One candidate appearing on the statewide ballot in Texas this year is hoping to use her experiences in business, both corporate and local, to drive innovation.
Joi Chevalier is the Democratic Party's nominee for Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. For the most part, the job has been a low-profile one for incumbent Glenn Hegar, but the Austin small business owner believes that changes are needed at the Texas government's "purse keeper" department.
"The Comptroller has forgotten how to use our budget for all people in the state," Chevalier says. "We need to face our budget and tie those numbers to real people in our state."
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Chevalier has over 20 years of experience in business, working with multi-billion dollar corporations as an e-commerce product manager and marketing director. Today, Chevalier operates her own small business - the Cook's Nook - which has serviced business development and entrepreneurial development for those in the food and technology industries. The Austin Democrat is now looking to take her experiences to the Comptroller's office to improve customer service for everyone, including small business owners who currently deal with red tape from the municipal level to the state level.
"At the end of the day, small business owners are responsible to the Comptroller's office and the lack of information on taxes is frightening for many," Chevalier says. "At the end of the year the tax bill could make or break small businesses so we have to do a better job of education and engagement."
Chevalier describes herself as fiscally responsible, and says that her experiences and skills have best prepared her to serve as the state's chief tax collector and revenue operator. Chevalier hopes to take her small business approach to Austin to deliver sound budgets to the state government.
"At the end of the day, it's about making sure that those dollars are going to get us where we want to go."
If elected, the Democrat hopes to use data to better serve Texans. Chevalier says that she hopes the office will study how tax dollars are being used and how certain taxes, such as the beverage tax, franchise taxes and property taxes are being levied and the effect that these taxes have on the economy and on citizens' pocketbooks. The Democrat feels that this use of data is not currently occurring in the office and this is something that she would like to see changed.
Above all, the Democrat says she wants to serve the state that gave her opportunity and has been her family's home.
"I want to extend the opportunities that I had to everyone across this state," Chevalier says. "We live in the greatest state in the entire union."
Chevalier is facing incumbent Republican Glenn Hegar and Libertarian Ben Sanders in the November general election. For information on Chevalier's campaign, please visit https://www.joifortexas.com.