WFAA invited each of the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senator from Texas to answer the following questions to help inform voters before Super Tuesday on March 3.
State Senator and Attorney
How long have you lived in Texas?
Why are you running for U.S. Senate?
The driving factor in my decision to run for office was determining what I could offer my state as a US Senator. After careful examination, I believe that my experience and work on behalf of Texans to do things like secure a teacher pay raise, pass body camera legislation, make much-needed changes to the foster care system, and more, shows that I am the best and most appropriately qualified candidate for this race. I'm running for US Senate because Texas needs an experienced leader who knows how to work with and build diverse coalitions to accomplish important goals. I've done that for more than two decades in the Texas Senate and I will do the same for Texas in Washington.
Prior political experience or civic leadership involvement?
I've proud to have served the people of Senate District 23 for 27 years.
There are a lot of candidates in this race, why should voters choose you over someone else?
Experience and knowledge. I am the only candidate who won't need training. I can get to work for the people of Texas the day I'm sworn in.
In your view, what are the three biggest challenges facing Texas? Specifically, how do you plan to address them?
Immigration, I believe we need to use technology and manpower rather than waste money on a wall.
Healthcare Reform, we need to strengthen the ACA and make sure Texas finally expands Medicaid.
Community policing, we must restore the more traditional role of law enforcement as peace officers rather than police or cops. It raises respect for them and communities respond better to it.
Washington is broken. Lawmakers retreat to their parties, follow orders from party bosses and rarely work across the aisle for the common good. How would you change that?
I do not agree. Since the Democrats took over the House, they have worked diligently on a tremendous amount of legislation that is now languishing in the Senate. Even still, they were willing to work on infrastructure before the President blew that up, and they did come together to USMCA. Obviously, things can get done but any rational analysis would reveal the problem is Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn.
If elected, how would you address the mass shootings in Texas and across the country?
Universal background checks would be a big start. Then we need to look at banning high capacity magazines.
What we really need is analysis on the problem and what's driving it. Then we can come up with solutions to the problem.
What federal cuts would you support to help achieve a balanced budget?
Eliminate the Trump tax cuts. That is what's driving the historic deficit. They are not growing the economy and have exacerbated the problem of inequality.
Do you support or oppose open borders?
No, I do not support open borders and I am adamantly opposed to Trump's ridiculous wall.
Do you support universal healthcare? If so, how would you pay for it?
I support health care as a right. I support expansion of the ACA and the creation of a public option insurer.
If elected, what’s your priority on Day One in office?
Work on making sure that health care becomes a fundamental right for all our citizens.
On what issue or issues could you work with the White House? Or U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell?
While I have a long history of working across the aisle and building coalitions to pass important legislation, you would do better to ask them this question. I am willing to work with anyone on anything that improves the lives of Texans.
On what issue, would you not compromise?
Civil rights and Choice.
Have you ever been arrested, charged with a crime or faced criminal proceedings in a court? If yes, please explain:
Have you ever been involved in any lawsuits or declared bankruptcy? If yes, please explain:
No bankruptcies. Yes, I have been involved in lawsuits as an attorney.
Favorite restaurant – or night out in Texas?
Do you ever ride public transportation such as city buses or light rail?
Tell us something about yourself – unrelated to politics or this race – that voters probably don’t know.
I have been happily married to one of the smartest women in the country for 32 years, Carol West. I am thankful every single day she said yes when I asked her to marry me.