Why Huey Rey Fischer’s campaign matters
Even though the results for the District 49 are out, here’s why we should still care about Fischer’s campaign
With all the buzz about the upcoming presidential election, state elections are often overlooked. But this year marks the first time in 25 years that the Texas Representative spot for the area covering UT is opened and the implications of this are huge.
The winner of this election will have control over policies that have a direct impact on students such as campus carry and the rising tuition bill.
One of these candidates is Huey Rey Fischer, a recent UT graduate running as the progressive Democratic candidate. In the days before the election I had the pleasure of interviewing Fischer and learning more about his campaign.
Can you give me some background on what made you want to run for this position?
I’m running for this position because I am tired of seeing people occupy spaces of power that don’t belong to them. Right now tuition is going up 3.1% at UT, guns on campus is about to take effect and when it comes to the cost of living for students, it’s just through the roof.
Rent constantly is on the rise and we need somebody who will push back and speak out on behalf of young people and that’s why I’m running. I’m running because I’m tired of seeing Democrats play defense against the Republicans.
I’m tired of Democrats not having an agenda of our own. We’re known for what we stand for and not just what we stand against. It’s a very important seat and I’m excited to be in this race.
What do you think is the issue that you’re going to be tackling for current UT students?
Affordability is the most important issue. Whether it’s the rising cost of tuition or whether it’s the rising rents here in Austin. It’s just becoming increasingly unaffordable for students to live here.
We need to tackle the issue of adequate student housing that’s affordable. We need to tackle the fact that the university is sorely underfunded by the state and the state legislature could be doing a better job at funding its institutions of higher education. Those are my two biggest issues when it comes to students.
Would you say you were inspired by your time at UT to run for this position?
Absolutely! I’m not running simply because it’s a political office. I’m running because there’s a need to represent students. When I was at UT, I was the president of the University Democrats so I was really involved in making sure students knew when elections were happening and that they went out and voted. I was really involved with United Students against Sweatshops and I got arrested with seventeen other students when they were going to lay off nearly a thousand campus employees here at the university.
Tuesday’s results showed that candidate Gina Hinajosa won the seat for District 49. In a recent email, Huey expressed his opinions regarding the election results:
“Thank you to everyone of y’all who believed in my call for a more progressive vision for Texas. I am proud to have had your trust and support in this endeavor.
“I would also like to congratulate Gina Hinojosa — who will undoubtedly be an amazing state representative that our community will be proud of. Democrats are the first line of defense for working families, and I am excited about what we can accomplish moving forward together.”
Fischer’s campaign marks an important shift in politics, showing a move away from traditional candidates and towards student representation. UT Austin is an incredibly diverse campus and boasts that “what starts here changes the world,” yet history shows that we elect the same demographic of candidates every election.
Fischer graduated from UT in 2014 and ran as the youngest candidate in the race. He also represented the Latino community as well as the queer community, two often marginalized voices in politics.
During the interview, Fischer remained open to answer any questions I asked and was genuinely interested in students’ opinions regarding his platform. Despite the results, Fischer showed a need for a new voice for a younger generation in politics and for that he wins my vote in all of his future endeavors.