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Texas Capitol.

In a highly competitive race, incumbent Lynn Stucky and challenger Angela Brewer have each raised more than $300,000 to sway the election in their favor for the Texas House of Representatives.

Stucky, a veterinarian, has held the House District 64 seat since 2016 after former Rep. Myra Crownover retired. He faced no opposition in the 2020 primary election but drew out an opponent in Brewer, an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas running as a Democrat.

House District 64 covers most of the city of Denton, a small portion of Lewisville, Sanger, The Colony, Lake Dallas, Corinth, Hickory Creek, Oak Point and Little Elm.

The Denton Record-Chronicle reviewed several types of public records in building candidate profiles for Denton County candidates, including campaign finance reports, voter history and employment history.

Campaign finance reports filed Monday show Brewer has out-fundraised Stucky by about $38,000. Brewer reported $361,767.05 in contributions with $274,953.70 maintained. Stucky’s latest report shows $323,609.25 in contributions with $255,623.57 maintained.

Both candidates are backed by political action committees. Stucky’s biggest donors include the Texas House Republicans Caucus ($15,000), the Texas Medical Association PAC ($10,000) and the Texas Association of Realtors PAC ($10,000).

The Future Now Fund has donated $30,000 to Brewer’s campaign. Brewer’s nearly 2,000-page campaign finance report shows many small donations coming from people across the United States.

Candidates took the time to answer the same three questions about the Texas Legislature ahead of the Nov. 3 general election. Here are their responses in alphabetical order. Their responses have been edited for brevity.

Angela Brewer

Angela Brewer

Angela Brewer

Age: 46

Born in: Dallas, Texas

Employment: Richland College adjunct professor, 2017-2018; Collin College adjunct professor, 2018-2020; University of North Texas adjunct professor, 2018-present.

Education: Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences and a master’s in communications from UNT, and a master’s in education from Concordia University.

The legislative session will start in January. What would you say is the most important piece of legislation or action that should be brought forward, whether it’s something new or amending something?

I think we have to tackle health care first. Looking at the Medicaid expansion, right now Texas gives up about $10 billion a year in federal funding in Medicaid expansion, and we need that money in our health care system. We also have to look at providing more support for county health departments, MHMR, the ways that our communities are working to support health and wellness and making sure the state’s doing their part to work toward community health and wellness.

What are the qualities of a good representative? Do you think you have some of those qualities?

I think the two most important qualities of a state representative is responsiveness and problem solving. A state representative should be very present in her community, actively engaged with constituents all the time so she can fully understand what’s happening with constituents and then take that knowledge and apply it to problem solving through policymaking. The ways our communities can be strengthened though policymaking, it’s our representatives’ jobs to get that done.

What do you think the Legislature should do for Texans amid the coronavirus pandemic in the coming year?

There’s some things I hope would be solved before the session starts, but I doubt they will be. I think the next session will have to start with a strengthened mask mandate, calling for all Texans to wear masks all the time in public, and apply ourselves to get control of this virus because there’s a lot of economic work to be done, but it cannot be successful until the virus is under control. The first step is take the public health steps to take control, then take a look at the economic impact and see what we can do to support local businesses. A lot of the help that came from the federal government went to bigger businesses and left out our small, locally owned businesses. So the state’s going to have to step in to fill that gap. We really need to look, as a state, [at] what can we do to shore up the smaller businesses in our community to make sure they get through the rest of this economic downturn. This pandemic has clearly demonstrated our safety net systems are broken, things like the Texas Workforce Commission and unemployment [benefits] just being a disaster for Texans to try and access in a time of crisis. We need to look at all of our safety net programs, strengthen them, bring them up to date in technology and make sure when Texans are in crisis, the state resources are available and can be used efficiently.

Lynn Stucky

Lynn Stucky

Lynn Stucky

Age: 62

Born in: Moundridge, Kansas

Employment: Doctor of veterinary medicine, 1983-present

Education: Bachelor’s in Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University

The legislative session will start in January. What would you say is the most important piece of legislation or action that should be brought forward, whether it’s something new or amending something?

The most important each session is passing a balanced budget. That is the only thing we’re required by law to do each session, except this session, the second agenda item is redistricting. Every 10 years, there’s redistricting. Other than that, [some] very important items are funding education and … we [have] to still work on fair property tax assessments and property tax relief. There’s a whole number of other items including mental health and foster children, the justice system and civil justice. We’ll discuss executive orders. We were out of session when the pandemic hit, and Gov. [Greg] Abbott made a lot of decisions without having the Legislature there, so I’m sure there will be a lot of discussion on what we should do, whether it’s an emergency session.

What are the qualities of a good representative? Do you think you have some of those qualities?

The qualities of a good representative is, No. 1, look up the word “represent.” We are good communicators with our constituents, that we listen to our constituents. A very good quality of a good representative is being involved in the community, in my case over 37 years of giving back to the community in so many ways — being involved in the chamber of commerce, being involved in your church, being involved in the school system, being involved in the North Texas Fair and Rodeo, giving back and being involved in nonprofits, helping the nonprofit organizations, being involved and giving back in agriculture. Agriculture is big in Denton, even though we’re still growing. Knowing real estate and owning real estate, paying property taxes. When you own real estate and pay property tax, it’s important. And being a small-business owner, employing others. A successful small business not only supports my family but also others’.

What do you think the Legislature should do for Texans amid the coronavirus pandemic in the coming year?

We want to minimize death from the coronavirus. We want to minimize economic impact from the coronavirus. We want to support the Texans that have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus, and we want to get them back to work. We want the economy to come back as quickly as possible. It’s very important that we do everything we can to minimize the effects in the future if we have another pandemic. We need pandemic preparedness in the future. We worked very hard during this to help our most vulnerable populations, our members of the Denton State School, our retired people, we want to do everything we can to help those people get through this and do it in a way they come out healthy and have a happy life.

ZAIRA PEREZ can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @zairalperez.

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