Dallas Morning News recommends Angie Chen Button in Texas House District 112

Dallas Morning News Editorial Board
October 13, 2018

We recommend that voters in the 112th District return Republican Rep. Angie Chen Button to the Texas House of Representatives for a sixth term. Although we sometimes disagree with her, Button has proved an effective and consequential member of the House.

She used her chairwoman’s gavel two sessions ago to help overhaul the Texas Enterprise Fund and to create a new pathway for millions in additional funding for high-end research at Texas’ best universities, including UT Southwestern in Dallas.

Button, 64 and a former Dallas Area Rapid Transit board member, also strongly supported House Bill 21, which would have added up to $1.8 billion in school funding before it was gutted by the Senate. And when the Senate pushed hard to advance the controversial bathroom bill, she stood with Speaker Joe Straus to see that it died before becoming law.

Angie Chen Button, Republican Texas state representative from District 112

Her challenger, Democrat Brandy Chambers, is an impressive example of a citizen entering politics for the right reasons. A lawyer, she impressed us with her determination to increase state funding for public education and her willingness to identify tax increases that could pay for it.

But as Chambers, 45, rattled off a long list of taxes that could be boosted, we lost confidence that she’d be able to persuade her colleagues to find creative ways to finance education. Spending more on education will likely require more revenue from somewhere, but her list of possible tax increases — from eliminating the homestead exemption for local property taxes to new sales taxes on professional services — are nonstarters.

Button says she’ll find more money for schools in the next session, though how she plans to do so remains unclear.

She’s both conservative and nimble, and will be a strongly conservative but flexible voice when the House chooses its next speaker.