Lakeway doctor hopes to bring grassroots leadership back to the Legislature

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A Lakeway doctor is seeking the Republican Party nomination for the Senate District 24 seat in the hopes of bring grassroots leadership back to the Legislature.

Dawn Buckingham said she is familiar with Kerrville and other parts of District 24, as her mother and grandmother both lived in the area.

The party primary election will be in March with nominees advancing to next year’s general election in November. Voters head to the polls next month to decide seven proposed constitutional amendments. They will head to the polls again in May for the municipal elections.

Buckingham’s competition for the Republican Party bid include C.J. Grisham from Temple, Susan King from Abilene, Reed Williams from Burnet County, Jon Cobb from Travis County and Brent Mayes from Fredericksburg.

Current officeholder Troy Fraser announced in June that he would not run for re-election after holding the post since 1997.

Buckingham said immigration, education and government spending are three issues she would like to focus on, if elected. She said the border needs to be sealed, and sanctuary cities shut down.

In education, she would like to see more control given to parents. She is the current gubernatorial vice chair appointee for the State Board of Educator Certification, and she has served on the Lake Travis Independent School District Board.

“Education needs to have a foundation in traditional family values,” Buckingham said. “I would like to empower parents in their children’s education, an idea which I believe has been crumbling lately.”

Buckingham recently served as the lieutenant governor appointee to the Texas Sunset Commission, a committee made of legislators and members of the community. The 2014-15 commission reviewed 20 state agencies and designated $34 million in savings and revenue gains. Buckingham she would like to put the state government on a “diet,” working to reduce spending.

Buckingham said while she has not served in a political office, she has worked to promote conservative values for some time.

“I have spent the last six Republican primaries fighting for conservative justices to be elected,” Buckingham said. “These are races that are not paid as much attention to, but recent Supreme Court decisions show there are justices that want to legislate from the bench for the state or the nation, which is not their responsibility.”

Buckingham said she believes government should be from the grassroots up, something she would work to accomplish if elected.

“The senator needs to be physically present in the district regularly so that folks feel like there’s a relationship with the senator,” Buckingham said. “They should feel comfortable calling me and letting me know how they think things are going in the Legislature.”

Buckingham’s work as a doctor has brought her face to face with clashes with government. She said government and corporate entities have tried in the past to direct her work, but she said what they think is right may not be what’s best for her patient.

“We need to draw on the firsthand experience of the people right there in the trenches,” Buckingham said. “Members of the Legislature that don’t have day jobs — working with public regulations, having to make payroll, understanding tax structure for small businesses — get detached and don’t understand the effects of their decisions.”

To give the 17-county district the attention it needs, Buckingham said she will only work part time if she is elected.

Regarding Kerrville, Buckingham said the area has become neglected in past years. She would establish a district office in Kerrville if elected, so the community in the area would have better access to her office.

Filing for candidates starts Nov. 14. The election will be March 1, 2016.

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