Alto man plans to challenge Clardy for House District 11
Aug. 4, 2017 at 5:12 p.m.
A working cowboy from near Alto says he'll bring true conservatism to the Texas House of Representatives as he launches his bid to oust the Republican incumbent representing Rusk, Cherokee and Nacogdoches counties.
"I think what we're seeing is a lot of frustration on the side of conservative voters," Danny Ward said Friday. "(House Republicans) are not getting anything done. They are getting blocked by our leadership."
Ward cited issues such as property tax reform and the open carrying of firearms as examples of measures that conservative voters support that are being blocked by leadership in the House of Representatives. That means House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio, whom incumbent Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, backs more often than opposes.
Ward, who works a small herd near Alto and helps his family with a 200-head operation nearby, said he supports a bill now under debate in Austin that would force public votes when governments raises property taxes by 4 percent or more.
Local governments oppose the measure as an affront to local control. Area elected officials also note their entities have not raised taxes 4 percent in their memory and say the bill addresses a concern in urban areas.
"I agree with (the cap bill)," Ward said.
Ward, a 44-year-old Marine Corps veteran and former professional rodeo cowboy, favors elimination of property taxes altogether. He said that tax should be replaced with an increased sales tax.
"I'm a flat tax guy," he said. "I feel like we really don't own our own property if we have to pay taxes on it."
Boosting sales tax rates to replace property taxes also would draw more people into the tax pool, he added, while acknowledging that landlords typically factor in their property tax bill when setting rents.
Ward also would take a severe look at regulations, citing friends who work in nursing homes.
"They're just tied by regulations," he said, adding that schools and other industries are similarly hamstrung by the government. "We need to remove a lot of the regulations and let teachers teach, because that's what they're hired to do. It's like that across every industry — we're just hammered with regulation."
Ward, a married father of three, declined to criticize Clardy, who has announced intentions to seek a fourth term in 2018. Filing for the office begins Nov. 11.
"I'm going to run a clean campaign," he said. "I'm a Christian, and I don't believe in the mudslinging. I think if (voters) do research, they are going to find out — if they are conservative — that that they are not happy with the way he's voting."