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House District 33 Candidates Justin Holland and Katrina Pierson Discuss Key Issues in Rockwall Times Interview

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In a recent interview with the Rockwall Times, candidates Justin Holland and Katrina Pierson, vying for the Texas House of Representatives District 33 seat, articulated their visions and proposed strategies for addressing pressing issues facing the district.

With the run-off election scheduled for Tuesday, May 28th, both candidates seized the opportunity to present their platforms on crucial matters addressing Border Security, Property Taxes, Education, Gun Rights, Energy, and the Texas Economy.

The discussion intends to provide our readers with valuable insights into the priorities and policies each candidate pledges to champion if elected, setting the stage for an informed decision-making process leading up to the pivotal election day.

Opening Statements

Justin Holland

I’m Justin Holland, a 6th generation Texan, State Representative and Chairman of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, committed to serving Rockwall with integrity and principle. A Rockwall High alumnus and seasoned real estate broker, I’ve built my career on entrepreneurship and service. Educated in Management and Communications at Texas A&M University-Commerce and Texas Tech University, respectively, my wife Neely and I are raising our daughters in the Rockwall school system, emphasizing to them the importance of community service. We are active members and volunteers of Lakepointe Church. I’m dedicated to representing our community’s interests and fostering a bright future for all; keeping Rockwall County a prime place to live, work, play and raise families.

Katrina Pierson

As a leading conservative voice in Texas, I have led on conservative policies such as border security, gun rights, religious liberty, and election integrity across broadcast television, including Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, and Newsmax for over a decade. My efforts to increase civic engagement and bring more people into the political process were officially recognized by proclamation during the 83rd Texas Legislator.  

Born to a single mother who gave birth to me at the age of 15, I grew up in extreme poverty in an environment rife with struggle. Determined to build a better life for my family, I worked while putting myself through school, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Dallas and going to work in the healthcare industry. 

My political experience began as an original founder of the Texas Tea Party movement that has delivered the most conservative leadership in the state to date. After serving on local boards and commissions, I assisted the campaigns of Lt. Gov Dan Patrick, AG Ken Paxton, and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. In 2015, President Trump tapped me to represent his presidential campaign. I served President Trump as Senior Advisor throughout his Administration prior to returning home in 2021. The citizens of House District 33 have called on my service, so I am running to be the conservative voice that we deserve in Austin.

The Border

What specific measures do you propose to enhance border security in Texas? What strategies would you advocate for to address immigration and ensure the safety of Texans?

Justin Holland

During my 4 terms, I’ve enacted the strongest border policies in U.S. history to protect Texas. This includes passing laws for deporting illegal immigrants, finishing President Trump’s wall, and installing river buoys against illegal crossings. We’ve boosted law enforcement at the border, designated Mexican cartels as terrorist organizations, and took a zero-tolerance approach to human trafficking and fentanyl, treating related deaths as murders. These actions address the shortcomings of federal policies, ensuring our state’s security. The border is the number one issue that I hear about from constituents and I take that very seriously.

Katrina Pierson

Gov. Greg Abbott calls me a Border Hawk because I have been a staunch advocate for strong border measures for over fifteen years. He endorsed me because he trusts that I will actually move the needle on border security. I will help secure funding to complete our border wall, expand on the provisions of SB 4 which finally created a state penalty for illegal entry, and work to end any and all state benefits for illegal aliens, such as in-state tuition.

If we do not gain operational control of our border, we will never truly be safe from criminals, cartels, drugs, and human trafficking. A secure border means safe communities across our state, including here in HD 33. I will do everything in my power to protect the people of Texas and their property from the invasion at our Texas Border including finishing the border wall, expanding on the provisions of SB 4, and work to end any and all state benefits for illegal aliens. I will take a Texans First approach to governing in all areas concerning the border and immigration.

Property Taxes

Property taxes have been a concern for many Texans. How do you plan to address the issue of rising property taxes? Are there any reforms or policies you support to provide relief to homeowners and businesses?

Justin Holland

Tackling rising property taxes in Texas, I’ve backed a historic bill that cut property taxes by approximately $18 billion, the largest reduction in state and US history. Effective January 1st, this legislation increased the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000, allowing homeowners to deduct more of their home’s value from taxation. It also introduced a public school tax compression, significantly lowering school district property tax rates. This reform, supported by an 83% approval rate, targets the main source of Texan property taxes, with average homeowners expected to save about $2,500. My aim is clear: to continually reduce property taxes for every Texan, achieving the largest possible cuts. This effort underscores my dedication to our state’s fiscal health and the prosperity of its residents. Texas must move towards the elimination and phasing out of the school maintenance and operations tax.

Katrina Pierson

I stand with conservative leaders across Texas who have called for the legislature to phase out the Maintenance & Operations portion of public school property taxes. If we are able to do this, property owners would see their annual tax bills cut in half. Texas is projected to enter the 2025 session with another historic surplus. I was disappointed that our current state representative voted against an amendment that would’ve expanded the property tax relief bill by billions more. When it comes to cutting taxes, you can count on my vote every time.

Aside from phasing out the M&O portion of property taxes, I’d like to see more reforms in the appraisal process. Property taxes are determined by valuation and rate. Local elected officials control the rate and we need to elect the best people to those positions; however, valuations are just as important. I want to see the appraisal process tightened up and taxpayers given more protections and options.


What are your priorities for improving education in Texas? Do you have any proposals to enhance school funding, curriculum, or access to quality education?

Justin Holland

Improving education in Texas means prioritizing effective funding, curriculum enhancements, and accessible quality education for all. While I support the concept of parental empowerment, I opposed vouchers in a recent bill due to significant concerns: its hefty $2 billion initial cost with potential for escalation, the inclusion of $1,000 allocations for homeschooling without regard to immigration status, and funding unregulated schools, some with controversial teachings. These issues, alongside potential overcrowding and resource depletion in high-performing schools, compelled my vote against it. This stance aligns with protecting our district’s resources and ensuring that any educational reforms genuinely benefit our students without compromising public school quality or fiscal responsibility. My commitment is to our community’s educational needs, advocating for policies that bolster rather than undermine our schools.

Katrina Pierson

I think the best educator of a child is their parents. I want to empower parents to have as much freedom in selecting their child’s school and educational opportunities as possible. I am proud to stand with Gov. Greg Abbott on this issue. I believe we have strong public schools in HD 33 and I want to ensure that we are funding those schools appropriately at the state level, not only to better educate our kids but to also relieve pressure on local property tax collections. We can have strong public schools and parental empowerment.

I think we should be considering teacher pay raises and parental empowerment legislation to best support our system of education. Teachers are asked to do so much and their pay often times does not reflect their efforts. I want to make teaching a profession that attracts high quality individuals and retains them with rewarding pay and benefits.

Gun Rights

Texas has a strong tradition of gun ownership. How do you balance Second Amendment rights with public safety? Are there any specific gun-related policies you would advocate for or oppose?

Justin Holland

I have supported key pieces of legislation aimed at bolstering Second Amendment rights, ensuring Texas remains a steadfast defender of gun ownership for law-abiding citizens. These laws include measures preventing discrimination against firearm businesses, allowing hotel guests to store firearms in their rooms, removing holster type requirements for carrying firearms, repealing the offense of possessing firearm silencers, safeguarding the sale and transport of firearms during emergencies, authorizing constitutional carry, and establishing Texas as a Second Amendment Sanctuary State. These actions reinforce Texas’ commitment to protecting citizens’ rights to bear arms, amidst a backdrop of increasing federal and local pressures. Additionally, while supporting these protections, I acknowledge the complexity of gun legislation, evidenced by discussions surrounding the minimum age for certain gun purchases (i.e. AR-15 style) following recent events and public opinion.

Katrina Pierson

The 2nd Amendment is about public safety at its core. I believe “shall not be infringed” was clear when it was written in our Bill of Rights. The 2nd Amendment is about personal protection of one’s own life, their family, and their property, and I am an unapologetic defender of its necessity.

As a constitutionalist, I do not support any infringement on 2A for any reason.  


Given Texas’s recent experiences with energy grid failures, what steps would you take to ensure a reliable and resilient energy system? How do you view the role of renewable energy sources versus traditional fossil fuels in Texas’s energy mix?

Justin Holland

In response to Texas’s energy challenges, including grid failures, I’ve played a pivotal role in fortifying our state’s energy infrastructure. Focusing on traditional energy sources, my legislative efforts have enhanced the resilience and reliability of Texas’s energy system, supporting over 936,000 energy workers. My landmark achievement, House Bill 1500, revolutionized the electricity sector by significantly improving the efficiency of the Public Utility Commission of Texas and ERCOT. While recognizing the importance of renewable energy, we should underscore a balanced approach to our energy mix, prioritizing stability and economic growth. My commitment to energy independence ensures Texas remains a formidable energy leader, adept at meeting the demands of its burgeoning population through strategic investments and legislative solutions, securing a robust energy future for all Texans.

Katrina Pierson

We need to build more systems of reliable energy. While renewables have a role in our energy portfolio, during the February 2022 Snow Storm, both wind and solar sources essentially went dark and failed to supply the grid with their typical share of electricity. We shouldn’t shy away from natural gas and other reliable sources of cheap energy. As a legislator, I’ll be a strong voice for strengthening our grid’s energy portfolio as well as an advocate to keep the Texas grid independent and the reinforcements that are long overdue.

Due to government subsidies, we have far too much solar and wind in our energy portfolio. Government has influenced the production of energy and tipped the scales to lesser-reliable sources. We cannot have that any longer. We need an even playing field that allows the best sources of energy to prevail in a free, but regulated, market.

Texas Economy

Texas has a diverse and robust economy. What initiatives would you support to promote economic growth, job creation, and business development? How do you plan to attract and retain businesses in Texas while maintaining a favorable business climate?

Justin Holland

I am committed to promoting our state as the premier destination for business growth, innovation, and economic prosperity. With a diverse economy and a skilled workforce of over 15 million, Texas provides unparalleled opportunities across sectors like aerospace and IT technology. Our low taxes and competitive incentives, including the new Texas Jobs Energy, Technology, and Innovation (JETI) program replacing Chapter 313, attract industry giants and support job creation. This program, alongside the Texas Enterprise Fund and others, makes Texas an ideal environment for both large corporations and small businesses. My vision is to continue enhancing this environment, ensuring Texas remains the top choice for companies seeking a state that values freedom, innovation, and economic growth.

Katrina Pierson

Texas is blessed to have natural resources, access to the Gulf of Mexico, and a tax and regulatory climate that is generally fair and predictable. I think we should look seriously at eliminating our Business Personal Property Tax which unfairly punishes large capital investment in the state. If we want big opportunities for our residents, we need to bring large scale investment here and this tax specifically is a big barrier.

Texas must continue to keep taxes low, regulations sensible, and have a civil justice system that allows for quick and efficient resolution of real claims. I will be a strong voice for job creators and innovators as your next state representative.

Closing Statements

Justin Holland

My commitment has always been, and will continue to be, towards fostering a Texas that is safe and prosperous. From implementing robust border security measures and making historic cuts in property taxes to enhancing our education system, protecting Second Amendment rights, fortifying our energy infrastructure, and driving economic growth, every step has been aimed at ensuring Texas remains a beacon of opportunity and freedom.

As we look to the future, let’s carry forward the spirit of innovation, resilience, and community that has always defined us. Together, we will build a Texas that not only meets the challenges of today but is prepared to embrace the opportunities of tomorrow. My promise to you is a continued dedication to this cause, with the wellbeing of every constituent and taxpayer at the heart of every decision. Let us move forward, united in our efforts to make HD-33 not just a place to live, but a place to thrive.

Katrina Pierson

On May 28th, cast your vote for a proven battle-tested conservative fighter who will serve the district with integrity.

In Conclusion

The Rockwall Times wants to extend our sincere gratitude to Justin Holland and Katrina Pierson for their time and attention in addressing critical issues facing our community. Their insights and commitment to serving the residents of Rockwall County are invaluable, and we appreciate their dedication to fostering a brighter future for all.

To Learn More About the Candidates

Justin Holland

Katrina Pierson

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