English professor, Rebecca Bell-Metereau, announced her candidacy for the vacant 45th District seat in the Texas House of Representatives.
Bell-Metereau filed her candidature Dec. 8 last year, and will be on the ballot during for the democratic primary, March 6.
“I decided to run because I felt like I could win,” Bell-Metereau said. “I was going to wait until 2020 but then I saw the opportunity.”
“I have more experience than my (opposing) candidates and the 45th district is a flippable district,” Bell-Metereau continued.
She is currently registered as a democratic candidate and will be running against opponents Les Carnes and Erin Zwiener.
“(My opponents) are nice people with good ideas,” Bell-Metereau said. “But I feel like my experience will be beneficial because I know a lot about the area, how it works and I have plenty of allies and connections from previous campaigns. Also, since I am a professor, I can be a champion for public education.”
She ran for State Board of Education three times in the past, coming within four percent of the incumbent in the 2016 election. She also participated as a member of San Marcos’ Planning and Zoning Committee, the Solid Waste Commission and the Blue Ribbon Bond Commission.
Bell-Metereau is planning to run on issues regarding education, health and the environment, as well as finding ways to improve the economy and reallocate the budget.
“We need to stop relying on property taxes to fund educational programs,” Bell-Metereau said. “We should have legislation that funds at least 50 percent of the schools, K through 12 and higher education.”
The candidate said she also believes that Texas needs to accept Medicaid since 100 billion dollars in taxes have already been paid. In terms of the environment, she wants to work on instituting renewable and environmental sources, inspired by the Georgetown model.
Alfred Stanley, Bell-Metereau’s fundraising consultant, has been aiding her in the campaign. He has organized block walks, social media campaigns and contacted people in the communities through mail. Since there is little participation in the primaries, Stanley and Bell-Metereau have been focused on individuals with a history of voting Democrat.
“So far, the response has been very enthusiastic,” Stanley said. “Rebecca is a proven candidate who is idealist and has the experience. She’s very persuasive.”
The TX AFL-CIO Austin Area Central Labor Council, a state labor federation, endorsed Bell-Metereau, making her the sole State Representative candidate for District 45 to receive it.
Judy Cortez, president of the Austin Area Labor Council, said the organization chose to support Bell-Meterau because they believe she is the most reliable option.
“We had several other candidates present themselves,” Cortez said. “But Rebecca, who already has name recognition, came to a screening and she was able to answer all the questions the delegates had on issues regarding labor. That’s when we decided that she was the most reliable and electable person.”