HOUSTON (FOX 26) - As the cost of Texas public education continues to fall more heavily on the shoulders of homeowners and businesses, both Democratic candidates seeking to replace Republican Governor Greg Abbott have loudly pledged to reverse the trend.
"The state has to pay its fair share and quit dumping on local school districts and community," said Lupe Valdez, former Dallas County Sheriff and top vote getter in the March primary.
Valdez says Texans want more public resources delivered to schools, not less.
"I'm for universal pre-K for all of our children, for all Texas children. How they will start, is how they will end," said Valdez.
However, Valdez has struggled mightily to produce a plan to pay for it.
On the other hand, her opponent, Houstonian Andrew White, has a full slate of revenue generating proposals including legalized casino-style gambling at selected locations in the Lone Star State.
"I would also suggest expanding gaming to the list, at horse tracks and dog tracks. We'll have slot machines and tables there as well. That's $3 billion," said White.
White, the son of a former Democratic Governor, also believes the substantial taxpayer cash Texas spends patrolling the Rio Grande should be shifted to teachers in the state's classrooms and away from border security he views as redundant.
"There is $1 billion, almost a billion dollars that we spend on border security. That's a federal issue, not a state issue. We need to focus on our 43rd ranked schools," said White.
While the March primary attracted more than a million Texas Democrats to the polls, turnout for Tuesday's runoff will be substantially smaller.
That means those who care enough to cast a ballot, the so-called "true believers", will see their voice amplified in a contest to pick the right "Democratic David" to take on a very popular, well-funded GOP "Goliath".