Race for TX SD30: Kevin Lopez' Focus on Education
Running for Texas Senate District 30 is Kevin Lopez, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Going up against Independent Keely Briggs and Republican Pat Fallon, all three are looking to unseat Republican incumbent Craig Estes.
Lopez, 43, has lived in Wise county since 1986 and has been a firefighter and paramedic for 14 years. He currently holds rank as a driver.
His journey first began with local politics which led him into connections with politicians on a state level. This then helped him take his own leap into state politics. Besides the experience, Lopez said he has always been invested in politics.
“I have always tried to be aware,” Lopez said.
Lopez had been considering running for Texas Senate for a year. He had delayed running because he said he needed to “take care” of some things in his community, Bridgeport, first.
Lopez is currently a council member on Bridgeport’s City Council, he works to help the community and its struggling economy.
He said he brings in resources to help the gas and oil struggle that Bridgeport has and works on helping those who have lost their jobs.
Lopez’s main goal is to “help with the growth of community and quality of life.”
Lopez got frustrated with the way things were going in the city, one of the main issues being high electric rates.
“I thought I could step up and help those in the community,” Lopez said.
Lopez was involved in the community before he was on the city council, he helped establish a crime watch and is currently in charge of the crime watch Facebook page.
Although he’s been putting in work for Bridgeport, he saw several issues he wanted to address which he could only do if he took the jump to Texas Senate.
Texas is 36th in the nation in public school spending --this is what has made education the primary issue on his platform for District 30.
“Education is the foundation for society,” Lopez said.
Lopez plans on visiting and meeting with local independent school districts, superintendents and school boards to listen to their actions, needs and wants.
After he meets with them, he will go back to Austin and make decisions stemming from those conversations.
He wants to get away from teaching to standardized tests and wants to talk and listen to teachers about what they believe should be taught in a classroom.
Lopez wants to find out where the government can “increase spending to prepare students, not only for four year students but also trade.” Lopez believes there should be preparation for any avenue a post-high school student chooses to take.
“College is not for everyone,” Lopez said.
Lopez said that trade classes can open the possibilities to having a lifelong career and no debt.
Introducing trade classes would be able to bring in more job opportunities to rural communities, which is something that Lopez said he wants to.
“Training a job pool can bring in manufacturing and business,” Lopez said.
Having trade classes would not only help the economy of rural communities, but Lopez said it can also help students get a career right out of high school.
Lopez wants to improve internet speeds in rural areas, affecting students and the economies of those communities.
“Once you leave school and go out into rural areas, it’s difficult to do homework,” Lopez said.
“It would allow the rural students to keep up with metropolitan students.”
Rural communities don’t have a lot of healthcare; this is partially due to Texas cutting Medicaid out of the state healthcare options.
Lopez wants to help Texas health care by expanding Medicaid in the state and improving healthcare in rural areas.
“You gotta work for everybody,” Lopez said.
Lopez said he is for protecting civil liberties for all Texans, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender, and he is willing to listen to them.
He wants to hear what the LGBT community’s needs are to provide resources and vote accordingly to help them.
Lopez is very active on the topic of immigration, he has held DACA events and civic engagement events for conversations and support.
Lopez said he has worked to help members of his community understand the current and new immigration laws and paperwork as well.
“SB4 is a flawed law that promotes racial profiling,” Lopez said.
“[It’s an] underfunded mandate that requires law enforcement to do federal jobs – ICE responsibilities.”
The bill creates division and distrust between the police and the community, this leads to many crimes going unreported.
If Lopez wins the seat, he believes he knows what the job will call for and is ready to put in the work to patch up all the issues he sees in the state government.
“As a legislature you have to approach everything -- fight for everything at the same time,” Lopez said.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Lopez for Texas Senate District 30.
Photo header design by Christopher Rodgers.