The 101st House District that encompasses Mesquite, Balch Springs and Sunnyvale is a prime target for the GOP to pick up a seat this year. Currently represented by Robert Miklos, a first-term Democrat, the 101st has seen its fair share of turnover in the last several years. In both 2006 and 2008, the incumbent Congressman failed to emerge from the primary.
The Republican nominee is 20-year Mesquite native, Cindy Burkett. Burkett proved her political strength by emerging from a three-way primary without a run-off, besting a former state representative and a Mesquite City Council member to win the GOP nomination. She has received a number of endorsements including, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility/ Empower Texans, Texas Alliance for Life, Concerned Women of America and an “A” rating from the NRA.
Burkett’s experience as the vice president and co-owner of a company that owns five local Subway Sandwich shops enables her to speak first-hand about the issues of economic growth and job creation. She has an instinctive sense of what government regulation and higher taxes do to small businesses all over Texas and the rest of the country: “Government is not making life any easier for employers. It's time for average folks like us to stand up and take control of our government once again.”
Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson recently told The Dallas Morning News that although Burkett is “certainly going to have to fight,” the incumbent Robert Miklos is “not secure” in his seat. Or, as Craig Murphy, a spokesman for Burkett said about Miklos: “he had one of the most liberal voting records in the Texas House, so he was sort of out-of-step with the district – behavior that, like blood in the water, draws sharks.” Miklos just moved into the 101st district in 2007 and rode the coattails of the 2008 Presidential campaign to a hair-thin 1.2 percent victory margin. He won’t have this same advantage handed to him in 2010. Still, this is not a safe Republican seat, as SMU’s Jillson points out and dislodging any incumbent can be tough. But Burkett’s deep roots in the community and personal track record as a “main street” businesswoman give her a strong shot at moving this seat back to the Republican column.
To learn more about Cindy Burkett’s bid in Texas, visit www.cindyburkett.org.