State Senate Dist. 5 candidate profiles

Texas Senate District 5 includes Brazos, Freestone, Grimes, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Milam, Robertson, Walker, and Williamson counties and the seat currently is held by Republican Charles Schwertner.

(Left to right) Incumbent Republican Charles Schwertner, Democrat Meg Walsh and Libertarian Amy Lyons.

Schwertner, an orthopedic surgeon who lives in Georgetown, began his Texas Senate service after election in November 2012. Previous to his election to the senate he served one term as a state representative, first elected in 2010.

Schwertner is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services; which sets public health policy for the state, regulating physicians and other health professionals, and provides legislative oversight of the state's health-related agencies.

He also serves on Senate Committees on Finance, Administration, Business & Commerce and State Affairs and is a member of the Sunset Advisory Commission, 12 legislators who are charged with providing a comprehensive reviews of more than 150 state agencies.

Schwertner's platform includes issues such as: fighting Obamacare, creating jobs and growing the economy, securing the border, and improving schools, his campaign website says.

In 2012 Texas Monthly named Schwertner "Senate Freshman of the Year", but then in 2017 the same magazine survey named him one of the "Worst Legislators" in the state.

He and his wife, Belinda, have three sons, Carson, Zachary, and Matthew.

Democrat Meg Walsh of Round Rock, is the single mother of a dyslexic child who moved to Texas in 1997 and worked two jobs to help provide security and an opportunity to succeed for her daughter.
Walsh has been recognized by the Round Rock ISD community as a local leader when she became involved by volunteering as room-mom for her daughter in grade school.

She is outspoken and has testified before the Texas State Board of Education and the Texas House and Senate State Affairs committees on healthcare funding for children, LGBTQIA+ rights, and women's access to reproductive care and also has volunteered with Soldiers' Angels, mentored teen mothers, and guided at-risk youth.

She worked two jobs to make ends meet for a time, then graduated negotiating multi-million dollar international contracts, working in procurement, IT, event project management, and finance at companies such as Dell, IBM, ERCOT, Southwest Airlines, Electric Power Research Institute, and Xerox.

While at IBM, she supervised a team responsible for managing a budget of $873 million per year and she has extensive knowledge in the energy, technology, aviation, and retail industries.

Walsh says her legislative priorities include education, teacher pay, teacher retirement, home affordability, an all-inclusive Texas economy and protecting Texas water.

Walsh is the first Democratic challenger who has run in the past 12 years in the Senate District 5 race.

Previously the district has seen only the GOP candidate and a Libertarian challenger, and this year's race includes a third party candidate, as well.

Libertarian Amy Lyons, in her campaign rhetoric, touts legalization of medical marijuana, lowering personal and business taxes and oversight of what she calls "out of control" government spending as her main priorities, should she be elected.

Lyons has a Facebook page up concerning her campaign, but she has no website and no telephone number is posted for her campaign office.

She has made some comments on her Facebook page, including: "I believe the use of cannabis is one's individual choice and not something for the state to impede. With scientific research proving positive effects of replacing opioids with cannabis for patients of all ages, especially the elderly, we could end the opioid epidemic."

Also: "Adding taxes hurts everyone from individuals to businesses, causing prices of goods and services to rise for all. Cutting spending is the better choice, with our national debt remaining out of control. At a state level, I vow to never vote to increase taxes and always ask for spending to be kept to a minimum. We cannot be the great state of Texas unless we are fiscally responsible."