District 23 Texas State Representative Craig Eiland, a Democrat, and challenger Wayne Faircloth, a Republican, met on Friday in a forum sponsored by the Galveston Chamber of Commerce. Vic Pierson, chair of the chamber, called on Dr. Ben Raimer, the chair of the chamber’s Governmental Affairs Committee, to moderate the debate. Listen
“There has been a lot of change throughout the years that I’ve represented Galveston County, and now part of Galveston and Chambers County," said Eiland, who was first elected to the Texas Legislature in 1994. “I want to go back to Austin to represent you because I think there are still things that need to be done, not just from Hurricane Ike, but from the devastating budget cuts from last session.”
“The state of Texas is a big place,” Faircloth said. “We have a lot of agencies, we have a lot of employees and the thing we can do best is to make certain that you have what you need to function properly. We have some major issues, make no mistake, but let me just tell you – I’m committed to this area."
Both candidates were supportive of a storm surge protective system such as the Ike Dike proposed by Texas A&M University at Galveston.
“Yes, I believe that we should look at, and try to get the federal government involved in, looking at a levee system to protect this area,” Eiland said, suggesting that the project should focus on the Houston region, including the Houston Ship Channel and its industrial complex, not just Galveston Island - if it is to gain needed state and federal support.
“Absolutely,” agreed Faircloth. “This is an issue that we cannot be reactive about; we must be proactive. Absolutely, funds need to be set aside to study this.”
The forum was held in the Floral Ballroom of the Moody Gardens Convention Center.