First Collin County Democrat elected to the Texas House in decades

Mihaela Plesa says knocking on 10,000 doors helped her connect with constituents in Republican County.

PLANO, Texas — As the first Democrat to win a seat in the Collin County House in nearly three decades, Assemblyman-elect Mihaela Plesa understands the significance of her win.

The boundaries for your HD-70 district changed during the last round of redistricting. And the redrawn district was actually built to favor Democrats, allowing two other districts to be strengthened for Republicans.

Plesa says the Collin County GOP still did what it could to keep the seat.

“They can surpass us, but they will not surpass us,” the Democrat said Inside Texas politics. “We took the time to knock on every door in HD-70 and ask these voters what their government can do for them. And that’s how we started every conversation.”

Plesa says that totaled around 10,000 doors and that personal connection, she continued, made a big difference in her victory.

A former legislative director who helped write bills at Texas House, she says her experience will help her next year in Austin.

She has already tabled a health literacy bill during the pre-registration period (HB 733) before the next legislative session begins in January.

And Plesa says she can draw on past experiences to help her cross the aisle and break through partisanship in Austin.

“The bills I submit will benefit not only HD-70, but the entire state,” Plesa said. “And when you approach members and say that’s what your constituents want, they tend to listen.”

It will be difficult, however, as Republicans still enjoy a significant advantage in the Texas legislature.

Plesa says she has focused her campaign on public health, public education, repairing the power grid and restoring rights.

And she’s already talking about one of the elephants in the room here in Texas: skyrocketing property taxes.

The Democrat says she’d like to try to lower it by increasing the state’s contribution to public education.

“My priorities will be increasing the base allocation for spending per student. The state of Texas is one of the states that pays the least for public education per student,” she told us. “I want to index this with inflation so it keeps up with eternity. And we have the money to pay our teachers and the things that parents expect when they pay those property taxes and send their kids to school.” First Collin County Democrat elected to the Texas House in decades

Laura Coffey

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