State Representative Chris Turner

Thank You!

Thank you. With early voting results in, I’m humbled to say that we’re at 90 percent of the vote and headed back to Austin.

We have much to celebrate tonight, and Lisa and I cannot thank you enough. Our victory is the result of the hundreds of volunteers and donors and the thousands of voters in District 101 who believe we need change in Austin and want to have a representative who is not afraid to stand up to the special interests and partisan agendas. I am so honored that the voters have placed their trust in me to fight for their families in our state’s capitol.

So tonight, let’s celebrate. Tomorrow, I’m going back to work for the people of Arlington and Grand Prairie and promise to do my very best to represent you well in the Texas House of Representatives.

With much gratitude,


After the Legislature slashed $5.4 billion from public schools last year, a reasonable person might have thought, “Well, at least it can’t get any worse.”

Guess what? Apparently, it can.

Republicans in Austin, including Governor Perry and Lt. Governor Dewhurst, have declared that “school choice” is a top priority for them next session. Let’s be clear what so-called school choice is: it’s stealing precious tax dollars from cash-starved public schools and diverting them to private schools, which get to pick and choose which students they educate.

Public dollars should be for public schools. Period.

It’s hard to fathom why Republican leaders think vouchers are a good idea, especially in the aftermath of the devastating budget cuts in the last session. Saturday, I participated in Arlington ISD’s Operation Graduation for the third year in a row. I spent the morning with two AISD teachers and one counselor. I asked them what the Legislature’s top education priority should be next session. Unanimously, it was more funding – funding so they can hire more teachers and reduce class size. One of the teachers taught junior high – she has about 35 kids in her classes. The other taught sixth grade; she has about 32 students.

That’s simply unacceptable. And we’re not going to be able to do much about it if we don’t reverse the budget cuts, get more teachers into the classrooms and keep up with our state’s continued enrollment growth. And we won’t accomplish that by taking money out of public schools to fund private school vouchers.

As I have said throughout the last 14 months of this campaign, I am running for the Legislature to make our public schools a priority in our state budget. That includes standing up against private school vouchers, and that’s exactly what I will do in Austin.

Texas-OU Kickoff/Birthday Event Coming Up!

Click the image to RSVP

Our big fundraiser to kick off Texas/OU weekend and yes, mark my 40th birthday, is coming up on October 11th. If you haven’t yet, please take a minute to contribute and join our host committee. It will be a fun evening with good friends, and I hope you can be there. Your support will help us get out the vote in this critical election. Hope to see you on October 11th!

Chris’s Community Support Continues to Grow! UPDATED!

I continue to be humbled and inspired by the support and encouragement that I’ve received from community leaders, friends, activists, volunteers, and voters for the upcoming Democratic primary for Texas House of Representatives, District 101.

This list of supporters is a microcosm of our community – teachers, veterans, retirees, union members, business leaders and so many others.  I am honored by your support and know that by working together, we will win this race and give our new district a strong, effective voice in Austin.


P.S. Don’t see your name and want to add it?  Click here to sign up.

Organizations and Associations Supporting Chris

Arlington Police Association

Arlington Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 1329

Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT)


Metroplex Democrats of Arlington

Mid-Cities Democrats

Northeast Tarrant County Democrats

Teamsters Local 745 DRIVE Committee

Tejano Democrats of North Texas

Texans for Education Funding Equity (TEFE) PAC

Texas Parent PAC

Texas Public Employees Association Political Action Committee

Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA)


TREPAC – Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee

Transport Workers Union Texas Conference AFLCIO

Tarrant County Central Labor Council AFLCIO

Grassroots Endorsement List

Peter AdejokunHon.Ida Anderson

Dolly & Matt Angle

Tom Banning

Karen & Hon. Kenneth Barr

Tonya Barrett

Tari & Mark Bauer

Rev. Nancy & Alan Bean

Teresa & Roy Becerra

Ann & Steve Blair

Aimee Boone

Lynda & Hon. Art Brender

Dana & Robert Brewer

Dr. Jennifer Brooks

Tammy Brooks

Autumn Dipert Brown

Bob Brown

Joseph Brown

Linda Brown

Brenda Bush

Marion Bush

Colleen Butterfield

Barbara & Jack Caffey

Charlie Campau

Dr. Judith Carrier

Drew Casani

Amber & Vincent Chacko

Martha & James Chambers

Diana & Joe Chavez

Kay Christlieb

Donald Cleveland

Dr. Melvin Cleveland

Crist & Dexter Coleman

James Comer

Elizabeth Connor

Arnette Cordova

Bobbie Cornelison

Stephen Coslik

Brenda & Nicolas Crumbaker

Randy Daniels

Cathie & Bronson Davis

Sissy Day

Fay Deleveaux

Joyce & Hon. John Derewitz

Bill Dickson

Enez & Dan W. Dipert

Ayonna Donald

Charles Dreyfus

Tammy & Hon. Kyle Dubberke

Patresia Duncan

Ivonne Duran

Pam Durham

Karen & Melvin Earnest

Lynette & Ed Eason

Beverly Eaves

Lynda Edmond

Hon. Chet Edwards

Earl Edwards

Grace Elliott

Blain Elmazi

Marilyn & Marty Englander

Lisa & Rev. Dr. Michael Evans, Sr.

Hon. Betty Fischer

Joyce & Jim Fletcher

Eric Fox

Hon. Martin Frost

Harriette & Arnold Gachman

John Gardner

Clyde Gary

Chris Gavras

Matt Geske

Claudia Gray

Terrysa Guerra

Loubna Harazin

Julie & Earl Harcrow

Patti & Alan Harper

Thomas Harris

Tazeen & Hon. Syed Hassan

Sandra Haverlah

Denise Henderson

Rube Gus Henderson

Chandra & David Hinkle

Linda & Thomas Holland

Tammy & Hon. Marc House

Christopher Howe

Ronald Hughes

Ellouise Hunnicutt

Melissa Hunsaker

Scott Hunsaker

Ummay Hussain

Carolyn & Cecil Jackson

Naren Jackson

Rhonda & Lee Jackson

Ray Jaksa

Don Jaquess

Jose Martinez

Ana Mochcco & Larry Jaramillo

Michael Jarzabski

Larry D. Jaynes

Dan Jensen

Margaret & Gene Jernigan

Rev. R.C. Johnson

Allan JonesHon. Ivy Jones

Betsy & Henry Joyner

Daniella Judge

Peggy Justice

Amir Kahman

Connie & Jerry Kanetzsky

Mike Kelley

Delphine & Morris Kelly

Charles Kennedy

Sandra Kindle

Misako Kirwen

Patricia Kirwen

Tom Krampitz

Beth Krugler

Hon. Anthony Langston

Patricia LaRue

Jean Latham

Hon. Patricia Lee

Elizabeth Lippincott

Marilyn & Tom Love

Bill Lynch

Hon. John Mabry

Hon. John MacLean

Alle & Eddie Maddox

Michael Maddox

Richard Malinowski

Peggy Marshall

Mike Martinez

Susan McAvoy

Hon. Barbara Jean McGowan

Melissa McMillain

Shelton McMillain

Corey NcNair

Elizabeth McPherson

Terry Meza

Mike Williams & Richard Michael

Hon. Darryl Miller

Marvin Mitchell

Rosie & Hon. Mike Moncrief

Steve Montgomery

Randall Moore

Emily Amps Mora

Celia Morgan

Clara Naylor

Kenneth Neal

Pat Pangburn

Steve Panza

Mike Patino

Falina Payton

Kathy & Terence Payton

Lisa & Doug Penny

Mario Perez

Beverly & Charles Powell

Kyran Powell

Suzanna Powell

Ann Price

Robert Price

Edwina & Moses Ramirez

Cynthia & Caesar Rentie

Becky Reynolds

Hon. Gabriel Rivas, IV

Spencer Roberson

Yolonde Rocio

Paula Rodgers

Janice Sims & Bill Russell

Jay Rutherford

Joseph Saldana

Emad Salem

Malizy & Craig Scruggs

John Self

Florine Shepard

Hon. Aftab Siddiqui

Loretta Simmons

Jessica & Jason Smith

Regina Smith

Hon. Deborah Spell

Lorraine Stanford

Adrena & Hon. Raymond Stephney

Jacquelyn Strong

Teri & Nelson Surovik

Hon. Marvin Sutton

Anne & Jim Swan

David Tesmer

Hon. Cynthia Toodle

Mary Ann & Gary Turner

Lisa Turner

James Van Sickel

Leila Vaughan

Tonya Veasey

Barbara Belle & Larry Walker

Jennifer Ward

Vicki Watkins

Aaron Watson

Heather & Scott Wheatley

Barbara Williams

Charles Williams

Kenneth Dale Williams

Nathaniel Williams

Ida Wilson

Stephanie & Alfred Wilson

Dorothy Wing

Gail Wright

Mark York

Hon. Felipe Gutierrez & Martin Young

July 9, 2012 Comments are off Admin2


I wrote the email below over the weekend. This morning, we learned that Governor Rick Perry is making the shortsighted and ill-informed decision to not pursue Medicaid expansion or set up a state insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. The governor’s announcement is about politics, nothing more, and will only serve to lengthen Texas’ unfortunate reign as the state with the highest rate of uninsured. I’ll have more to say on his announcement later, but for now I wanted to share my original email, and why it’s so important that Texas get this right.

Campaigns are generally not known for enhancing healthy lifestyles. You tend to eat a lot of fast food, and the hectic pace crowds out one’s time at the gym. At least that’s been my experience. Having recovered somewhat from a long campaign, I dragged myself to the gym early this morning for the first time in a few months. And while it wasn’t easy getting up at 5:00 am to go to the gym, I take some solace knowing that by having a plan and some discipline in exercise and diet, I can lose the few (OK, several) pounds I gained the last few months, feel better and be healthier. Short term pain, long term gain, as they say.

Just like I need to have a plan and some discipline to get healthier, so does Texas. With the highest rate of uninsured in the nation and a troubling new study out last week that showed Texas ranks dead last among the 50 states in health care delivery, there’s no shortage of improvements to be made. But here’s the good news: just like I have tools to get healthier (a gym, a running trail nearby and better food choices), so does Texas – it’s called the Affordable Care Act (ACA), recently upheld by the Supreme Court. But just like my gym membership that’s worthless when it goes unused, Texas must use the ACA smartly to get the maximum benefit for our state. Here’s how:

 Set up an insurance exchange. The ACA calls for setting up an insurance exchange in each state so that folks without employer-based coverage can shop for plans (this is not dissimilar to the way we buy electricity for our homes in Texas). If the state does not set up an exchange, the federal government will do it for us. It should be a no-brainer that we would set up our own system, instead of having a “one size fits all” set up by the feds. But since Texas Republican leaders killed efforts to set up an exchange last year, that is exactly what will happen unless we reverse course and get it together, fast.

Accept the Medicaid expansion. This is the big one for Texas – with the highest rate of uninsured in the nation, we have the most to gain from this. Under ACA, states can enroll their citizens in Medicaid if their annual income is 133 percent of the poverty level (about $30,000 for a family of four) or less. We could insure about 1.5 million people in Texas under this provision.

And what would that cost the state of Texas? For the first couple of years, the federal government funds the entire expansion. Eventually, Texas would be responsible for paying 10 percent of the cost. A 9:1 match is hard to beat – and it would be an outrage for Texas not to claim its fair share of funding under the law, especially when our need is so great.

I am looking forward to serving in the Legislature next year, and working with fellow lawmakers to make the ACA work for Texas. If we identify the problem (the uninsured/poor access to care), set some goals (reduce the rate of uninsured/improve access), develop a plan (implement the ACA) and have some discipline (focus on reform, not false rhetoric about socialism and government takeovers of health care) we’ll make a real difference in the quality of life for millions of Texans. And by reducing the ranks of the uninsured, we can drive down premiums for everyone else. After all, we’re already subsidizing emergency care for the uninsured with high premiums and tax support for public hospitals.

To lose weight, I have to follow a pretty simple formula: burn more calories than I consume.

To make Texas healthier, it’s nearly as simple: reduce the rate of uninsured and improve access.

Both just require some willpower – and a plan.


It’s Not a Game, Governor

Today, Governor Rick Perry launches his latest political stunt: he’s calling on lawmakers and candidates to sign a pledge promising that they will continue failed Tea Party Republican budget policies.

The Texas Budget is NOT a game, Governor.

Quite simply, Perry’s pledge says: we can’t spend the Rainy Day Fund to help struggling schools, we must starve the health care system at the expense of millions of uninsured and underinsured Texans and we must keep cutting spending, even though Texas already ranks last or near last in virtually every category of per-capita funding in the nation.

And in a Texas Tribune story previewing today’s stunt, Perry says this: “I think we’re at a unique time that we can reset the budgeting game in Texas.”

The budget is a moral document that demonstrates the fiscal responsibility, compassion and strategic thinking of those in government – or the lack thereof.

 The budget is not a game.

It’s not a game to Carolyn, a woman I met last week in East Arlington, who is worried about her two grandchildren who have no health insurance. She told me they keep getting cut off of Medicaid, and she didn’t know why. The reason why, I explained, is that under the Perry Administration, kids are intentionally cut off of Medicaid every six months.

It’s not a game to the elementary school principal I met at church yesterday, who sees firsthand that increasing class sizes are having a very real and detrimental effect on the quality of children’s education.

And it’s not a game to the southeast Arlington woman who works for the state. She and other hard-working state employees are frustrated that as they go years without pay increases, Perry is double-dipping at our expense by collecting a pension and salary at the same time.

 The budget is not a game – it has very real and direct consequences for each and every person who lives in the state of Texas.

Texans deserve a budget that honors our priorities and prepares for our future by investing in education, healthier families and infrastructure. Texans don’t deserve more budget gimmicks and trickery from Rick Perry and Tea Party Republicans.

If you agree, I hope you’ll help me win this race by contributing $100, $50, $25 or $10 today.


A call for justice

Chris Turner spoke at a rally for education and awareness surrounding the Trayvon Martin case on Wednesday, March 29, 2012 at Tarrant County Community College Southeast Campus. 

Organized by TCC students, LaTarsha and Marqus Smith, the rally featured several speakers including student Florisa Esquivel, student Dennis Swanson, Pastor Dwight McKissic, Professor Eric Salas, Professor Bradley Borougerdi, NAACP Arlington Chapter President Silk Littlejoin-Gamble, and community activist Bridgette Davis.

Turner’s remarks, as prepared, are below:

“Good afternoon.  In 1963, while he was sitting in a jail in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  And that is why we are here today – our sense of right and wrong tells us that a great injustice has been committed, one for which we want justice done.  But it is also an injustice that demands a close examination of how we got here, and where we will go from here.

Like you, I am outraged at what happened in Sanford, Florida last month.  I’m angry that a young man, holding nothing but a bag of Skittles and a can of tea, would be gunned down on a city street in the United States of America.  I’m angry that a self-styled vigilante would ignore the authorities and pursue Trayvon Martin – a pursuit that ended with the death of that 17-year old boy.

Now, in large part due to rallies like this one all across the country, and the outrage we have seen about this case in the media, we see local, state and federal authorities investigating this case, as they should.  And we all hope that there is some measure of justice that will be realized when that process is complete.

Last week, President Obama said that the Trayvon Martin case is cause for our country -to do some soul-searching.  The president is right.

And I think we have to soul-search not just how this could have happened and how we keep it from happening again, but we need to look inward at ourselves as a nation and examine how we are reacting to this tragedy.

It is my hope that as America has a frank discussion about this tragedy and its aftermath, we use it as an opportunity to come closer together, not an excuse to be further divided.  And when I hear rhetoric from some in this country – talking about what Trayvon Martin’s school attendance record was, as if that somehow justifies or explains away what happened to him, I am saddened that, despite all our progress on the issue of race in America, we still have so much further to go.

When I was about your age and a student at the University of Texas, I had the opportunity to hear then-President Bill Clinton speak on our campus.  It wasn’t just any speech either, it was a major address on the state of race relations in our country.  That speech, in October of 1995, came just weeks after the verdict in the OJ Simpson case and in a similar time tinged with racial tension.

The president said, “Today we face a choice — one way leads to further separation and bitterness and more lost futures. The other way, the path of courage and wisdom, leads to unity, to reconciliation, to a rich opportunity for all Americans to make the most of the lives God gave them. This moment in which the racial divide is so clearly out in the open need not be a setback for us. It presents us with a great opportunity, and we dare not let it pass us by.”

I think today we are presented with another great opportunity.  We are all Americans, and there is so much more that unites us than divides us.  And our diversity is a great strength – a diversity we understand and experience more than most living here in Texas, here in Southeast Tarrant County and right here on this campus.  We have so much to learn from one another – understanding one another’s different backgrounds, life experiences, and culture helps us all become better people.  We can respect, appreciate and celebrate our differences – but we don’t have to fixate on them.

We don’t have to fear them.

And we don’t have to let them divide us.

But where we see the differences between us that we know are not right, we all have an obligation to make changes.  I’m talking about the injustices that we have all lived with for far too long, the injustices that don’t dominate the cable news shows or show up in our Facebook news feeds.

I’m talking about the injustice of income disparity – where we see African Americans and Hispanics earn less than white Americans.

I’m talking about the injustice of poverty, where here in Texas, 66 percent of Latino children and 59 percent of black children live in low-income families.

I am talking about the injustice of our educational system, especially in Texas, where underfunded public schools see the minority drop-out rate soar, closing the door of opportunity to thousands of young Texans.

And I am talking about the injustice that comes with the inaccessibility of health care – where 59% of the uninsured in our state are Hispanic.

So my hope is that as we remember Trayvon Martin and demand justice in his tragic case, let us not stop there.  Let us all join together to advocate for justice in all aspects of our society.  Long after the Trayvon Martin case has faded from the headlines, let us have the strength, the courage and the fortitude to continue our individual battles for justice and the end to inequality.  And until that day comes, it is my hope that we will not rest.

225 years after our founding fathers gathered to create our nation’s constitution, we are still working to “form a more perfect union.” Our Founders recognized that this democracy would never be perfect because, we the people who form it are not perfect.  But at the heart of the American ideal is the promise that we can always be better.  And as we honor the memory of Trayvon Martin and we pray for his family, let us all commit ourselves to the betterment of this country and all who live in it.”

Join Us for a Grand Opening and Bring the Family for Lunch

What: Chris Turner Campaign Office Grand Opening
Where: 214 Billings St., Suite 210, Arlington, TX 76010 (map)
When: Saturday, March 17, 2012, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Why: Kick off the 2012 election season by visiting with fellow Democrats and learning more about our campaign. And feel free to bring the entire family – the event is free and lunch will be provided.

Click here to RSVP or call (817) 561-4900 or e-mail

You can also RSVP through our Facebook event page.


*Please note: The Abram Street and Division Street exits located on the southbound side of Hwy 360 will be closed due to construction.  Please use the Park Row Drive exit just past the closed Abram Street exit and loop back northbound using the service road on the eastern side of the highway.




March 5, 2012 Comments are off Admin2

Building a Just and Fair Society

On February 23, Chris joined members of the Grand Prairie community for the annual NAACP Freedom Fund Scholarship Banquet.

The money raised from this event will fund educational scholarships for local students.   The evening featured performances from the youth at Mt. Gilead Missionary Baptist Church in Italy, TX as well as from students of Truman Middle School in Grand Prairie.

The event’s keynote speaker was Rev. Preston Dixon, pastor at Mt. Gilead, and 1st Vice President of the NAACP Grand Prairie Branch.  He delivered an inspiring speech which touched on the banquet’s theme, “NAACP: Obsolete or Still Necessary?”  In his message, Pastor Dixon encouraged all in attendance to remember their past, take every available opportunity in their present, and keep an eye on their future.  He also reminded the audience about the importance of unity and community.

Several members of the Grand Prairie community were presented with 2012 President Awards for their work on behalf of civil rights and equal opportunity.

“The NAACP has been on the forefront of the battle for fairness and opportunity for all Americans for 103 years,” Chris said. “It continues its important mission today, and I am proud to support its efforts.”

The next evening, on February 24, Chris and his wife, Lisa, were honored to attend the birthday celebration of Pastor N.L. Robinson and First Lady Pearl Robinson which was given by their congregation at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Arlington.  The luau-themed party celebrated their 91st and 89th birthdays, respectively.

“Pastor Robinson and First Lady Pearl continue to inspire us every day, and Lisa and I wish them both the happiest of birthdays,” Chris said.

Pastor Robinson and First Lady Pearl have been major community leaders in the civil rights movement in Arlington and have been ministering to the Arlington community for over 40 years.  Pastor Robinson was called to pastor Mount Olive Baptist Church in 1966 and since that time has grown the congregation from 17 to over 10,000 members.

A Wall of Honor and an Opportunity

Chris attended the Tarrant County College District’s official unveiling of its Veterans’ Wall of Honor on February 20, 2012.

This new feature of TCC’s Southeast Campus pays tribute to veterans who are current students, alumni, faculty and staff of the Tarrant County College District.  Featured speakers at the event included State Senator Wendy Davis, Tarrant County College District Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley, and TCC Southeast Campus President Dr. Bill Coppola.   Each delivered a message of gratitude for the service of our nation’s veterans and expressed a strong desire to continue the remarkable outreach and support that TCC offers to veterans.

Chris also had the pleasure of visiting with a retired member of the Marine Corps who served in Operation Desert Storm and was one of the veterans honored at the event.  By supporting programs such as tuition assistance, career counseling, financial planning guidance, housing support, and college admission workshops, Chris will work hard to ensure that today’s veteran has access to the educational opportunities they have earned and deserve.

Chris has a proven record of leadership on veterans’ issues: he was the author of the bill that created the veterans scratch-off lottery ticket, which has raised more than $16 million for veterans’ assistance programs in just two years.  Chris also authored and passed legislation requiring Texas colleges and universities to have a designated financial aid officer for veterans, so that returning service members are able to fully access the benefits they have earned under the new Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and the Texas Hazlewood Act. With more than 250,000 Texans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last ten years, it is more important than ever that Texas have strong support systems in place so veterans – and their families – can take advantage of education and workforce opportunities.  Honoring the service and sacrifice of today’s veterans both in word and in deed will continue to be one of Chris’s top priorities.

End the Perry Pension Loophole

Late Friday, The Texas Tribune reported that Governor Rick Perry “retired” in January. If only that were really the case.

Perry, as we know, is still governor.  But he found a loophole in state law that allows him to “retire” and collect a state pension while he is still in office.   We, the taxpayers of Texas, pay Perry a salary of $150,000.  Now we learn he is double-dipping an additional $92,000 per year from the Employee Retirement System of Texas – for a total of $242,000 annually.

This is just wrong. Very wrong.

It would be wrong even if times were good. But in a year in which so many families are struggling and in which Perry and the Legislature passed a draconian budget that forces public schools to lay off teachers and other employees, cuts college financial aid loans for middle class families, and further shreds Texas’ flimsy safety net for our most vulnerable citizens, it’s just outrageous.

You would think that Perry would have the judgment to not game the system and double-dip a salary and a pension. No chance.

It’s this kind of politics-as-usual, sweetheart deal that justifiably makes people so cynical about government. These are the kinds of practices we have to end – and that’s one of the reasons I am running for the Legislature. So today I need your help:

  1. Sign this petition, which demands an end to the Perry Pension Loophole. I’ll file legislation to make sure no politician can ever do this again – and I’ll take your voice with me to Austin.
  2. Contribute to my campaign today. We need your help to reach our end-of-year goals and to win the Democratic primary election (now set for April 3, 2012).
  3.  Forward this email to your friends, post our petition on Facebook, and share it on Twitter. We need to bring more people into our campaign to change the way business is done in Austin.

Let’s put an end to the Perry Pension Loophole – you can lead the way by joining our campaign today.


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