During Monday night’s debate with Houston hair care businessman Farouk Shami, former Houston Mayor Bill White spent most of his talking about his record at city hall and taking swipes at Governor Rick Perry .
White ignored the few sharp attacks made by his democratic opponent, and instead focused on the future of the democratic party’s fight to win back the Texas Governor’s mansion.
Debate shows Bill White is the right governor for Texas’ future
Thoughtful candidate highlights reality-based solutions
FORT WORTH — In the first Democratic primary debate, Bill White showed Texans that he’s the right governor for Texas’ future. He also made a distinction between himself and his Republican opponents.
“This race isn’t going to be about one party or who said what to whom in Washington,” White said. “We need someone who is able to break the gridlock we have in Austin. Texans want that. Texans are tired of the wedge-issue politics and they’re ready for something different.”
Throughout the debate, White demonstrated an extensive knowledge of state issues from school vouchers to voter ID, giving straight-shooting answers to complex questions.
When asked about the budget, White cited his experience building businesses and serving Houston as mayor, where he inherited a budget shortfall and turned it into surpluses by scrubbing the budget and finding efficiencies.
White has said, “Texans deserve a governor who’s accountable to the people he serves. As governor, I’ll make sure that taxpayers are getting their money’s worth.”
When asked about immigration, White emphasized the need for the Texas governor to work directly with local law enforcement officials in policy-making.
Throughout the debate, White’s clear priority was Texas’ future, and ensuring that Texans are equipped to enter the workforce with the technology and skills they need to compete for jobs in the global economy.
White said, “I have a track record for getting things done. We need to prepare the citizens of our state to compete well and be prepared for the jobs of the future. I know how to do that. That will be my highest priority.”
White also asked Texans to compare this debate to the Republican debate. He asked, “which candidate can you trust?”
The son of San Antonio school teachers, White helped build a law firm and managed a successful business before being elected Houston’s mayor in 2003. He was re-elected twice with 86% and 91% of the vote. During White’s administration, Houston led the nation’s cities in job growth, adding more jobs than 34 states combined. At the same time, he cut property tax rates five years in a row and helped seniors with tax relief. White also started a special initiative to give returning veterans the welcome they deserve with coordinated social services, reductions in red tape, and employment opportunities. After Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike, Bill White mobilized effective disaster response including first responders, businesses and churches. For his compassionate, hands-on leadership after Katrina, White received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2007. Previously, he served as Deputy Secretary of Energy of the United States.