As the 2015 legislative session comes to an end and analysis of it winds down, the 2015 election season gets underway in earnest. Candidates for a variety of offices have already been putting out signs and knocking on doors to encourage votes.
Dodie Horton is one of those candidates; she is running for the District 9 House seat being vacated by her boss, Henry Burns. Burns is leaving his House seat to run for the Senate District 36 seat currently held by term-limited Robert Adley.
Horton is a delightful visit and she took time last week to share her background, campaign, and plans for legislative work.
Horton has served as Burns’s legislative assistant since he was elected eight years ago.
“And I knew nothing about what that job entailed – neither did Henry – so he said, ‘we’ll learn together’,” Horton recalled.
“I wouldn’t work for just anyone in politics because I don’t see Henry or myself as a politician. We’re servants and we want to glorify God by how we serve every person who calls or walks in to that office. That’s our goal. We have no other goal than to serve and serve honestly, respectfully and humbly,” she said.
Horton said figuring out a bureaucracy was part of learning how to best help constituents and she described accompanying Burns to Baton Rouge to meet the people who could provide that help.
“I was very frustrated because I am aggressive for what you need. I am a problem-solver and I love to help people when they really need help. So from the floor up, I established relationships and now our constituents will get a call sometimes in minutes, or for sure that day or the next – so we’ve been very successful that way,” Horton said.
Horton said that she was encouraged to run for the seat Burns will vacate “… by people that we’ve been blessed to assist. And they wanted the integrity that we brought to the office of District 9 to continue.”
“I feel that Louisiana is poised to be the moral compass for the whole United
States. We have some of the strongest pro-life laws in the United States and we really are a conservative state as a whole,” Horton said.
Of her own conservative foundation, Horton said: “I am a Christian … I have belonged to Filmore Baptist Church, a small church in Haughton. More than going to a Baptist church, I don’t serve a religion; I serve the living Savior. When I talk about Christ, I’m not talking about a certain denomination – and that’s the way I feel about being a Republican. I’ve been a Republican since I registered to vote at 18, but I was born an American, and that’s my focus. I will never be married to the party, but I am married to the Constitution, which is my guide – our state’s Constitution I will not deviate from.”
Horton also ticked off a short list of issues she will address as a state lawmaker, if elected.
She’s intent on working on behalf of families that have children afflicted by mental illness. She discussed many of the needs of these families and insisted that we needed to make the road a little easier for these families.
“As a state lawmaker, you make sure we are utilizing every dollar we have appropriated for mental illness wisely. You get everyone who is involved with the care of mental illness, which is where most of our money is going to now, and make sure we’re all on the same page, that we’re not duplicating everything and see how we can get together and our bucks together for these kids and for the families. I’m looking forward to it – I’d do it yesterday if I could,” Horton said.
She’s also interested bringing to Louisiana a Texas initiative that would employ a cloud-based system to connect state and local agencies with state vendors of a variety of products/services those agencies use.
“I’m very excited about that — new and innovative – and I’m looking forward to that conversation.”
Horton is also looking forward to predicted modifications to Common Core as a result of recent legislation.
“People call it the compromise bill, but this is how I see it. Very few people have a problem with the standards. But the curriculum is a failure. And the Eureka Math – people felt it is not age appropriate … So everybody came together to do what’s for the greater good for our children to enable them to have the best possible education system that Louisiana can offer – so they can compete nationally as well as globally – it’s a win-win for us all.
Horton and husband Gary have been married for 39 years and have three daughters. They have lived in Haughton for all of those nearly four decades.
Marty Carlson is a columnist for the BPT. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org