September 13, 2017
South Plains Democrats continue to fill up the 2018 election ballot — now for one of Lubbock’s Texas House seats.
Lubbock native Samantha Fields announced Wednesday that she will run in the spring 2018 primary for the Democratic nomination for the Texas House 84, which has been held by Republican John Frullo since 2010. Fields stood behind a podium at the Lubbock County Democratic Headquarters Wednesday evening to say she never intended to run for office, but believes Lubbock is no longer being represented.
“While representatives could have taken steps to lower our tax burden, could have gotten us to the doctor, and while they could have been empowering Texans, they chose to fight for hate,” Fields said. “They chose to fight for the power of ‘no’… The young, the students, the elderly, the parents, the middle class, the poor, however you want to label yourself, we’re all Texans and we’re not to be ignored.”
Fields is no stranger to Democratic politics. According to a news release, she is currently a board member of the South Plains Chapter of Texas Democratic Women and the Panhandle Regional Director for Texas Young Democrats. She’s also a member of the Lubbock Tejano Democrats, Lubbock Area Young Democrats, and South Plains Advocates for Rights and Community.
Her focus during her campaign speech was on breaking the cycle of poverty, which she believes can be largely helped by the state expanding Medicaid as offered under the Affordable Care Act. She called Medicaid expansion her No. 1 priority.
Fields also wants to make it a priority to stop cutting the state’s education budget.
“I also want to end any legislation that is written to attack groups of people,” Fields said. “The sanctuary cities bill, the bathroom bill – those were created with the promise that they were going to protect Texans when we didn’t have anything to fear to begin with. Now we have people, even American citizens, who afraid to approach law enforcement.”
After growing up in Lubbock and graduating from Monterey High School in 2005, Fields received her bachelor’s in fine arts from Eastern New Mexico University. Upon graduation she moved to Wichita Falls while her husband completed his master’s degree, and then back to Lubbock for her husband to work on his doctorate in History at Texas Tech. Her husband, Devin , has been working on the Miguel Levario for Congress campaign.
“Lubbock is my home,” Fields said. “While I’m excited to see it grow and grow, I’m saddened to see how many people are being left behind… we can bring equal opportunity to District 84, we can all send our kids to good schools, we can all see a doctor when we sprain our ankle, and we can all treat each other the same way we want to get treated ourselves. Empathy exists in this world, so let’s take some of that empathy back to the capitol.”
It’ll be an uphill battle for Fields. Frullo, if he runs for re-election, would be seeking his fifth term as state representative. Frullo was first elected in 2010 after a primary runoff and a contested general election in which he received 68 percent of the vote. He faced a Democrat again in 2012 and 2014 and won with 83 and 73 percent of the overall votes respectively. He did not face a Democrat in the 2016 election.
District 84 encompasses most of the territory inside Loop 289, plus some area outside the western side of the loop. Given Fields’ announcement, a Democrat will now be running in both of Lubbock County’s state representative races in 2018. South Plains College Professor Drew Landry already announced he’s challenging incumbent State Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, for District 83.