Senate District 18

As I See It…

By Gary Gillen

Senate District 18

The voters of the United States dealt a devastating blow to the Democratic Party and repudiated
the policies of President Barack Obama by increasing the Republican control of the United States
House of Representatives and sweeping the Democratic leadership from their control of the US
Senate by handing Republicans control of that body as well. Before the election President Obama
famously stated that while he was not on the ballot his policies were.  The voters showed him just
how they felt about those policies.  The Obama administration’s over-reaching drive to intrude
into every area of American life helped convince voters to elect even more Republican governors.
The states have long been the laboratories of democracy.  This administration’s efforts to
federalize every issue has backfired with the voters.

In Texas voters again placed Republicans in every statewide office including Senator Glenn Hegar
who was elected State Comptroller.  Republicans increased their numbers in both the Texas House of
Representatives and the Texas Senate.  Voters may feel they have done their job but there is more
to do.  As a consequence of the election of Hegar to the office of Comptroller he resigned his
Senate seat and the Governor called a special election to elect a candidate to complete the
remaining two years of Hegar’s unexpired term.

As this column went to press three candidates had announced their intentions to run for the
office.  State Representative Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham explained that “Texas Senate District 18
includes roughly half of Fort Bend County and all or parts of 20 more counties.”  From the Gulf
Coast at Corpus Christi to Caldwell in central Texas the 18th district is large and diverse.
While the election is open to any candidate from any party, the sheer size of the district will
require a formidable candidate with a well funded campaign to be able to reach voters.

In an interview, Kolkhorst explained the role her faith plays in her office of State
Representative.  “My faith serves as a compass that guides me each day.  I strive to make every
decision in the Legislature with the knowledge that He is guiding me and I often use my daily
devotion for inspiration.”

Kolkhorst has chaired the House Public Health Committee and in the 83rd Legislature fought the
expansion of Obamacare in Texas by teaming up with Governor Perry and Senators Cornyn and Cruz to
resist President Obama’s push to expand Medicaid in Texas.  She also led the battle to stop the
Trans-Texas Corridor.  Known for her history of fighting to protect property rights from eminent
domain abuse by government overreach she felt the project unduly harmed property owners and

Kolkhorst has an impressive campaign fund and has been easily raising funds for this race.  Gary
Gates, a business man from Richmond has the ability to fund his campaign personally.  While
controversial, he has good name recognition from his past unsuccessful races for various offices.
He has run in the past for State Representative twice, school board twice and this is his second
run for Senate.  Also running but with less name recognition is Charles Gregory of Simonton.

This race will be hard fought and very quick so name recognition and money will certainly be a
benefit.  With Kolkhorst’s past experience as a State Representative, large war chest and
indefatigable spirit, she is a formidable foe for Gates and Gregory.