Allison to replace Straus on GOP ticket

Express-News Editorial Board, Friday, February 16, 2018

When Texas House Speaker Joe Straus announced he would not seek relection, this sparked a scramble to fill the House District 121 seat, attracting six candidates in the GOP primary.

This is a district that includes Alamo Heights and juts northward from there.

We recommend business attorney Steve Allison.

On the Democratic side, Celina D. Montoya is running unopposed.

In losing Straus, the district — and the state — will be losing a reasonable voice in what has been a highly partisan, deeply divided legislative environment. It is reasonable for the next person to be the GOP standard bearer in this district to be as reasonable and principled a voice. By repeatedly returning Straus to office, the district has certainly demonstrated that sentiment.

To do otherwise would be to give a win by other means to the forces long seeking to oust Straus for allegedly being insufficiently conservative. It is a bogus charge. It is code for not being in mindless lockstep with those seeking draconian fiscal and social policies, of the kind Straus helped derail.

The person among the candidates most likely to be Strausian, we believe, is Allison, known in Alamo Heights as a 12-year board member in that community’s independent school district, serving as president for three terms.

Others conservatives in this race can credibly claim to be Strausian in views and temperament, but Allison, who has also served on the VIA board, gets the nod for experience. And still others on this ballot, we believe, would not be the independent voice that Straus has been.

Also in in the race are Marc Whyte, a business attorney; Matt Beebe, business owner and two-time Straus opponent; Carlton Soules, former San Antonio Councilman for District 10 and an unsuccessful Bexar County Judge candidate in 2013; Charlotte Williamson, a St. Mary’s Law School graduate who recently worked for her family’s oil and gas LLC; and Adrian Spears, an attorney who has represented various local cities.

As a longtime school board member, Allison has direct knowledge of school financing issues — arguably the state’s biggest problem. As with others in this race, he does not favor the so-called Robin Hood method of funding public schools, in which wealthier districts have to contribute to help fund lower-property-wealth districts.

His background suggests that he would be best able to help the Legislature work through to a credible alternative. One is desperately needed — also to help stem high property taxes.

And his time on the VIA board gives him some transportation insights — an added plus.

Allison in the House District 121 GOP primary.