For Immediate Release June 23, 2022
For more info:
Charlotte Gilman; 512.697.8809, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Independent Longshot Linda Curtis Seeks Ballot Certification for Texas House District 17
Claims Gerdes Another Bastrop Disaster
June 23, 8 am, Bastrop, Texas: Longtime independent, election reformer, and water-protection advocate Linda Curtis filed signatures on Wednesday to be on the November 2022 ballot for Texas House District 17 (HD-17) as an Independent. HD-17 includes Bastrop, Burleson, Caldwell, Milam, and Lee counties.
In 30 days, in record heat, Curtis collected 608 valid signatures, well over the signature hurdle of 500 from voters who did not vote in either party primary or runoff. She will face Republican Stan Gerdes and Democrat Madeline Eden in November.
Linda Curtis is a gambler, but not on horses. She only rides them. She's been gambling on independent politics since 1979 when she backed a sitting State Senator who had bolted from the Democratic Party bosses in New York City. He came in second in a five-way race, but his votes were never officially reported.
"HD-17 is not a long way from the South Bronx; only in our case, we have a bunch of corrupt Republican Party bosses who are out to take for themselves whatever isn't nailed down. I haven't figured out yet how to nail down water. Our communities cannot afford another disaster, and Stan Gerdes is one."
In a two-way race, the Republican nominee will likely win this seat. It becomes a horse race in a three-way contest with strong independent roots in HD-17. Though the odds are long for any independent to win a Texas House seat in 2022, Linda's odds are substantially better than Rich Strike, the 80-1 shot who won the 2022 Kentucky Derby.
Linda's chances are bolstered by three decades of hard labor for election reform, water protections, and efforts to make growth pay for itself. Her odds are also boosted by the repeated false claims by Stan Gerdes, the Republican nominee, who says he is "a former senior Trump administration official." Gerdes was a scheduler for Rick Perry at the Department of Energy and involved in the hilarious "Jerky Boys of Russia" fiasco. Gerdes moved into the district three years ago.
Linda Curtis calls Gerdes "Rick Perry's poodle." Gerdes narrowly won the GOP primary runoff by amassing funds from the "Austin and DC Lobby" and using the money to send as many as three mailers daily to HD-17 Republican voters. Gerdes raised over $500,000 from 46 registered lobbyists, representing a who's who of 449 special interest groups involved in energy, real estate, insurance, roads, construction, and alarmingly, the water lobby that has targeted HD-17's groundwater for over two decades.
As people flood into HD-17 seeking affordability, the water to serve them continues to be exported to the IH-35 growth corridor, especially to San Antonio. San Antonio now has so much water SAWS made up a word for it – "waterful."
In November, the three-way race will be decided without a runoff because Texas general elections require a plurality, not a majority. Whoever receives the most votes wins.
Curtis will run with these platforms:
• Passing the Voter Choice Act to open the Texas ballot to competition from independent candidates and minor parties. A ruling is expected soon in a federal lawsuit brought by the Center for Competitive Democracy, Shearman & Sterling, LLP, and supported by Mark Cuban against the anti-competitive ballot access laws for independents and minor parties.
• Implementing online petitioning, online voter registration and rank choice voting.
• Rectifying the 40% under-appraisals of large-scale commercial properties resulting in $4B (2006 figure) in property tax losses. (Note: This fact was revealed to the Legislature in 2006 by the Texas Appraisal District Association.)
• Rejecting the "California Water Model," moving masses of water for real estate development to areas with inadequate local supply. Securing an audit and cutback of Vista Ridge, aka the San Antone Hose.
• Giving Texans the right to vote to reverse the constitutional provision authorizing tax abatements for corporations. Immediately ending Chapter 313 subsidies and intervening to halt the destruction of land and water resources like the Rosanky solar farm, which clear-cut 1200 acres. Another such plan is moving forward that would clear-cut 2100 to 4000 acres of a heritage forest for a solar farm south of Elgin.
• Getting an independent investigation into the grid collapse and the return of billions in profits to be dedicated to fixing the grid and keeping rates reasonable.
• Making growth pay for itself through enhanced impact fees on new developments and giving additional tools for local government to manage out-of-control growth.
See Linda's full bio here.
* Linda coined the phrase "Austinites for A Little Less Corruption" for a citizen's ballot measure that passed by 72% in the city of Austin in 1997.