To inform readers about the candidates seeking their votes on the November ballot, the San Antonio Report asked all candidates to answer the following questions. We edited answers for clarity, not substance or grammar, and we did not fact-check responses. We restricted responses to 200 words for each question.
Read other candidates’ answers here.
Link to campaign website:
Education background/degrees earned:
Texas Christian University, BA in English, 1990; Harvard Law School, Juris Doctorate, 1993
Current occupation, employer, or job title:
Previous elected offices held and/or sought:
Fort Worth City Council, 1999-2008 (served 9 years); Texas State Senate, 2009-2015 (served 6 years); Democratic nominee for governor of Texas, 2014
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the office you are seeking?
Like many Texans, I grew up knowing what it means to struggle. I was a teenage mom, so I know how it feels to stand at the grocery counter, deciding what I have to leave out because I don’t have enough money. I made it with the help of scholarships and my family, going from community college to TCU and on to Harvard Law School. I worked hard to give my kids a better childhood than I had. I think about Texans who are working as many as three jobs and still can’t seem to make ends meet. I worked in the State Senate to make people’s lives easier, to provide them with the same opportunities and support I had – like access to a good, affordable education. I never shied away from taking on corporate special interests who were taking advantage of hard-working Texans. I fought against payday lending, pushed consumer reforms in the insurance and electricity industries, and fought for clean air and access to healthcare. I’m running to continue that work, to keep fighting for people, and to work with experts to make sure we beat COVID-19 and get people back to work and school safely.
What three issues do you feel are most important to voters in this district?
In my many conversations with voters throughout Bexar County, I’ve learned that your priorities reflect those of other Texans: access to health care, good schools, clean air, and water. And the ability to retire securely and with dignity. People deserve a straight-shooter who will fight for their families. Given the disproportionate mortality rate that COVID-19 has had on this community, Bexar County deserves a leader who will put science first and responsibly act to get people back to work and school as safely as possible. In the meantime, our hospitals, businesses and schools deserve the kind of support that will help bridge dire economic impacts to come out successfully on the other side. I’ll work, as I always have, across the aisle – putting this community before party.
If elected, what would be your top priorities after taking office?
My first priority in Congress will be to listen to experts and work with leaders in both parties to make sure we get this virus under control, as other countries have managed to do. I want to protect and expand upon the Affordable Care Act, protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions and providing a subsidized public option that will create a competitive driver in the private marketplace, while also giving Medicare the power to negotiate prescription drug prices so people can afford treatment and life-saving medicine. Second, I want to protect voting rights to ensure every American has access to voting. Doing so is essential to protecting the democratic principles upon which this country was based. Only then can we ensure clean air and water, and the ability for our kids to go to good and safe schools. Third, I want to hold government accountable to the people we serve. That means putting a stop to corporate special interests buying elections and having an outsized influence in policy-making and getting back to serving people. Throughout my career as an elected official I’ve always put Texas over party or interest, and I will continue to do that in Congress.
How has the coronavirus pandemic shaped your priorities?
The pandemic has shifted almost everyone’s priorities. We’re all making decisions based on different circumstances because of this virus. Already the state with the highest percentage of uninsured people, Texas added at least another 650,000 to our uninsured rolls. While the provision of affordable health care, lowering prescription drug prices, and protecting people with pre-existing conditions were always top priorities, these issues have taken on even greater urgency. Simultaneously, the economic impacts of this virus have been severe and deserve someone who will fight for needed relief until we get to the other side. I think about the people throughout this district who are worrying about whether they’ll be able to feed their families or keep a roof overhead. I think about our small businesses who are facing closure and need a fighter in their corner to help them stay afloat. I think about our parents whose kids are still learning from home while they struggle to find childcare so that they can work. The virus has sharpened my resolve to make sure Texans have representation they can trust to help them get back to work and school safely.
For incumbents: What do you consider your most significant accomplishments in office? What would you change?
For non-incumbents: What, if anything, would you do differently from the current officeholder?
Congressman Chip Roy and I have fundamental differences on almost every major issue. Congressman Roy’s campaign is bankrolled by super PACS seeking to privatize social security and medicare, keep in place the 2017 tax cuts that benefitted wealthy corporations, and move public school funding to private and parochial schools. Meanwhile, I refuse to take a dime of corporate PAC money, and am committed to fighting for families rather than special interests.