Matt Krause, who has been the district’s representative for the last 10 years, is currently in a runoff for Tarrant County district attorney.
The Texan interviewed both Hill and Schatzline about their priorities for the district and their plans if elected to the legislature.
Hill, who served as a city council member and mayor of Southlake, believes she brings experience as a small business owner and city official to the position.
Schatzline, who currently works for The Justice Reform, an anti-human trafficking group in Fort Worth, believes he has an advantage as an outsider who understands the needs of the next generation because of his years working with adolescents in various settings.
Addressing Growth in the District
Both candidates recognize that HD 93 is a rapidly growing area of North Texas. They both see the need to address the infrastructure needs, especially roads, in the area.
Schatzline emphasized that he does not believe toll roads are the answer. He told The Texan that he has met with several of the local mayors within the district to understand the local needs and priorities, including Mayor Mattie Parker of Fort Worth.
“While we may not see eye to eye on every issue,” Schatzline said, “I made a commitment to her that I will focus on helping Fort Worth.”
Hill called the growth in the district “explosive.” She praised the growth, which started about 15 years ago “when Alliance [development] staked a claim in the area.” She said she would use her years of experience as a mayor to “get the stakeholders to the table” to “amp up transportation projects.”
Property Tax Relief
Hill touted her record as mayor cutting taxes and raising the homestead exemption. “I hope my experience and track record of cutting city taxes will allow me to be part of the conversation in Austin for cutting taxes for our homeowners,” Hill told The Texan.
She recognizes that the largest part of the homeowners’ tax bill is for school district taxes. “We must find ways at the legislative end that provide enough funding so we are taking some pressure off the school districts,” Hill added.
Schatzline emphasized that he would like to eliminate property taxes because he “fundamentally believes property taxes are unconstitutional.” However, he knows it will take steps to get there.
The first step Schatzline proposes is that the legislature use some of the $12.5 billion in projected surplus in the next legislative session to “pay down debt on local [school districts] with some of that and reallocate some of the needs of schools to the state.”
Additionally, he believes budgets should be carefully examined for waste and areas that can be cut.
When it comes to pieces of legislation they would author or work on if elected, the candidates had some differences.
Schatzline’s top three priorities are eliminating “political indoctrination” and “sexualization of children” in classrooms, encouraging school choice, and securing the border. He added that he would also like to increase funding for law enforcement statewide and prohibit vaccine mandates.
Hill talked about raising the homestead exemption to 25 percent, rolling back property tax rates for senior citizens, and taking on school financing as her top legislative priorities. She added that she also thinks “getting the border under control” and “getting back to teaching the basics” are important legislative issues.
Legislative Committee Preferences
When asked which committees she might like to serve on in the Texas House, Hill mentioned any committee where her expertise could be best utilized and where she “can make meaningful change.” She believes she could best serve on committees related to business because, as a small business owner, she said she understands the unintended consequences of some laws on small businesses.
Schatzline was more specific, stating that he’d like to serve on committees dealing with public education, higher education, homeland security, and public health issues.
Evaluating the 2021 Legislative Sessions
In considering the outcome of the most recent legislative session, Schatzline said he believed it was “very conservative,” adding that the legislature “didn’t do everything it could have, but that the Texas Heartbeat Bill was historic and is saving countless lives.”
Hill gave the legislators credit for working through a regular and three special sessions. “I do give Texas credit. We persevere. When the work isn’t done, we go back,” she said.
Among the bills she highlighted were increased border funding, the Heartbeat Bill, constitutional carry, and banning critical race theory in schools.
Most Admired Member of the Legislature
It can often be helpful when a candidate names the current member of the legislature that they most admire. Hill named Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller) because “he takes communication to a whole new level and always is available to the district. That is the type of legislator I want to be.”
She also admires his support for pro-life legislation, and even though she has disagreed with him about some votes, she said, “We have been able to have difficult conversations and he has articulated why he voted the way he did.”
Schatzline named three of the most conservative members of the Texas House as members he most admires: Matt Krause, Tony Tinderholt, and Mayes Middleton. He pointed out Tinderholt’s work to help fight human trafficking and Middleton’s advocacy for school choice as reasons he admires them.
Each candidate has collected numerous endorsements.
Schatzline began by pointing to the current representative, Krause, who he said has become a mentor and a friend. He also noted the endorsements of Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, Republican candidate for Tarrant County Judge Tim O’Hare, and his former opponent, Cary Moon.
Regarding endorsements by organizations, Schatzline said he was proud to be endorsed by Texas Right to Life, Texans for Vaccine Choice, Tarrant County Law Enforcement Association, and Texas Home School Coalition.
Hill said she was proud and honored to be endorsed by Gov. Greg Abbott and Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont). She has also been endorsed by retiring Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson and the Fort Worth Police Officers’ Association.
Hill also pointed out that she has been endorsed by several groups like Texans for Lawsuit Reform and several realtor groups. “I am also really proud of my LifePAC endorsement,” she added.
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Kim Roberts is a regional reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.