Democratic candidate and Preston Hollow resident John Wellik’s campaign for State House District 114 against incumbent Republican Will Hartnett (and fellow Preston Hollow resident) has been slowly gaining steam since he announced his candidacy in January without much of a platform. Last night, he officially debuted his campaign to a crowd of maybe 60 people, many of them members of the Preston Hollow Democrats, at Enchilada’s on Greenville Avenue, just south of Walnut Hill Lane.
After rattling off a brief biography (born and raised on an Iowa farm, moved to the big city of Des Moines, got a degree in accounting from Drake University, moved to Dallas 27 years ago with wife Susan), Wellik enumerated his priorities: reducing the high school dropout rate, establishing more research universities in the state, reducing carbon emissions, lowering homeowner’s insurance and utility rates, and maintain existing highways rather than building new ones. He critiqued Governor Rick Perry for touting the state’s stimulus-assisted balanced budget while posturing against the stimulus package itself. In the process, he threw few jabs at Hartnett, who he characterized as out of touch:
“You deserve a pragmatic, common sense problem-solver as your representative. My opponent has not been that representative. He’s not been out in the district, meeting with people, understanding the issues that are important to them, that are important to us, as North Texans. He’s been in office for 20 years, almost the entire time that Susan and I have lived here, years when our state government has not kept up with the needs of the growing population of our state, not to mention thinking about where we want our state to be in the future.”