Ever since a politically unknown Vietnamese American businessman snatched Texas House District 149 from a powerful Republican budget chief in 2004, the GOP has been trying to win it back.
The soft-spoken Hubert Vo, 64, has managed to hold on to his diverse district in southwest Houston that includes Alief and Katy by focusing on local issues affecting education and small business rather than headline-grabbing social battles.
“I’m not a guy at the front mic all the time,” he told the editorial board. “I want to do some research and carry bills that make sense for the constituents and for the district.”
Yet, this time, Vo’s stance on a particularly contentious social issue is one thing that drew his Republican opposition.
Lily Truong, an education consultant in her second term on the school board, said she’s disappointed with Vo’s support of Black Lives Matter, which she associates with Marxism.
“Every single life matters to me,” Truong told the editorial board, noting discrimination she has faced as an Asian American.
Truong and Vo have similar stories of fleeing Vietnam in 1975 and struggling through poverty in the U.S. Truong has a doctorate of philosophy in natural medicine. Vo’s business acumen made him a millionaire by age 40.
Yet Vo says his own experience with discrimination helps him identify with the BLM movement.
“I think it’s important for me to support other communities who face the same thing,” he said. “I don’t think it has anything to do with Marxism … this is purely an anti-discrimination movement.”
Truong’s issues beyond education seem limited to ending abortion and warding off socialism — the latter not exactly a pressing threat in Texas. Her drive is commendable, including her get-up-and-go mentality after she was bitten by a dog while block walking.
Vo could use some of that energy. He is vice chair of Pensions, Investments & Financial Services but he lacks a standout accomplishment.
Still, the Democrat is a loyal vote for strong public schools and Medicaid expansion. He touts local wins, such as the creation of the International Management District, which Vo says beautified the area and reduced crime.
Vo has toiled behind the scenes to ensure quality health insurance plans, warn potential buyers about flooded vehicles and advance a bill last session, which stands a good chance in the coming session, to allow legal permanent residents to serve as police officers.
We recommend voters stick with Vo for another term.