District 53 Candidates' Responses to Questions from Hansen, Legislative Chair

Ken Hansen sent out a questionnaire to the five candidates running for the open seat in State Representative District 53.  Hansen received information from 4 of the 5 candidates via e-mail, regular mail, and telephone.  Mrs. Karen Harris was the only one not responding in some fashion. 

The following are the actual replies as received.  Mr. Wayne Ramsay's response comes from a telephone conversation.

Mr. Rob Henneke (answer came via e-mail)

(Questions 1, 2, 3 combined) The e-mail is you respond (sic) to the survey you sent me on January 30.  I do support the status quo as to a Defined Benefit Plan for all current and future TRS retirees.  I do not know enough about the issue to respond to the question on healthcare, but my door will always be open to listen to my constituents and learn more about the issue.  As a legislator, I will use my vote to support teachers and to ensure that promises made by the State of Texas are promises kept.

 Sincerely,

Rob Henneke

________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Mr. Tink Nathan (received by regular mail_

1.  YES SIR!

2.  YES!

3.  All I can do

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Mr. Wayne Ramsay (via a telephone from Mr. Ramsay to Ken Hansen on Feb. 8, 2014)

  Mr. Ramsay called me on Saturday morning of Feb. 8 seeking information to the questions.  He felt he needed more information on the subject.  He verbally committed to support the Defined Benefit Plan. I will try and get more information to him this week

______________________________________________________________________________________

Mr. Andrew Murr (via e-mail and followed up with questionnaire returned by mail)

Response to question No. 1:  My wife is an elementary school teacher, and I obtained my vocational agriculture teaching certificate from Texas A&M University.  Yes, I support a defined benefit plan for both current and future TRS retirees, and I intend to challenge anyone who does not want to honor the obligations that we make to our public school teachers.

Response to question No. 2: Our healthcare system is facing serious challenges and demands from Obamacare and the bureaucratic red tape that it continues to plague us all.  Since resigning as County Judge of Kimble County only a few months ago to be a candidate for State Representative, I have personally experienced ridiculous hurdles and obstructions in finding applicable health insurance for myself.  I can only imagine the similar challenges that many of our retired teachers face as their health needs increase over time.  I am passionate about taking care of our retired school teachers – after all, I credit them (and my family ) for molding me into the person I am today.

Response to question No. 3: Should I have the privilege to serve  you as your representative in Austin, please know that I intend to vigorously challenge any proposed legislation that will detrimentally affect teacher retirement and teacher health care.  Having spent the last half decade in county government, I witnessed similar legislative proposals to change, tinker and wholly convert counties’ retirement plans (the Texas  County & District Retirement System), to the detriment of TCDRS current and future retirees and without their general awareness or understanding.  Only active and educated participants stopped such ideas from becoming law. I would apply the same vigilance and work ethic to defending the benefits that we have promised to our school teachers, both working and retired.  Future educators must have security in knowing that the benefits offered to existing teachers will be there for them at the end of their careers.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Mrs. Karen Harris has not acknowledged or sent any communication in regards to the questionnaire.

________________________________________________________________________________________