Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Meet the Primary Candidates: State Senate District 12

In March, local voters will go to the polls to select their party’s nominees for political office at the county, state and federal levels.

The Republican and Democratic primary elections are scheduled for March 1, 2022. Early voting will begin Feb. 14. To win their party’s nomination, a candidate must earn more than 50% of votes in the race; if a race with three or more candidates doesn’t end with one candidate receiving more than half of the votes, a primary runoff election will be held between the top two vote recipients on May 24. The winners in each party will be on the General Election ballot in November. Find more voter information on the Denton County Elections Administration website at www.votedenton.gov.

New State Senate District 12 map

Among other races on the ballot will be the State Senate District 12 seat, which still represents southern Denton County after recent redistricting. Click here to see which U.S. Congress, State House, State Senate and Board of Education districts you’re in now.

District 12 is currently held by Republican Jane Nelson of Flower Mound, but she is retiring at the end of her term. The District 12 seat drew four candidates, two from each party: Republicans Tan Parker and Chris Russell, and Democrats Francine Ly and Ferdi Mongo.

The Cross Timbers Gazette emailed questionnaires to candidates in selected contested primary elections. Their submissions are listed alphabetically below.

Texas Senate District 12 (REPUBLICAN)

Tan Parker

Tan Parker

Age: 50

City/Town of Residence: Flower Mound

Current Occupation: Businessman/Entrepreneur

Education: University of Dallas, B.A. Political Philosophy, 1993
London School of Economics, M.Sc. Economics, 1994

Public service: Current State Representative, House District 63
Previously, Fmr. Chairman of the Texas Industrial Development Corporation Appointed by Governor Rick Perry

What motivated you to run for this position and why are you the best choice? Working for the people of House District 63, we have produced significant achievements for the good of our state through common-sense conservative principles that honor Texas values and strengthens our vitality. While we have accomplished much together, our work is not yet done. I am enthusiastic and prepared to take our achievements to the next level. By serving as the people’s voice in the new Senate District 12, we must make the government accountable, accessible, and working for the people it serves. When I first took office, I sought to change the perception of a bureaucratic, distant government to one that meets people where they are and opens the door for greater hope and prosperity. Government service to the people must be rooted in purpose, and this has guided me to understand and appreciate the great need to listen and take bold steps to make meaningful differences.

Endorsements: I am blessed to be endorsed by Chuck Norris, Former Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Republican members of Congress from North Texas, the vast majority of my Republican colleagues in the Texas House, Denton County Judge Andy Eads, all of our Denton County commissioners, the sheriffs of Denton, Tarrant, and Wise Counties, countless mayors, and innumerable grassroots and community leaders. Please see tanparker.com/endorsements for a complete list.

Website: tanparker.com

Facebook page: Tan Parker

Chris Russell

Chris Russell

Age: 56

City/Town of Residence: Carrollton

Current Occupation: Business Owner

Education: High School, plus a few college credits

Public service:President of the North Texas Alarm Association (2002-2006)
President of the Texas Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (2007- 2012)
State Alarm Assoc. Legislative Committee 2001 – 2021
State Alarm Assoc. Legislative Committee Chair 2012 – 2019
President National Alarm Assoc. 2017 – Present

What motivated you to run for this position and why are you the best choice? I am willing, able, and capable. Many competent and qualified people who can be ethical politicians and are knowledgeable in government matters may not be willing to take on the high-profile task of running for public office. I am eager to step up to the challenge with humility and hope that others share my goals. My primary goal is to promote term limits, reform public school funding, and help those without a public voice. We have seen families in North Texas who were victims of a serial killer see reasonable legislation undone in the last session to secure their safety. And there is a need to address health insurance before it collapses from big pharma gouging and unregulated hospital pricing. There will be hundreds of issues that cross my desk in Austin, and I am committed to examining each one for the details that continue to make Texas proud.

Endorsements: N/A

Website: chrisrussell.org

Facebook Page: Chris Russell for Senate

Texas Senate District 12 (Democrat)

Francine Ly

Francine Ly

Age: 50

City/Town of Residence: Irving

Current Occupation: Court Coordinator

Education: BS in Paralegal Studies
Certified Court Manager

Public service: Precinct Chair and Election Judge

What motivated you to run for this position and why are you the best choice? I sincerely believe that voters should have choices. I feel the essence of a strong democracy depends on voters being presented with different ideas, policies, and positions for addressing the critical problems facing our great state. Senate District 12 has been newly configured after redistricting. I feel that it is important that the voters of Senate District 12 have an opportunity to consider candidates that bring a commitment to provide the type of representation that respects and listens to all the diverse voices and ideas that make up Senate District 12. Additionally, I am committed to, and believe in, creating opportunities for all. I have been involved and personally committed on all levels of government and I believe that I can best respect, represent, and bring opportunities to the diverse voices and interests in the district as your State Senator in District 12.

Endorsements: N/A

Website: teamflyforsenate.com

Facebook Page: Francine Ly for Senate

Ferdi Mongo

Ferdi Mongo

Age: 56

City/Town of Residence: Lantana

Current Occupation: Real Estate

Education: Master of Arts in New Testament Studies
Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies

Public service: Habitat for Humanity
Soup Kitchens
Worked with Homeless population

What motivated you to run for this position and why are you the best choice? As an immigrant who embodies the American Dream, I am running for public office because I genuinely believe that my story could be anyone’s story. Because I believe in and support the ideals of democracy, I want to be the voice of the unheard and lesser heard.

Endorsements: N/A

Website: ferdimongo.com

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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