Former naval officer running for state house
Nghi Ho officially launched his campaign for Texas House Representative for West Houston’s District 149 on Dec 30, 2013 at Gil’s BBQ.
Local elected officials, Republican Party leaders and supporters gathered to support Ho, who was recently elected to a fifth term on the Alief Independent School District ( ISD) Board of Trustees, where he has been a successful leader in raising education standards while lowering taxes.
At the launch party, Ho said that he and his family had lived in the District 149 community since the late 1970s. Both he and his son Andrew graduated from Alief’s Elsik High School and his daughter Amanda was currently a junior there.
Ho recounted his public service record. “I served as an officer in the US Navy for five years and have been elected five times to the Alief ISD Board of Trustees since 1996.
“This is my home and I love my community,” he said.
Talking about his reasons for wanting to run for office, Ho said, “Serving on the school district board has been both a rewarding and frustrating experience. The most aggravating thing is that often times we are told that we can’t do this, we can’t do that, because this is the state law.
“Now I want to go to Austin and fix the state law,” he said.
Ho’s platform includes lowering taxes, improving discipline in schools and transparency of dropout rates. “We need to increase academic achievement and increase rigor,” he said. “We need to compete at the global level, not just against other school districts. We need to compete better against China and India.”
Ho is most critical of the state’s assessment system, which recently adopted the standard test STAAR to replace the previous TAKS, both standardized tests for grades 9 to 11. He calls this switch purely “playing with numbers”.
“Every time they use a new system, the score drops so that they can show we have improved from a 50 percent pass rate to 90 percent after 10 years, yet our SAT scores continue to drop. They have been doing this since the 1980s. It’s a scam. Half the kids going to college are not ready and have to take remedial classes after admission. We need to make a high school diploma mean something. ”
Former Texas State Representative and current president of the Texas Asian Republican Party Assembly, Martha Wong said she has been encouraging Ho to run “because he’s dedicated to making the community better”.
“He has already done public service, and it’s a good time for him to move to a higher level because his kids are in college and high school so his family responsibility is lessened,” Wong said. “He knows what’s good for our people and he will be a good representative for the people.
“He has two challengers, but Ho’s reputation is superior to the other two people, so I think he will do well,” Wong said, adding that the primary will be in March 2014, and the final election in November.
Nghi Ho (left) talks to supporters at his campaign launch for Texas State Representative for House District 149 in West Houston on Dec 30, jokingly and fondly calls Martha Wong (right), former State Representative and current president of the Texas Asian Republican Party Assembly, “mother” because she has encouraged Ho to run.