Libertarian Files For West U’s State Senate District

January 8, 2010

A Libertarian candidate was the only opponent to file for the state senate district representing Bellaire and parts of multiple counties. Libertarian Phil Kurtz will compete against incumbent Republican Joan Huffman for the seat in the 2010 elections.

Phil Kurtz

Phil Kurtz

“I’d like to see our third party get a foothold and get some publicity,” Kurtz said. “My concern is just to get the word out to the voters that there is another choice. The two big parties don’t really have to run everything.”

State Senate District 17 includes West University Place and Bellaire, and portions of counties including Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston and Jefferson. No Democratic contenders filed for the office.

Kurtz recently returned to school at the University of Houston and in 2009 he earned a master’s degree in industrial engineering and a master’s in business administration focusing on technical management. Previously Kurtz had earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the university.

He works as a sales development manager at Pure Force, a division of Ecolab. The global company manufactures and sells chemicals for cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection control.

Kurtz is a veteran of the campaign process. He ran in 2006 for State Senate District 17, and in 2008 he threw his hat in the ring for State Representative for District 132. Although he has yet to win an election, Kurtz has a record of community involvement that includes volunteering to coach peer soccer, working with youth and college students through his church, and organizing Catholic groups for marches supporting the pro-life movement.

The Libertarian plans to run a grassroots, low-cost campaign that includes responding to press inquiries and speaking publicly at colleges, he said. He will spread traditional Libertarian messages.

“We believe in a lot less government. People can govern themselves,” Kurtz said. “There are a lot of taxes that are just out there, that are not even under the Texas Constitution … I would like to see state government streamlined and cleaned up, basically.”

Kurtz will run against Joan Huffman, who was first elected to the Texas Legislature in 2008 after winning a special election for the vacant senate seat. Before becoming a senator, she served two terms as judge for the 183rd Criminal District Court. Huffman lives in Southside Place with her husband and son, and has a district office on Edloe Street in West University Place.

Huffman said she is relieved that no candidates from the Republican or Democratic party filed to run against her this year.

“I had a tough election last time, and I worked very hard, and have continued to work hard for the citizens and hope they continue to give me the opportunity to do so,” Huffman said. “At this point I don’t have any intent to have a full-blown media campaign. But I certainly will do anything I believe is necessary to win the election.”

That could include speaking at events, visiting constituents and being active in the community, she said.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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