In the Democratic primary for Texas Senate District 12, here is our recommendation

Randy Daniels faces Shadi Zitoon

The Democratic primary for Texas Senate District 12 features two political novices vying to replace longtime Republican Sen. Jane Nelson.

This is the first campaign for both Shadi Zitoon and Randy Daniels, so they have an uphill climb in November to beat Nelson, who is chair of the powerful Senate finance committee and was first elected in 1993.

Still, we give the nod to Zitoon, 40, who is earnest and demonstrated in our interview that he’s done his homework on the biggest issues facing Texas and the district that covers Denton and Tarrant counties.

The quality analyst from Grapevine generally follows the Democratic party line on many issues — supporting more money for teachers and rehabilitation for low-level, first-time offenders, for example.

And many of his positions are far more left-leaning than this newspaper’s: He’d legalize medical and recreational marijuana.

But we like Zitoon’s practical approach to solving problems he said was honed by collaborating with multiple teams, often with different ideas, to find equitable solutions at the automobile manufacturer where he works.

We were encouraged that he says he would have supported the cap the Republican-controlled Legislature put on rising property taxes. That shows an understanding of the pocketbook issues facing Texans.

And we can get behind his ideas to increase voter turnout such as extended polling hours and increased polling places likely developed during his time as a precinct chairman and Tarrant County deputy voter registrar.

We don’t know where his opponent, Daniels, stands on the issues because he didn’t attend our interview, hasn’t completed a questionnaire and didn’t respond to a request for information.

He is a former president of the Arlington Heights Neighborhood Association in Fort Worth who records show was sentenced to three years in prison in 2000 for bank fraud and money laundering.

He made news back then for gaining permission to turn his 3,431-square-foot historic Jenkins-Daniels House into a bed-and-breakfast.

Zitoon is a better choice.

Dallas Morning News Editorial. Dallas Morning News editorials are written by the paper's Editorial Board and serve as the voice and view of the paper. The board considers a broad range of topics and is overseen by the Editor of Editorials.

editorialboard@dallasnews.com @dmnopinion

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