Texoma Politics Now

Candidate Profile: 13th District U.S. Representative candidates

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As your local election headquarters, we are putting a spotlight on key local races that you’ll be considering inside of the ballot box. It’s a race for a congressional district held by the same man since 1995.

This year’s midterms will see Republican incumbent Mac Thornberry challenged by Democratic candidate Greg Sagan.

Mac Thornberry is still representing the people of the 13th Congressional District 24 years after his being elected in the “Contract with America” era where lawmakers pushed to limit representatives to six terms in office.

The congressman said there’s a reason why he’s still willing to serve.

“The contract with America, just to be clear, promised a vote on a constitutional amendment for term limits, which we had and which I voted for.

And as a matter of fact, I voted for it each time it’s come up; but it requires a change in the constitution to make it effective. What I have to do, consulting with my family every two years, is to say: ‘Okay, am I being productive? Am I trying to reflect the values and interest of the people in our district? And do I want to continue to try to serve them?”

Thornberry said his time in office shows voters still do trust him, but his opponent Democrat Greg Sagan believes it’s time for those in District 13 to put their faith in a new leader and says the biggest issue concerning those living in the district is.

“The cost of health care is going up faster than people’s ability to pay for it, and that creep is starting to catch higher and higher income people.”

In the last year, gun safety has moved to the forefront following tragedies in Parkland, Sutherland Springs and most recently at a Pennsylvania Synagogue.

Sagan and Thornberry agree bipartisanship is key in order to stop these violent acts from happening.

Greg Sagan said,

“First of all, you need to do a much better job on background checks. Second of all, you need to make sure that anybody that’s been arrested for domestic violence can’t have a firearm. Anybody who’s been convicted of public violence can’t have a firearm.”

Thornberry said,

“It is a bipartisan agreement that everybody needs to do better. The federal government has taken steps to require the military, state and local government to do better. So, you can tighten up the loopholes with existing law and everybody ought to agree with that.”

Amid historically low U.S. unemployment, jobs may be on the mind of voters before walking in the ballot box, and with mega online retailer Amazon recently hiking their minimum wage to $15/hour, many Americans are asking when will this happen nationwide.

Sagan believes that can only happen when democrats control congress because he says republicans are hesitant.

“They seem to think there’s something immoral about raising the minimum wage. The fact is if you raise the minimum wage of employees across the board, what they’re going to do with the higher wage their receiving for the same work, they’re going to spend it. If they spend that money, this drives up demand.”

Congressman Thornberry said he’s not sure when an across the board raise might come but said the momentum from the strong economy needs to keep going.

Employers are competing and they have to raise wages in order to get the top quality workers. We need to continue the economic growth that is off to such a strong start.

From jobs to health care, immigration and more, these are the policy issues that district 13 residents will consider come Nov. 6 when they decide whether a new congressman’s career continues or a new congressman’s career begins.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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