Thomas McNutt Commits to Protect Privacy while Cody Harris Looks to Obama for Cover
Next Tuesday, Texas will hold its Primary Runoff Election, and one of the most high profile Texas House races is the House District 8 race for the open seat being vacated by liberal Republican Byron Cook.
The race sees pro-family conservative Thomas McNutt, who ran against Cook in 2016 losing by a razor thin margin of just over 200 votes, face off against Cody Harris, who has received the support of Cook and other establishment-backed Republican groups.
The debate over protecting privacy has taken center stage in the race as Byron Cook, Chairman of the State Affairs Committee, led the effort to kill the Privacy Act this past legislation session. The bill, supported overwhelmingly by voters in the March Primary, would have simply protected Texas’ women and girls from LGBT policies that have been imposed at the local level across Texas forcing private business, government buildings, and public schools to open up girls’ showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms to men.
During a recent candidate forum, McNutt and Harris were both directly asked their position on the Privacy Act (aka “bathroom bill”) and their responses reveal a big difference in their convictions and understanding of this very important issue.
Thomas McNutt made his position on the matter of privacy for women and children crystal clear stating, “I am completely for the bathroom bill that was presented this last session.” McNutt is clearly ready to join the conservatives in the House and Senate in passing the legislation.
On the other hand, McNutt’s opponent shows his complete ignorance on the issue by calling the legislation an unfunded mandate for local school districts. Why, you might ask? Harris claims this as fact because of a “rule” handed down by the Obama administration. This rule was actually a “dear colleague letter” threatening to make every public school allow boys into bathrooms and locker rooms with little girls in our schools and other government facilities covered by Title IX.
The problem with this statement is that the Trump administration rescinded the Obama letter in February 2017, within a month of President Trump being sworn into office. And Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton led a successful court challenge that stopped the letter even before Trump was sworn in. Cody Harris’ deference to this radical Obama-era edict should be deeply troubling for every parent in HD 8.
Furthermore, the fiscal note for the House version of the Privacy Act (HB 2899 by Rep. Simmons), states that “…implementing the provisions of the bill could be accomplished by utilizing existing resources.” Keeping bathrooms safe for students would not be an added cost to Texas school districts.
So is Mr. Harris grossly ignorant on one of the most talked about issues in Texas, or is he just a fan of the Obama administration’s pro-LGBT policies, or both? Because even if there was a small fiscal impact, wouldn’t a few dollars be worth protecting privacy for Texas’ women and children?
There is now one final question that every voter in HD 8 must now decide: Who can you count on to stand for the protection and privacy of Texas’ women and children? Thomas McNutt has made it clear Texans can count on him.