Both candidates for the open 5th Texas Congressional District are from Terrell in Kaufman County.
Republican Lance Gooden is a State Representative. Democrat Dan Wood is an Attorney and former Terrell City Council Member.
Wood has an uphill battle in the heavily Republican District to replace Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling who is stepping down.
The 5th Congressional District includes portions of Northeast Dallas and 6 more rural counties east of Dallas.
Wood said Gooden is not the best choice.
“I believe that he was interested in things like defunding public schools. I believe he is not there for the constituents of his district,” Wood said.
Wood accused Gooden Tuesday of voter oppression with records from a lawsuit Wood got unsealed. Gooden is listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed earlier this year. The unsealed records included the redacted names of up to 20 residents who Wood said where forbidden from receiving mail in ballots.
“Because of no fault of their own, they were not allowed to cast a ballot,” Wood said. “It shows that voter suppression is alive and ongoing in Kaufman County.”
Wood said independent Democratic canvasing has identified the redacted names as African American and elderly residents of Terrell. Wood said a judge forbid him from releasing the names.
Gooden declined requests for an interview made by phone and email Tuesday. Instead, he responded by email with a statement suggesting Wood has the whole lawsuit issue wrong and that it was to protect the residents who were victims of fraudulent mail in ballot tampering.
Gooden’s e-mail said:
“A Democrat Judge found that a Democrat was harvesting votes in the March 2018 GOP primary. The voters she victimized all testified they did not cast their ballot of their own free will. The majority of the victims she stole votes from were elderly African Americans and were deliberately targeted.
“My Democrat opponent is trying to interfere in, and disclose the names of victims of, an active AG criminal investigation for political gain, and the voters of Congressional District 5 will not reward him for it.”
Gooden won a May run-off for the March GOP Primary by defeating an opponent who was endorsed by Hensarling and Vice-President Mike Pence.