Meet your candidates!
It’s an election year, and here at Plano Profile we strive to connect our community; part of that is helping educate the community and giving candidates a platform to address the community.
All of the following opinions are that of the candidate, not Plano Profile. Any and all candidates have the opportunity to fill out our questionnaire to be published on our website, contact us at [email protected] for more information.
Meet Brian Chaput who is running for Texas Senate District 8 as a democrat.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I have been a resident of this district for 37 years. I graduated from Plano Senior High School, and my wife Rachel is a lifelong resident of this district and graduate of Richardson High School. Our two children are in elementary school in Plano ISD and are 6th generation Texans. Our family is a product of this community, it has provided us opportunities and helped create who we are, and I want to preserve and protect those same opportunities for future generations.
Professionally, I am an engineer and have a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. As an engineer and engineering manager, I possess important skills in problem solving and team building. On a daily basis I organize the resources, training, and expertise to solve unique and complex problems in order to achieve upmost success in our solutions.
Civically, I have chaired and served 5 years on Plano’s Heritage Commission. I have served 9 years as an officer and am a Past Master of Plano’s Masonic Lodge. I have served many years on the board and as an officer of our charitable Museum & Library.
Personally, I am a member of the PTA, I coach my daughter’s softball and my son’s soccer teams, I volunteer in our community, and I help provide scholarships to young adults in college through Masonic charities. I play soccer and competitively run with the Plano Pacers. I hold 3 patents, have run 5 marathons (including Boston), and summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.
Why are you running for office?
I am an engineer, not a politician. As I listened to my friends and neighbors express their frustration and dissatisfaction with the rhetoric and partisanship of the Texas Senate, I realized our representatives no longer speak for the real constituents of our district.
I am running to bring the voice of the real people from this district to Austin – real people who want legislators to work together to solve the complex problems we face today in Texas, not impose extreme ideologies on our state. I also do not take for granted the simple dignity of being a moral and upright citizen. The people of Texas deserve representatives who will act and govern with selflessness, faith, charity, and a sense of fairness and justice.
In the months leading up to the filing deadline, I spent my time listening to everyone I could from all over this area. I have heard their complaints and their ideas for what we need to do better. My legislative agenda is rooted in those conversations, and in the priorities of the people I hope to represent.
I am running because it is time we had a representative who is truly one of the people from our community.
What makes you the most qualified person for this position?
I am the only one with multiple years of civic, professional, and personal volunteer leadership, service, and involvement in this community. I am the individual who best represents this district’s specific interests in educational excellence, family and quality-of-life focus, and professional experience in our growing high-tech and engineering industry.
I have lived here longer, worked here longer, and served this community more than the others running for this office. And I have no personal gain for running or holding office, which I think matters.
What issues are your top priorities? Name three.
- Public education funding and prioritization,
- Economic stimulus, and
- Transit solutions.
What changes would you implement and how?
Public school finance reform is the key to unlock the great initiatives that our public school districts can enact to educate and fulfill our workforce needs. First, we need to stop reducing our overall per capita funding towards public education.
We need to account for population growth and inflation in our funding formulas. Our funding formulas within today’s system would need adjustments to immediately improve district funds. We need to make TRS solvent and reduce the cost of living impact upon our educators in TRS-Active Care and TRS Care. I would champion efforts to designate revenue from new and existing sources for public education such as the property tax recapture and lottery revenues.
I would further tap additional revenue sources such as sales tax, franchise tax, and expansion of Medicaid to increase our financial commitment to our children’s future. By adding revenue for the programs we know we need in our public school systems like full day Pre-K and STEM initiatives, Texas can honor its social contract with its citizens. Using our public investment to expand our enrichment programs and overall services from Pre-K through our public universities, our workforce education pipeline will provide high return to businesses and our communities.
A clear and permanent fix to our constitutional obligation will allow focus on the other numerous priorities demanding attention from our government: skilled workforce development, property tax relief, economic incentives to spur growth, state healthcare programs, and our transportation and infrastructure needs.
What factors in your life have shaped your beliefs?
I was raised by this community and our public education system. I have been shaped by the diversity, excellent offerings, and strong friendships over that time. The system provides avenues from special needs to gifted and talented, but has always been focused on providing equal opportunity to all who attend. With that opportunity, those who answer the call can achieve and advance themselves in life. We need to preserve that avenue to excellence for all our future generations and provide them the tools to become self-realized achievers and active members of our wonderful community.
What do you believe should be the function of government?
I will answer the question relating to state government since that is the position I am running to represent. Texas government exists to preserve lives, liberties, and rights of its people and promote their happiness and freedom. Texas should maintain equal representation and opportunity to its residents. The constitution sets forth the manner and some specific services by which it is meant to conduct itself for its citizens. For example, Article 7 of the Texas Constitution specifies it should support and maintain an efficient system of public free schools. This moral and constitutional support for public education cannot be further eroded by our legislature and fractured state government.