Longtime Alief ISD Trustee Sarah Winkler has announced her intention to run for the Texas House of Representatives.
In an email interview, Winkler said she was motivated to enter the race by the incumbent’s decision not to see re-election.
“I was on my way home from a meeting in Austin when I received [Representative] Scott Hochberg’s email announcing that he would not seek reelection to his office,” she said. “I immediately started to think about running since I believe that I have knowledge and skills acquires during my years of service as a local trustee and as a director at the regional and state levels that are needed in Austin.”
Winkler is running for District 137. Other candidates in the March primary are Democrats Jamaal Smith, Joseph Madden and Greg Wu; and Republican M.J. Khan.
Winkler is a long time community school volunteer, has a bachelor degree in economics and managerial studies and a master of accounting from Rice University. She has been in the Alief ISD school board since 1997, and has experience as president, as she is the current Vice President of the board and serves the Gulf Coast Area Association of School Board.
“I frequently testify at legislative committee hearings about education and community issues,” Winkler said. “I first began my volunteer career by serving on the Huntington Village HOA as a treasurer and served for six years in that capacity.”
Although Winkler has run for election five times, she states that if she is elected, she will improve the education system.
“My top priority is to address the shortcomings of the current school finance system, ” Winkler said, “We must have a system that is rational and understandable and meets the legal standard for adequacy. The system also must provide for equity among districts and provide sufficient funding to meet state accountability standards. I also am interested in improving access to and affordability of high education.”
Winkler currently works in the Alief ISD board providing oversight and approval of the district budget, thus she believes she is qualified enough for the position she seesk as her 15 years as a trustee in Alief ISD as well as her degrees and past jobs have left with her with enough experience to undertake the designated job. Winkler’s success in her past jobs have left her recognition upon Alief ISD which she plans to use to be elected and improve the education system as a whole.
“I [would like to] plan to spend a lot of time attending events and going door to door meeting area residents and listening to their concerns,” she said.
Winkler’s diappointment comes from the the dates of the election process having not been, thus making it hard to raise the funds needed to visit the voters. However, Winkler remains hopeful and determined to go ahead with her campaign promises when the election dates and state maps are published.
This election will be unlike the past ones as the Supreme Court about the temporary stay granted to the state about the court ordered interim maps is Monday and a federal trial to determine if the state maps meet the requirements of the Voting Rights Act begins on January 17. There will be another filing period after decisions are rendered and the maps could change. For these reasons, this election is very peculiar and everyone who is running for an office is having a difficult time raising funds and planning their election plan.
Although these issues affect the selection process, Winkler plans to go ahead with her vision to improve the education system. Winkler’s campaign promise and purpose is to make education equal for everyone despite social and economic implications. However, Winkler claims she will improve the education system and make it superb. The education system’s future depends on this election, but Winkler states that her vision remains strong.
“I am a straight shooter who is a proven leader,” Winkler said, “We need legislators who are knowledgeable about public education and school finance since an educated populace is they key to economic development and to the future of our communities and our state.”