In one of the hottest contests for Texas House, a longtime champion for independent politics, Linda Curtis, is entering the race for Texas House District 17 (Bastrop, Burleson, Caldwell, Lee, and Milam counties). From 1996 to 2000, Curtis was the Texas organizer for the Reform Party, founded by Ross Perot. After the demise of the Reform Party, Linda co-founded Independent Texans PAC. In 2013, Linda co-founded the non-profit League of Independent Voters of Texas, a voter association for independent Texas voters -- voters who vote for the person.
Linda said, "Independents wanted either Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape or Tom Glass to win the Republican primary, not Rick Perry's poodle, Stan Gerdes. Every lobbyist this side of the Pecos and the Speaker of the House loaded Gerdes up with at least $500,000 to lie and cheat to beat Pape to win the Republican runoff by 325 votes. Might they be after the goose that laid our golden egg, the groundwater under us in HD-17?"
Curtis is well-known in HD-17, having fought for years to make the public-private partnership deal between public water utility, San Antonio Water System (SAWS), and Vista Ridge, LLC, the private partners of the "San Antone Hose," “fully transparent and accountable.”
Eight years later, Curtis said the war over water has only intensified, with hundreds of landowner wells going dry in the water-rich communities of Lee, Burleson, and Milam counties since Vista Ridge began pumping in 2020. In the first years of pumping enough water to serve over 160,000 households annually, two local groundwater districts have already spent at least $400,000 to repair or re-drill damaged household and domestic wells. Meanwhile, San Antonio ratepayers are being hosed with 58% rate hikes, with SAWS claiming to have made San Antonio “waterful”, to avoid admitting the City is buying far more water than it needs.
From 2003 to 2007, Curtis was deeply involved in ending Rick Perry's Trans-Texas Corridor and its plans for the largest eminent domain land seizure in Texas History. In 2006, Independent Texans supported Carole Keeton Strayhorn when she left the GOP to run as an independent for Governor against Perry. Perry lucked out with two independents in the race (including comic and author Kinky Friedman) and was re-elected with only 39%.
Linda is quick to point out, "Rick Perry's wildly unpopular $200 billion Trans-Texas Corridor went down to defeat in 2007, because Carole's independent candidacy gave our efforts to defeat it a big boost with statewide ads about the boondoggle. If I get lucky, my campaign will force a real look under the hood of Vista Ridge, and put Rick Perry's poodle, Stan Gerdes, in the dog house where he belongs."
For the last ten years, Linda has helped lead the effort in Central Texas to avert the "Californiafication of Texas Water Policy," that is, mass conveyance of groundwater for real estate development in areas with inadequate local supply.
Curtis warns, “If aquifers are damaged, it's game over for growth in Central Texas, due to the recklessness of the Central Texas growth machine.”
Curtis must gather at least 500 signatures from registered voters who did not vote in this year's primaries in March or May. If Linda gets on the November ballot, she will compete in a three-way race in Texas House District 17 with Republican nominee Stan Gerdes and Democratic nominee Madeline Eden.
Petitions are due on June 23.
A Letter to State Officials urges the Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House to "Make Growth Pay for Itself; Not our Water." Linda is asking voters, regardless of party affiliation, to sign it online or to call 512.697.8809 to sign by phone.
Linda's complete bio can be found at IndyTexans.org in the About section. She can be reached by calling 512.697.8809 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.