Lira is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served two tours of combat duty in Iraq. A San Antonio resident, he has worked at the Small Business Administration and National Commission on Military, National and Public Service.

Hear from the candidate

What should Congress be doing to rein in inflation and/or stabilize/boost the economy?

After passing several bold bills that invested heavily in our COVID recovery, Congress needs to hold back on putting forth any other large spending bills until we can get inflation under control. Congress must prioritize investments in domestic production to beef up supply chains, which reduces shipping costs for producers and lowers prices for consumers. This means more investments like in our domestic semiconductor and computer chips industry so we do not have to rely on a foreign supply chain for our most vital goods. Volatile energy costs are adding to inflation. Congress must also invest in new technology to lower energy costs for businesses and our households. 

What should Congress be doing to reform immigration laws?

America must remain the land of opportunity for all, including immigrants who continue to add value to our nation. Congress should be working together to reform our outdated immigration laws. This is not a partisan issue. Immigrants and our southern border are extremely valuable to our nation. Congress must work bipartisanly to reform outdated asylum laws, including investments in processing centers and border infrastructure. Congress must define a clear pathway for immigrants who are here illegally, but have maintained a job and have no criminal record, including protections for Dreamers who are working professionals, pursuing a college degree or serving in our military. The more legal pathways there are for migrants means the less illegal migration. We must incorporate immigrants into our society and our economy rather than wasting resources trying to keep them out. Congress can help companies fill critical labor shortages by reforming our work visa program and reviving a 21st century Bracero program that invites Latino men and women who are eager to prove themselves in the labor market to be part of our economic resurgence by filling critical farm labor deficiencies.  

Do you believe Congress should take action to legalize abortion?

The Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision eliminated Americans’ human right to maintain bodily autonomy. I, like a majority of my fellow Americans, oppose the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. I do not believe women in one state should be denied access to maternal privacy and reproductive freedoms that are available for women in another state. I believe congressional action is needed to protect these rights for women and support Congress’ response in passing the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify this right for all women to make decisions about their body. The criminalizing of abortion will set back the medical practice of reproductive health care in America for generations and will lead to decreases in services and increases in maternal mortality.

What do you consider the top challenge facing our nation and how would you address it?

I believe the top challenge facing our nation is the rise of domestic extremists who look to undermine our democracy by casting undue costs, burden or doubt on our elections. I, like many fellow Americans, watched in outrage on Jan. 6 as Capitol Hill was under siege by a band of insurrectionists led by a defeated president. Through the Jan. 6 Committee we have learned just how close we came to losing our democracy. We must address this threat as a nation by electing Democrats who have the courage to defend our democracy, our rule of law and our constitution. I lost a great uncle in the Oklahoma City bombing by a domestic terrorist so I take this personally. I will work to strengthen our national institutions and ensure all are treated equally under the law. I will work to expand voting rights and restore faith and transparency in our elections.I will work to strengthen the institutions of our Democracy not misuse and destroy them. Americans want a strong, capable government capable of meeting the needs of our people. 

We live in a time of deep polarization. If elected, how do you see your responsibility to represent all your constituents, even those who didn’t vote for you?

As a Marine, I raised my right hand and promised to defend the Constitution and the United States of America — not the Democratic Party or Republican Party. I will always vote for the best interests of Texas’ 23rd district. I will make it a top priority to reach out to all constituents and let them know that I am ready to be their partner and their voice in Washington. A district with 29 counties almost evenly split between red and blue is hard to be everywhere at once. That’s why I value communication and relationships, because relationships are what will allow me to be present in the district. I am a public servant above all else and have worked with great Americans from all walks of life. I will offer an honest handshake and conversation to all residents in Texas 23 and will work with local leaders to address the needs of our rural counties. 

Read more

The San Antonio Report’s 8 area races to watch in the 2022 midterm election

The San Antonio Report’s 2022 Voter Guide

This article was assembled by various members of the San Antonio Report staff.