against the Federal government.”
• “Do away with property taxes and immediately move towards a broader sales tax. That is much fairer across the board. This will also allow for actual ownership of property. This also is a step towards illegal aliens paying their share. The more everyone buys the more everyone contributes.”
Wray said the primary difference is the advantage he has in experience.
“My history of serving on the City Council is a plus,” is said. “I have spent years working with others towards building a consensus while building relationships.”
He pointed out his proficiency in starting several businesses, which have operated across Ellis County, speaks to his accomplishments.
There are 150 state representatives in Texas. Many are selected to serve on various committees.
Wray and Fabby disagreed on motives to join committees, with the former stating he would be “willing to participate on those that would benefit Ellis County in economic development, infrastructure and education.”
Fabby said “I hate the idea of getting on a committee just to bring pork back to the district, especially if it is detrimental to the rest of the state.
“I would, however, serve on one that was for restoring state sovereignty, the Ways and Means committee or the Appropriations committee.”
Making a big impact in the first, two-year term is not common. The contenders shared their hopes for what they could reasonably do in the next two years.
“On the first day in office I would draw a line at the established Republican representatives,” Fabby said. “Knowing who the true conservatives are and identifying the not-so-conservatives would be critical.”
His website lists 11 of the most conservative lawmakers who endorse Fabby.
“We will take a stand and build upon it with those we’re aligned with.”
Wray, who has been endorsed by the former candidates Jake Ellzey and Duke Burge as well as the Texas Medical Association, agreed.
“Building alliances with other likeminded state representatives is a realistic plan to begin to advance conservative legislation for our state,” he said.
“I will be effective against the steep, learning curve to collaborate with other conservatives.”
During the 82nd Legislative Session in 2011 a decision was made to cut $5.4 billion from Texas education. Since then actions have taken place to replace some ($3.4 billion) of that funding.
The subject continues to drive Republicans towards reinstating those funds, even superseding what has been lacking.
Each entrant addressed his thoughts on the subject.
“Our state is growing,” Wray said, “so our tax base is growing. So we must direct an appropriate level of funding towards public education.
“I believe we should allow the courts to approve the amount, and then we need to do what is right without raising taxes.”
Wray summarized his position. “I will work towards developing a plan from a conservative position and dedicate it for students in the classroom.”
Fabby said he is in favor of identifying, and then cutting current waste. He is in favor of abolishing the Texas Education Agency, because “it is redundant.”
“We should hand all responsibilities to the State Board of Education. Also, I will not go after teacher retirement. Our priority should be to place teachers at the top.”
“We should invest in teachers. They are the ones who educate our children. Bricks and (athletic) turf do not educate our kids,” he said. “It’s our teachers who education our kids.”
John Wray and Thomas Johnson “T.J.” Fabby spent the last few days around Ennis, Waxahachie and Midlothian in dialogues with hundreds of citizens. Wray wore jeans, Fabby donned Dockers.
Both were in well-worn, work boots. After Tuesday’s election one of them will begin rolling up her sleeves in Austin.