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Dean Hrbacek John Manlove Businessman John Manlove quit his position as mayor of Pasadena to run for the District 22 seat. The 54-year-old native son bills himself as the candidate to bring change to Washington, but his platform is almost indistinguishable from his competitors’ \(illegal immigrants, health care, smaller personal color to the field. Not content to be a deacon like Bob Talton, Manlove has been a missionary to Central and South America, and “served God as a pastor, Sunday school teacher and music leader.” The music leader part harks back to Manlove’s first gig. Before he was a mayor, a pastor, and “the love behind the multimillion-dollar business, John Manlove musician. Manlove worked his way through the University of Houston playing guitar for a cover band called Fox River. He still gigs with a 13-piece band for political fundraisers, which he describes as “historic.” He’s also dabbled in writing, authoring the book, How to Market Your Church and Get Results. If that title strikes you as deaf to irony, try this quote: “I think one thing that hasn’t been dealt with a lot is the energy policy,” Manlove told the Observer. “We as a country do not have a clear energy policy. I think we have more oil here, and should make it conducive to do more drilling and exploration. We also have a lot of gas as an ‘energy source, and there are ways to use coal in an efficient way.” Jim Squier Family Court Judge Jim Squier stepped down after 20 years on the bench to enter the race. The lifetime Harris County resident has been recognized repeatedly for his service by the Houston Bar Foundation, the Houston Police Officers’ Union, and others. Like Olson, he’s been tagged a carpetbagger for moving from Cypress, which is outside District 22, to Richmond, which is in it, to run. He’s also not the most polished campaigner. In his gentle, ambling way he told the Observer, “I once climbed the water tower by Hobby Airport and hung a Goldwater banner from it. Goldwater was advocating privatization of the mail back in the 1960s, and people with a good idea sometimes get ridiculed. Well, it’s still a good idea. Make it run like a business. What they can do is, every time they need more money, they can up the price of stamps. What is it now, 41 or 43 cents? It’s either 41 or 43.” Squier differs from his competitors in other, less doddering ways. He’s not a member of the NRA. Squier’s energy plan includes alternative, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Perhaps most surprisingly, asked what issue he’d like to see get more attention, Squier said, “I think our teachers are underpaid and unappreciated. … Teaching is a very honorable profession. Some of the most influential people in our lives are teachers. And it’s hard to support a family on just a teacher’s salary. Teachers have to have often two jobs and sometimes three jobs:” Cynthia Dunbar Lawyer Cynthia Dunbar, 43, filed her candidacy on the last possible day, surprising many because she’s running against Hrbacek, whose endorsement was key to her success in a 2006 run for the state Board of Education. Hrbacek is the candidate most expected to be hurt by Dunbar’s presence since they appeal to the same far-right voters. Dunbar, who home schools her two children, believes she won her seat representing District 10 on the state Board of Education because she supports teaching intelligent design in science classrooms. Dunbar also advocates the state board taking more authority in choosing textbooks to avoid “liberal bias.” “Every candidate likes to feel that they have gotten the mandate on the issues:’ she told the Associated Press. “My positions are the ones my district supports.” Her platform for Congress remains unknown because she has no Web site and couldn’t be reached for comment. Brian Klock Brian Klock, a 50-year-old commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve and one-time financial adviser, was spurred to run by the war in Iraq. He’s running on the premise that the country needs “leaders instead of politicians” and touts his experience in counterterrorism operations, although, he said, “A lot of that, I can’t talk about.” Klock said the key to winning the war would be taking charge of Iraq’s educational system. “You can’t make them love America,” he told the Observer, “but you can make [their education] more balanced.” Klock is also 12 THE TEXAS OBSERVER JANUARY 25, 2008