Community Impact Newspaper sent Bell a list of questions about his candidacy. Below are his answers, edited for publication style.
Q: Why did you decide to run for this office?
A: I am running because I feel a strong need to give back to this country that has given me so much and frankly, because I have been repeatedly dissatisfied with my elected representatives and the options presented to me to replace them. I began my previous candidacy largely based on political issues that affected me directly. However, my campaign activities in the 2016 cycle exposed me to the vast tapestry that is the Collin County electorate and an understanding of the issues that face so many others in Texas’ 3rd Congressional District. The one constant being that many in the district have also repeatedly felt marginalized by their representatives. I believe that elected officials should be stewards of the Constitution and advocates for their constituents rather than highly compensated puppets of a broken political system.
Ultimately, I am running because I imagine a point in the future where my children or grandchildren ask about this tumultuous time in our nation’s history, and I do not want to tell them that I did nothing. I can proudly say that I made a stand against the rising tide of isolationism and that I fought for inclusion and equal representation for everyone in my district, not just a selected class or a list of donors.
Q: What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
A: As a business owner, I am faced with the challenges of leadership and goal attainment on a daily basis. Running a business is like trying to hit an ever-moving target—change is the only constant. The success of my business depends on my fiscal responsibility, my ability to hire the right people and how well I take care of my clients. Operating collaboratively as well as independently, all while being responsible for the livelihood of others has required me to be practical, nimble and selfless. All of which I have done successfully since I started my first company in 2003.
My previous candidacy as the 2016 Democratic nominee for U.S. House of Representatives has allowed me to move past the business of learning to be a candidate and focus on the needs of our constituency. Not being saddled with the burden of ramping up a campaign and developing a platform allowed me to roll out of the 2016 election and immediately into developing legislation that is representative and beneficial to all residents of the district, not just of one party or the other. Most importantly, my team and I have had the time to fully understand how to break the vice grip control that the Republican Party has on Collin County and win in November.
Q: If elected, what would be your top priorities?
A: Meeting with residents, civic leaders and business leaders throughout the district has made their priorities my top priorities. I have found that access to affordable healthcare through affordable insurance and expanded choice in providers is crucial. I have been working with groups from every aspect of the healthcare industry to understand what is broken about our system, but more importantly how to bridge the partisan gap that prevents us from moving forward with meaningful healthcare reform that benefits everyone. Additionally, I will work to ensure that the U.S. rejoins the global community in an effort to preserve our planet and that the U.S. is once again a leader in education.
Another top priority will be to ensure that our children are safe from gun violence. We are the only country in the developed world that has active shooter drills in our schools; this is unconscionable. However, none of these can be accomplished within the confines of a continuing resolution or with a budgeted deficit. I will fight to ensure that we have a balanced budget in my first term and eliminate use of people’s lives as political bargaining chips.
Q: What else do you want constituents to know about you and your background?
A: This is my home. Moreover, I am truly fortunate to be a candidate for office. A candidacy that has exposed me to so many of the wonderful people and cultures that make up our community. I am proud to be a part of the vast tapestry of people, culture, lifestyle and faith that is Collin County. When I am elected, I will ensure that partisan divide does not leave a single resident without representation. With that, if you are pleased with the way our government is currently being run, then I may not be the candidate for you. There are plenty of lawyers and career politicians to choose from. But if you are like me, sick and tired of our democracy being high jacked by partisan bickering and big money donors, then join me in taking it back.