SD 25: The Crusade Against Campbell
Guerra, Kling in the race for the Austin-San Antonio suburbs
Benefiting from U.S. Senator Ted Cruz's support on the campaign trail, right-wing Sen. Donna Campbell upset veteran Republican Jeff Wentworth in 2012, making a name for herself as an ardent anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ darling. She's up against attorney Shannon McClendon in her primary and faces two challengers on the Democratic ticket, Jack Guerra and Steven Kling. A self-professed "centrist" Dem, Guerra is a former city planner and property owner who's focused on controlling suburban sprawl, diversifying public transportation systems, and managing population growth with affordable housing. He's vowed to protect the cultural character, landscape, and water quality of the district, anchored in New Braunfels, that stretches from South Austin to north San Antonio and encompasses swaths of the Hill Country.
Meanwhile, his opponent Kling, an IT consultant firm principal from Dripping Springs, isn't shy about dubbing himself a progressive and taking sharp aim at Republican leadership. A U.S. Army veteran, Kling completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and helped protect refugees during wartime, earning himself a handful of awards including the Bronze Star. Motivated to run by Trump's election and the "corrosive" political environment, Kling advocates for campaign finance reform and anti-corruption legislation. He's a proponent of reducing dependence on local school property taxes, eliminating high-stakes consequences for students, and is against school vouchers and pub ed privatization.
He's been vocal about his support for reproductive rights, calling for evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention in schools, and has vowed to defend local control in the face of mounting attacks from the GOP. As a veteran, Kling promises one of his first priorities will be introducing a bill to supplement V.A. services for Texas veterans; he'd also lobby to get vets ahead in line for marijuana cultivation and distribution licenses, if Texas ever makes that huge leap.