On July 14, either Texas Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) or Veteran Air Force Pilot M. J. Hegar will become the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate.
Dallas Morning News Political Writer Gromer Jeffers and NBC 5 Political Reporter Julie Fine interviewed both of them together, for this week’s edition of Lone Star Politics.
Hegar ran for congress in 2018 and nearly flipped reliably red Round Rock. She lost by less than three points.
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We asked her about those who may want someone with more political experience during these challenging times.
“I think that John Cornyn has a lot of government experience and is failing us and that we need to look beyond that, and start looking for people who have experience taking on really tough challenges and succeeding at them,“ said Hegar.
West has been representing Dallas since 1993. We asked him about voters who may want to see this as a change election, bringing in people with different types of experience.
“I am the person that has addressed issues that are unique to the democratic party, and is sensitive to those particular issues, and have been able to get coalitions in order to pass laws to be effective,” said West.
Whoever becomes the nominee will campaign during challenging times. Questions about what happens next in Texas, as COVID-19 cases continue to go up.
“The fact is, is that we have never been in this place before, and so we have got to make certain that we have a good balance between opening the economy, and making certain that we put public health first. And unfortunately, we haven’t been putting public health first. We have got to have more testing,” said West.
“I believe that shutting down without adequate testing in place, is, you know, going to be a lot less effective than when they shut down in other places. We have people who don't have access to health care. We had a health care crisis in this state before COVID-19,” said Hegar.
It was a wide-ranging interview with the candidates, who also talked about their message after the death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests. We also talked about running against U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Austin), who won by more than 25% in 2014, and has a very large war chest. You can see the entire interview Sunday morning on Lone Star Politics.