This Former Software Engineer Seeks a Seat in the Texas House

“I’ve had life experiences and those things have taught me a lot about putting together practical solutions for real problems Texans face.”

By Joy DiazDecember 7, 2015 11:28 am|

Last week, the Standard spoke to a woman described by the Texas Observer as someone who “doesn’t have a prayer” in the race for a Texas House seat – and Cristin Padgett’s okay with that, since she is one of the few atheists in Texas to make a run for state office.  

Yet the 33rd district, the reddest of red state regions, has another Democrat challenging Padgett’s bid for the state’s House of Representatives. 

Karen Jacobs is also a running for a Texas House seat in District 33, representing the cities of Frisco and Rockwall. The retired software engineer and business leader talks to the Standard about her campaign.

On Republican dominance in the last election cycle:

“I did analysis before I started this run and I knew from the beginning that it was gonna be a long shot, but what the Republicans always get away with is not talking about the issues . . . In their last platform, they wanted to cut funding for public schools. So I decided early on that I wanted to see the issues discussed and unless we have real Democratic candidates, we can’t expect people to vote for us and we can’t expect the issues to really be brought forward.”

On the voter demographics in Texas’ 33rd district:

“I believe they are definitely public education voters. Nowhere in Rockwell or Collin County can I remember a time when a school bond election was turned down. So voters really do care about public education . . . I believe that we have gotten to the point that people are voting not as much on the issues. Our college tuition has almost doubled in this state since we deregulated, and yet in 2015, the Republican legislature did nothing on that topic.”

On what differentiates her from opponent Cristin Padgett:

“I would say that I’m much more experienced than she is. I worked for Raytheon for 29 years. I started as a software engineer was promoted to a position of program director before I retired. I’m a mother and grandmother and at a point in my life, I was a single parent, so I have not only had business experiences, I’ve had life experiences and those things have taught me a lot about putting together practical solutions for real problems Texans face.”

Listen to the full interview in the player above.