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What’s & Who’s – U.S. Senate & U.S. Representative | Texas Primary Runoff Election (Part II)

Alright. It took me longer than I thought to research this information. But as promised, this post is about the positions & candidates in the Texas Primary Runoff Election for Harris County on July 14, 2020 – particularly, the U.S. Senate and U.S. Representative.

I tried to be as unbiased as possible – most of the information here were pulled from each candidate’s website and/or a non-partisan source. I am here to inform you, not necessarily persuade you on who to vote for. Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a perfect candidate. It’s also okay to disagree with some views of your top candidate(s) – just like how you and your best friend don’t agree on everything. I want to encourage you to do your own research on these candidates and vote for whoever is the best choice for your own beliefs and priorities.

Remember, if you voted in the March 3, 2020 Primary, you may only vote in the Runoff Election of the same party. If you did not vote in the March 3, 2020 Primary, you may vote in the runoff of the party of your choice.

We often hear about Congress on the news – “Congress blocked X bill!” or “Approval rating of Congress sucks!” – but what is Congress, exactly?

The U.S. Congress is made up of two parts – the Senate and House of Representatives. That means there are two types of Congressmen, Senators and Representatives. A new law (bill) could be authored by either, but in order for a law (bill) to pass, it has to be passed by both the Senate and House. I’ll go into detail about each role below.

U.S. SENATE

There are 100 Senators in the U.S. (two from each state). Senators are part of the legislative branch of the government and are responsible for writing and voting on new laws (bills). They are also responsible for approving or rejecting some actions taken by the president including treaties, job appointments, cabinet officers, supreme court justices, and ambassadors.

We (the citizens) are constituents of the Senator. They should be taking phone calls, e-mails, and letters from citizens they represent to inform their decisions. They are in Congress to represent OUR views when writing and voting on new laws. Their main responsibility is to represent US and OUR VIEWS.

Senators are up for reelection every 6 years. The current Senators in Texas are Ted Cruz (who won reelection in 2018) and John Cornyn, whose seat is up for reelection in November 2020.

John Cornyn has been a U.S. Senator for Texas since 2002, representing the Republican Party. Some of his key votes1 are:

  • Voted to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks except in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother in the 114th Congress.
  • Voted to defund Planned Parenthood Federation of America (S.1881 and H.R.3762) in the 114th Congress.
  • Supported an amendment to ensure that federal funds aren’t used to purchase health care plans on the Obamacare exchanges that cover abortions.
  • Voted to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant program in the 113th Congress.  

To find out more about his political views, click here.

The two Democratic candidates who are running for U.S. Senator for Texas are Mary “MJ” Hegar and Royce West. Whoever wins in the Texas Primary Runoff Election on July 14th (must receive more than 50% of votes) will be the one to face against John Cornyn in November Elections. If you’re voting in the Democratic Party, you will chose between these two candidates for U.S. Senate. If you’re voting in the Republican Party, you will not get a chance to vote for these candidates.

Mary “MJ” Hegar is a combat veteran, working mom, and a Texan. She believes in creating a public option to make Medicare available for all those who want it and is opposed to those who want to privatize, dismantle, or undercut Medicare. She supports Roe vs. Wade and believes politicians should not be able to legislate a woman’s most intimate decisions. At the same time, she believes in providing support for women and increasing access to sex education, affordable OTC contraception, and cost-effective childcare. Regarding current events, Mary supports police reform solutions detailed in Campaign Zero, including ending for-profit policing practices. To learn more about Mary Hegar and her views on issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Royce West is currently a member of the Texas State Senate (not U.S. Senate), representing District 23 (Dallas County). One of his top priorities in investing in K-12 education. For over 30 years, his position on fun reform has been clear – in the 1990’s, he wrote laws on both universal background checks and an assault weapons ban. Royce is also a proponent of $15 federal minimum wage and has fought for legislation to raise the minimum wage in Texas. To learn more about Royce West and his views on issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

*edit 6.29.2020: These Democratic candidates are statewide, not only for Harris County.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The number of U.S. House of Representatives in each state is determined by its population – the more people that live in the state, the more Representatives there are. The total number of U.S. House of Representatives is 435 (Texas has 36).

House of Representatives is sometimes called “the People’s House” – that is because the U.S. Constitution sets few restrictions on who can run for a U.S. Representative! They can be as young as 25, can be rich or poor, belong to any religion, and while most members are born in the U.S., more than 300 members have been immigrants.

U.S. Representatives hold hearings, develop policies, and vote on federal laws. They investigate suspected wrongdoing by people in office and can bring charges against them. U.S. Representatives serve on committees – agriculture, homeland security, budget, foreign affairs, and many more. Representatives must serve in 2 committees, in which they become subject matter experts. The committees closely examine laws (bills) before they get voted on by the rest of Congress to become federal law. One of the most important things they are in charge of is the ability to tax and spend public money for the national government. Like a U.S. Senator, they are also responsible for listening to their citizens (YOU AND ME) to represent their views.

U.S. Representative represent the people who live in part of their state, called a district, and are up for reelection every 2 years.

In the Democratic Party Election, U.S. Representative District 10 (stretches from Austin to Houston) is up for reelection. In the Republican Party Election, U.S. Representatives District 18 (includes part of Harris County) and District 22 (includes parts of Fort Bend, Harris, and Brazoria counties) are up for reelection.

The current U.S. Representative District 10 is Michael McCaul of the Republican Party.
Michael McCaul is currently serving his 8th term as a U.S. Representative. He is devoutly pro-traditional marriage, and voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, on four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees, and on Impeaching Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors, Article I & II. To read about all his votes, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

The two Democratic candidates who are running for U.S. Representative District 10 are Mike Siegel and Pritesh Gandhi. Whoever wins in the Texas Primary Runoff Election on July 14th (must receive more than 50% of votes) will be the one to face against Michael McCaul in November Elections. If you’re voting in the Democratic Party, you will chose between these two candidates for U.S. Representative District 10. If you’re voting in the Republican Party, you will not get a chance to vote for these candidates.

Mike Siegel is a civil rights lawyer and a former public school teacher running for Congress. He believes that our current economy and political system is not working for most Americans. Huge corporations use their money and influence to rig the game to their own advantage. Mike believes that we need a movement to build a stronger America. To learn more about Mike Siegel and his views on political issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Pritesh Gandhi is a father, husband, primary care doctor, and community advocate. Pritesh supports in the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 as well as shifting social welfare responsibilities of police officers, abide by progressive community policing strategies to rebuild trust between police officers, end retrograde practices like quota-driven and stop-and-frisk policing, etc. He also supports universal background checks when purchasing firearm and banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. To learn more about Pritesh Gandhi and his views on political issues, click here. (Facebook, Instagram).

The current U.S. Representative District 18 is Sheila Jackson Lee of the Democratic Party.
Sheila Jackson Lee is serving her 11th term as a U.S. Representative. Her priorities are fighting for healthcare and the environment as well as work to expand affordable housing for families, young people, and the homeless. Sheila has voted NO on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman, on banning gay adoptions, on more persecution and sentencing for juvenile crime. She has voted YES on expanding services for offenders’ re-entry into society, $40B for green public schools, and on Impeaching Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors, Article I & II. To learn more about Sheila’s votes, click here. (Facebook, Twitter)

The two Republican candidates who are running for U.S. Representative District 18 are Robert M. Cadena and Wendell Champion. Whoever wins in the Texas Primary Runoff Election on July 14th (must receive more than 50% of votes) will be the one to face against Sheila Jackson Lee in November Elections. If you’re voting in the Republican Party, you will chose between these two candidates for U.S. Representative District 18. If you’re voting in the Democratic Party, you will not get a chance to vote for these candidates.

Robert M. Cadena is the current President for Harris County MUD 150 Board of Directors and has served as a Grand Juror for Harris County. He believes that healthcare, illegal immigration, and protecting our constitutional rights are the three most important issues and he supports penalizing states or cities who provide sanctuary for legal immigrants. To learn more about Robert and his views on political issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter)

Wendell Champion served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves for over five years and was honorably discharged after earning the rank of U.S. Army Captain. His focus is on infrastructure that provides, safer, secure neighborhoods with emphasis on decreasing flooding and disaster relief. Introduce and support development of dedicated resources to promote education, job skills training and career opportunities. Promote industry development to create higher paying and accessible local jobs. Require accountability for proper use and spending of tax dollars. To learn more about Wendell and his views on political issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

The current U.S. Representative District 22 is Pete Olson of the Republican Party.
Pete Olson is a former Navy pilot and. Some of his recent and past votes include YES on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion, federal funding to groups like Planned Parenthood, terminating the Home Affordable Mortgage Program, barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. He has voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation, on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending in 2009, and on Impeaching Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors, Article I & II. To read about all his votes, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

The two Republican candidates who are running for U.S. Representative District 22 are Troy Nehls and Kathaleen Wall. Whoever wins in the Texas Primary Runoff Election on July 14th (must receive more than 50% of votes) will be the one to face against Pete Olson in November Elections. If you’re voting in the Republican Party, you will chose between these two candidates for U.S. Representative District 22. If you’re voting in the Democratic Party, you will not get a chance to vote for these candidates.

Troy Nehls served the U.S. Army for 21 years and has spent the last two decades serving Fort Bend County in various law enforcement roles. Troy stands with President Trump to build the wall, deliver his America First agenda, drain the swamp, and Keep America Great. To learn more about Troy and his views on political issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter)

Kathaleen Wall works to be the leader that President Trump needs, someone who will fight alongside him to defend conservative values, stop illegal immigration, and build the wall. To learn more about Kathaleen and her views on political issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

*edit 6.29.2020: The candidates mentioned above in both Democratic and Republican party are in the Harris County-only election.

Coming Next

In the next post, I’ll go over the remaining positions & candidates who are also part of the Texas Primary Runoff Election. I won’t go into so much detail as I did for this, so it will be easier to read!

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: What’s & Who’s| Texas Primary Runoff Election (Part III) – Sprinkled with Pepper

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