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  • Writer's pictureNorth Shore Democrats of Travis County

Dwain Handley was a reluctant candidate for state HD-19, but he is all in now

Dwain Handley was a reluctant candidate for the Texas state House, but raised his hand when no one else did.

“I didn't want to run for office,” Handley said at the June 15 NSD Meet & Greet themed “Protecting Democracy.” “I wanted to work on somebody else's campaign. And then here at HD 19, it didn't look like we were going to have a candidate. So I said, well, I had already become a precinct chair. Is that going to be enough?

(Listen to Dwain Handley’s entire presentation here: )

“Is it OK for me to sit back in the chair knowing what I know about organizing and about campaigning and just watch democracy die? And the answer had to be no. It's not OK.

“So I raised my hand.”

All in for democracy

“Democracy is my number one issue,” he said. “And I care about gun violence. I care about women’s reproductive rights. I care about decent, humane immigration.

“We need immigrants in order to continue feeding our economy. Because the birth rate in the United States isn't enough to replace retirement workers with new ones coming along,” he said.

The US, Handley said, should welcome, rather than demonize immigrants. 

“Some of these people coming across the border are doctors and accountants,” said Handley. “They're professional people, and they're leaving places like Venezuela, which is falling apart faster than you can sneeze, and we're treating them like animals.”

Education & privatization

The GOP scheme for education is a nefarious exercise in wealth transfer from people who need the money to wealthy folks who don't need it, all to keep their children in cushy private schools — at public expense.

“Here's what happens when you privatize a public service,” Hardly said. “When it's a public service, it's not required to generate a profit, right? You raise enough money in taxes to pay for it, and you cover the cost, and you hope to break even, and if you don't break even, maybe you either cut your expenses a little bit or you raise revenues a little bit.

“But when you privatize it, all of a sudden, it adds the imperative of profit. And two things have to happen in order for this previous nonprofit activity to turn into a for-profit activity. You have to increase revenue, which is what you pay for it. And you have to decrease costs, which represents the benefits that you get from it.

“So you're going to be paying more and getting less, all so that the billionaire can line his pockets,” he said. “This is just wrong, and in Texas that's what they're doing with the voucher scheme.”

Republicans in the state House have a narrow 12-vote majority. There are 150 members of the state House.

Handley strongly urges raising the amount the state invests in education. 

“We need to flip 12 seats in the state house to have a Democratic legislature, and if we get that, the voucher scheme is dead,” he said.

GOP failures in Texas

Greg Abbott and company continue to eliminate benefits for ordinary Texans, while helping his donor class suck up more dough.

“Abbot continues to reject federal dollars,” Handley said. “Texas rejected federal dollars for SNAP. City schools are providing lunches and breakfasts for children, but not in the rural counties.”

As for medical care, 76 rural Texas hospitals are at risk of closure, and 12 more are at immediate risk of closing, according to the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals. The closures are taking an economic toll. A rural hospital closure on average costs 170 jobs and an annual payroll of $22 million. (2)

Rural hospitals are especially at risk because patient volumes are low, the uninsured population is relatively high and reimbursement rates are inadequate. Texas has the highest uninsured population in the country and is one of 10 states that have elected not to expand access to Medicaid. (3)


  1. Dwain Handley’s website:

Hear Dwain Handley’s entire presentation:

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