In a local meet and greet held Tuesday morning at The Oaks Bed & Breakfast in Sulphur Springs, two candidates vying for Texas Senate Seat (District 2) shared their opinions to a group of local educators and retired educators. Kendall Scudder (Democrat) and Cindy Burkett (Republican) each spoke and took questions from the group. Scudder, who is from Sulphur Springs, is campaigning for his first bid for the local seat. He runs unopposed in the Democratic Primary, and looks forward to the general election in November. Cindy Burkett, who is currently in her fourth term in the Texas House of Representative for District 113, is making her bid for Texas Senate in the primary against incumbent Bob Hall.
District 2, which is mostly rural, is comprised of all of the following counties: Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains, Rockwall and Van Zandt and parts of Dallas and Smith counties. Some feel that some of the rural areas are not represented well enough and that some decisions are made more for Dallas county schools, when it comes to education decisions. There are only 31 districts in the Texas Senate. These 31 districts are currently split 20-Republican and 11-Democrat. District 2 is one of 15 seats that is up for election this year.
Retired educators have faced challenges with their retirement and health care benefits in recent years. Some have not seen any kind of retirement benefit increase in over 15 years, while others are fighting sky-rocketing health care costs associated with their retirement benefits. One educator tells KSST News, “even when a retired educator reaches Medicare age, the health care supplement costs associated with our retirement makes a big dent in the monthly check.”
Burkett has some experience with smaller school districts in her current capacity as House Representative for District 113 but would be expanding into a more rural area and would be representing many more rural school districts if her bid is successful for District 2.
Scudder shared his experience as he currently organizes on-site education programming for a non-profit affordable housing company in Dallas, Texas. This experience, Scudder says, gives him a unique opportunity with his hard work ethic to dig into the education problems that our state faces and find solutions.