WICHITA FALLS(KFDX/KJTL) — The once highly contested Congressional District 13 race is now down to the final three candidates.
Whoever wins this election has big shoes to fill as they’re following incumbent Rep. Mac Thornberry, former Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, who has held this seat since 1994.
After many attempts by Texoma”s Homeshomepage to reach out, Republican candidate Ronny Jackson was unavailable for an interview.
The former White House physician and Navy Rear Admiral is on the ballot against Democrat Gus Trujillo and Libertarian Jack Westbrook.
“I am actually trying to run as a local, trying to go and make a change in Washington and it’s different because I’m not a politician,” Trujillo said.
“We all have a choice and so I hope people use that choice and give me a chance to serve them,” Westbrook said.
When it comes to issues for the 13th Congressional District, Trujillo believes healthcare takes the cake.
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we had rural hospitals that were closing and people had to travel far to find quality healthcare, and it shouldn’t be like that,” Trujillo said. “You should be able to live wherever you’d like and get some really good accessible and affordable healthcare.”
Meanwhile, it’s a lack of rural internet service Westbrook finds most concerning for the district that houses nearly 715,000 Texans.
“I feel for them when they say, ‘Hey my kids are trying to do their homework. We’ve got three kids. They’re all trying to be online,'” Westbrook said. “It’s really tough and so I think one of the things we need to do is focus on communication for that time period in our future so that everybody has access to the internet.
In a right-leaning district, Trujillo, who interned for Rep. Thornberry, considers himself a moderate.
“I was actually able to listen and hear both sides and kind of think, ‘Ok. What are the great solutions that we can use to move forward,'” Trujillo said. “I think that that’s something that’s missing in Washington today so going just based off that and trying to run a campaign that unifies people and not divides them.”
Westbrook is a U.S. Air Force veteran who desires for voters to not count the third party out.
“You don’t have to vote for the Republicans or the Democrats, we call that the duopoly in the Libertarian party, but you don’t have to vote for them,” Westbrook said. “You have a third choice if you see fit to say ‘hey I’ve had enough of these two parties.”
A new seat holder after 26 years is on the horizon and it’s the voters who will put them there.