Race for TX HD64: Andrew Morris Props Pathways & Partnerships
Being engaged with politics in his native United Kingdom as soon as he could be, along with his political engagement during his college careers in both Australia and the United States, and for how much his wife Liz says he already gives his political opinion “for free,” Andrew Morris said a future in politics was always in his “tea leaves.” Currently, Morris is running for the Texas House of Representatives District 64 as a Democrat. But before his campaign, it took some introspection to realize a candidacy was ultimately his called on role and best route for change.
“After the election of Donald Trump, it made me realize as much as I felt I was doing a lot by engaging with people through Facebook or online through the comment sections of articles […] that made me realize as much as I felt I was doing something, I actually wasn’t,” Morris said.
Vying for a position occupied by Republican incumbent Lynn Stucky, is Morris along with Democrat Mat Pruneda and Republican Mark Roy. Another Democrat, Matt Farmer recently withdrew from the race. In his video where he explained his withdrawal, he endorsed Morris for the seat.
Morris said it was his time on Linsey Fagan’s campaign for Texas’ 26th Congressional District which helped him step up. He said Fagan identified he had more to give than be a campaign manager.
Morris had moved to Denton ten years ago to attend UNT and he has been U.S. citizen for two years, the first election he was allowed to vote in was the 2016 presidential election. The mixture of his passion for politics but disdain with the election’s outcome drove his decision home.
“There’s no better opportunity to give back to a country that has given me so much,” Morris said. “When I have the tools and support to make a difference, then it’s incumbent on me to give back to that community.”
Stucky has left a bad taste in Morris’ mouth for several reasons. One of the reasons being Stucky’s disloyalty to his constituents, specifically his relationship with Amber Briggle. Briggle, who is a local activist and mother of a transgender son, frequented town halls and told Stucky her issues with Texas’ bathroom bill. Stucky essentially told Briggle he would help her but instead signed the bill and coauthored it.
“As a representative, when a constituent comes to you and can demonstrate legislation will harm [them], you have to stand up for them,” Morris said. “You can’t think voting party line is good enough because there is a reason you are a state representative.”
Morris said the Bathroom Bill was just another way to divide and distract Texans from the real issues they face such as income inequality, criminal justice reform, and the issue with our drug schedules.
“There are so many other areas that are in desperate need of reform that will help everyday Texans meet their version of the American dream that we can and should do more on,” Morris said.
One of his campaign’s hashtags is #PathwaysandPartnership. To him, it means recognizing everyone wants the same end goal, so after recognizing this, what will be done together to make it a reality.
Morris said he is big on presenting policies on a fact-based platform. In order to realize the status quo isn’t the only way, he said showing how other states and countries have data displaying change after these policies is key.
If Morris wins the seat, one of his biggest resets to Stucky’s tenure will be investigating the way public education is funded. Texas’ Per-Pupil funding falls below the national average and has led to property owns paying more in taxes for public schools. Stucky suggested consumption taxes to help the issue. Morris said this solution would impact those with lower socioeconomic status' as they would pay for more items with less resources. He wants to restore the funding levels as education is a foundation of society.
“When the U.S. sets itself up to be the best and Texas sets itself up to be the U.S.’ best, we can’t do that by scrimping on costs and you certainly can’t keep pushing the burden onto local property tax owners and think that’s okay,” Morris said.
Morris will also push for Medicaid expansion and will be a proponent for Medicaid for all stating he has lived under those systems and seen them work. This along with nurturing an environment the LGBTQ community and women ask for are no-brainers in his platform.
“I recognize my positon being a white cisgendered male, having all the inherited advantages that I don’t think twice about because of who I am and the more that I can bridge that gap so everyone starts with an equal playing field – that’s what I’m running on,” Morris said.
This is the most Democrats running in Denton county in 25 years. Before, most Republicans running for local office were uncontested.
Morris said district 64 isn’t as red as people want to believe. He said showing Democrats still care about these down ballot offices and focusing on rural areas where most Democrats would count out is essential to show people they have options.
“You can’t be a true democracy if people don’t have a choice,” Morris said. “And that’s a large part in why I’m running is so that constituents in district 64 have a choice.”