U.S. District 10: Incumbent Michael McCaul faces two opponents in November election

Three candidates are running for the Texas District 10 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives this November.

Three candidates are running for the Texas District 10 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives this November.

Editor's note: Responses have been edited to remove specific references to other candidates, as candidates were not given the opportunity to respond to claims from their opponents.

Contested races for the November election include U.S. representative, District 10. Learn about the three candidates vying for the Texas District 10 seat in the Nov. 6 election.

Michael McCaul is the incumbent in the race, which also includes Democratic and Libertarian candidates.



Michael McCaul*
Party affiliation: Republican
Occupation: U.S. representative, District 10
Experience: first elected in 2004, current chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, senior member of House Foreign Affairs Committee

Top priorities: strengthening national security, combating human trafficking, further growing the economy and expanding job opportunities

www.michaelmccaul.com






Why are you running for election to U.S. Texas District 10?
There is still more to be done to keep Texans safe, as well as to boost our economy. I am committed to finishing the work I have started in Congress to combat human trafficking, fight childhood cancer and keep our country safe from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism, as well as stimulate job growth and the economy in Texas. It has been an honor and privilege to represent the people of [District] 10, and I go to work every day to fight for their values in Washington, [D.C.].






What are the biggest challenges facing District 10 in the coming years?
As soon as Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, I fought tirelessly to secure relief funding—my colleagues and I nearly doubled the federal disaster aid Texas received—and passed legislation to expedite Army Corps [of Engineers] studies, such as a solution on Cypress Creek to mitigate future flooding. Continuing to recover and rebuild is one of my top priorities in the years ahead. Another major challenge we continue to face is the impact of illegal immigration. We must secure our borders and strengthen our current laws by closing legal loopholes to restore the rule of law in America. I continue to lead efforts in Congress to secure our border once and for all.






What experience qualifies you for serving as representative of District 10?
As a fourth-generation Texan and the congressman for [District] 10, I understand the issues we face here at home and how to work with our local, state and federal officials to find solutions to those problems. I travel the district frequently and love hearing from my constituents about their concerns. I try to incorporate their feedback into every vote I take as a congressman, and some of the best legislative ideas for bills I have introduced have come from meeting with constituents. My staff also keeps me updated each week with the number and content of the phone calls, letters, emails and office visits we receive. This information keeps me well attuned to the needs and wants of my district and helps me to better represent my constituents in Washington, [D.C.].






What would you do to prevent future flooding in the district?
In Congress, I helped lead efforts with the Texas delegation to secure the funding we needed to help Houston rebuild after Harvey and protect our communities from future natural disasters. This resulted in $17.4 billion for Army Corps [of Engineers] flood mitigation projects and $35.4 billion in [Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Program] housing assistance funding, including $5 billion for Harris County and the Greater Houston Area. This is a lot of desperately needed money and resources coming to help Texans one year after Harvey hit.

We have also pushed Director Mick Mulvaney at [Office of Management and Budget] and the Army Corps of Engineers to work with us on desperately needed flood mitigation projects like a solution on Cypress Creek, which has been one of my top priorities. In addition, on June 4, 2018, the House passed my amendment to the “Water Resources and Development Act,” which requires the Army Corps to expedite studies on flood recovery in the Houston area. Shortly after, the Army Corps approved $6 million to complete a study that will identify flood solutions in the Buffalo Bayou basin, including Addicks and Barker Dams, which I have been calling for since Harvey hit.

The next step is for Congress to identify provisions like Section 1043 of [Water Resources Reform and Development Act] 2014, which allow us to hire local crews to construct our flood mitigation projects, like the Cypress Creek solution.






What is the first piece of legislation you would file if elected?
I have currently introduced a handful of bills that I will continue to work on getting through the House and signed into law. Those pieces of legislation include strengthening our foreign policy, providing better care for our children, securing our homeland, combating human trafficking and more.






What national issue do you believe is of greatest concern or importance for District 10 and why?
The two greatest concerns for [District] 10 are improving the economy and providing affordable health care for everyone. Last year, with my help, we reformed our tax code for the first time in 31 years. Since then, we have watched wages grow and the economy boom. I am proud of the tax cuts that we passed in 2017 and look forward to continuing to make sure our pro-family, pro-growth tax reform plan impacts all Texas families and businesses across our district. Within our new tax code, we eliminated one of the most disastrous and burdensome parts of "Obamacare," the individual mandate. Now, Americans will no longer be forced by the government to purchase insurance they do not want or need. I will continue to empower the American people to make their own choices instead of allowing unelected bureaucrats in Washington to make decisions for them. We need a market-based, patient-centered approach designed to provide affordable and accessible healthcare for all Americans.






What do you believe will stimulate job growth and the local economy in District 10? And what are your plans for addressing this?
Our nation's new tax code, which I helped fight for, will continue to stimulate job growth across the nation and [District] 10. If re-elected, I look forward to continuing to make sure our pro-family, pro-growth tax reform plan impacts all Texas families and businesses across our district. Texans work hard for the money they earn, and they deserve to keep more of it. I am proud of the tax cuts that we passed in 2017 and look forward to watching our economy grow and small businesses thrive as a result.






Mike Ryan
Party affiliation: Libertarian
Occupation: global information technology director for a private equity chemical firm
Experience: 30-plus years of computer, engineering and leadership experience in both private and public sectors

Top priorities: introduce bill to fully fund a border wall and protect citizens first; introduce bill for presidential line-item veto to cut spending; introduce bill to defund U.S. Department of Education and devolve power to states

[email protected]
conservativecultureclub.blogspot.com
www.mikeryantexas.com






Why are you running for election to U.S. Texas District 10?
I am running to restore freedom and cut spending. What I really want is for the government to leave me alone. I do not want power; I want to reduce the government power over our citizens. I am tired of people running as conservatives and then becoming [Republicans in name only] RINOs, big government spenders and not supporting the Trump [administration] agenda. I am the only candidate publicly supporting [President Donald] Trump. Our current RINO congressman does not support the president’s agenda. My main goal when elected is to educate everyone about the original intent of the [U.S.] Constitution, particularly the 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

What this means is that over 50 percent of what the federal government does is not specified in the Constitution and should be handled at the state level. I am a constitutional conservative in my value system.






What are the biggest challenges facing District 10 in the coming years?
Lately, it seems the media and politicians are deliberately trying to divide us on social issues. It is a diversion; don’t be distracted. Meanwhile, both R[epublican] and D[emocratic] parties are spending us into oblivion. Pay attention to the money. I am the only candidate that is asking everyone to rally around a unifying cause: reduce spending and give more power back to the states. Our greatest challenge will be to unify and focus on the critical issue of overspending.






What experience qualifies you for serving as representative of District 10?
I am an engineer by training and education. I am not a lawyer. I have over 30 years of international business experience across multiple industries, [including] energy, IT, health care and finance. I know how to lead by example and stay focused on the critical issues. I have volunteered for many community organizations; served on local boards; am a member of the [National Rifle Association], Bayou Rifles [and] Houston Inventors Association; and attend church regularly. I am married with four children, and I want to ensure all our children live free and have every opportunity possible.






If elected, what action would you take to advocate for federal flood control relief across District 10?
The 10th Amendment applies here. We taxpayers have already been conned—wake up! The state of Texas has over $10 billion in a “Rainy Day” Fund—for what?

I live in Katy; during Hurricane [Harvey], it rained. I was trapped for a week like many others; I waded into over 2 feet of water down my street to check on my neighbors. We invited a family that was evacuated into our home to live with us for a week.

This Texas “Rainy Day” Fund adds $500 million per year surplus taxes to the fund. We recently approved a $2.5 billion bond [referendum in Harris County] for infrastructure improvements—why? My years as a financial planner taught me there are only two kinds of money—assets and liabilities. Why are we taxpayers going into debt (liability) when we have money (assets) in the bank? The governor of Texas can spend this money at any time. If [the Rainy Day Fund] will not be spent on flood mitigation projects, then help me understand what the definition of a “rainy day” is supposed to be? The public should be furious about this: Ask yourselves where and what is this money used for? I have the answer—cronyism!

The problem can be dealt with at the state level; no federal help is needed. Taxpayers should not be conditioned to ask the federal government to solve all our problems, which is a dangerous habit. If we solve these problems at the state level, then we have the right to ask the federal government to reduce our income taxes.






What do you believe will stimulate job growth and the local economy in District 10? And what are your plans for addressing this?
The best way for federal assistance on this topic is for the [federal government] to get out of the way [with] lower taxes and regulations, provide for security from criminals and cut spending. Any businessperson knows that the less money the government has, the more is kept in circulation to spur economic growth. Remember—anytime the federal government help[s] us with new programs, there is about a 30 percent administrative overhead for all the paper pushers. Small business will drive our growth, not some of the multinational unpatriotic firms.

As a history lesson, the [Internal Revenue Service] was created in 1902 with the 16th Amendment—now it is used as a tool by the federal government for social engineering and special interests. So how did our country pay its bills prior to that? The answer is tariffs. The founding fathers believed tariffs made a country strong, self-sufficient and independent of tyrants. The Coast Guard was created to patrol for smugglers avoiding tariffs. At the federal level, we should work toward reducing spending and income taxes tied into a tariff strategy, possibly eliminating the IRS altogether down the road. That’s what made America great the first 100 years.






What is the first piece of legislation you would file if elected?
All three listed above are important to me, and I intend to file them all quickly. The American public by a vast majority wants a wall built. That funding will be my first order of business. Overall, our government is out of control, and politicians are subject to too many special interests and omnibus bills full of crony spending projects. None of them are aligned with the 10th Amendment. There are few magic bullets, but the closest thing we have to control spending is to create a presidential line-item veto. Politicians will continue to write into any bill a special interest crony favor, and the president may be held accountable for cutting them out. This will reduce the power of all the [Washington,] D.C. lobbying firms. The politicians can no longer use the lame excuses that we “need to fund the military” so that we have no choice but to compromise and combine bills spending money on “fill-in-the-blank crony project.” I expect extreme resistance from the entire swamp and will need strong support—this will make many enemies in D.C.






What national issue do you believe is of greatest concern or importance for District 10 and why?
Follow the money—I can tell you exactly what the future holds. The D[emocrat] and R[epublican] parties will continue to argue publicly and divide us by social issues while they both secretly agree to increase deficit spending on crony projects. Then the R[epublican] party will say, “We need to cut spending, but golly gee folks, the only way to make a real impact is to cut Social Security and Medicare.” Beware! That is another con. Elect me, and I will cut every other department first before we worry about these two. No other candidate is making this promise. If all I do is go to D.C. and vote “no” on all spending increases, I will have done a great service to my community. You are not free until you are financially free. What I have said publicly many times before is, “Someone has to be the adult in the room and say we can’t afford all these programs and they need to be cut.”






Mike Siegel
Party affiliation: Democrat
Occupation: civil rights attorney
Experience: public school teacher, union organizer, civil rights lawyer, assistant city attorney for the city of Austin

Top priorities: health care for all, invest in infrastructure, restore human decency to immigration system

512-993-8832
[email protected]
www.facebook.com/siegelfortexas
www.siegelfortexas.org






Why are you running for election to U.S. Texas District 10?
I'm running for Congress to protect our safety net and restore common decency to our government.

In 2017, I was struck when my current representative...voted to cut health care from tens of thousands of district residents without having any replacement in place. I know many people who depend on Affordable Care [Act] insurance for their very survival; my cousin received a liver transplant that he would have been denied, but for protections for pre-existing conditions. ... That was the genesis of my commitment to run for Congress. I am fighting to make sure everyone has the basic support necessary to have a fair shot in our society: health care, quality public education, decent jobs and a retirement with dignity.

My commitment was reinforced when the Republican administration announced the Family Separation policy. ... I am committed to keeping families together, and I am horrified that our government would use children as hostages to pursue a restrictive immigration policy.






What are the biggest challenges Texas District 10 in the coming years?
Lack of health care and, in the rural areas, lack of access to quality hospitals. Lack of infrastructure, including inadequate flood control in Harris County and lack of high speed Internet in the rural counties. And big picture, income inequality, exacerbated by the 2017 tax cuts and a failure to increase the minimum wage.






What experience qualifies you for serving as representative of District 10?
I have been serving the people for the last twenty years as a public school teacher and civil rights lawyer. My education work taught me to listen to children, youth and adults and to design solutions appropriate for a diverse array of individuals. As a lawyer, I advocate for the most disadvantaged members of society, to ensure we all have equal protection under the law as well as equal opportunity in life.






If elected, what action would you take to advocate for flood control relief in District 10?
First priority is to have a national flood control strategy. Right now, we have dozens of agencies involved but no one with ultimate responsibility. Congress should require a single agency to develop and implement a strategy, considering all the factors and players, including the [Army] Corps of Engineers and [Federal Emergency Management Agency] but also state agencies, regional agencies [and] municipal agencies. We must account for climate change. And we must invest in infrastructure—to put Americans to work making our cities and counties safer for Americans.

We need a massive investment in infrastructure. The current appropriation only brings Houston and the surrounding region up to its prior capacity, i.e., to survive 10- and 25-year floods. We can see that we must be prepared for 50-, 100- and 500-year floods. The Greater Houston region is a national leader in energy production and medical services, and the federal government must invest tens of billions of dollars to protect lives and vital industries.






What do you believe will stimulate job growth and the local economy in District 10? And what are your plans for addressing this?
I want to start with infrastructure investment. Like the rural electrification initiative of 80 years ago, we need a 21st century investment in rural high-speed Internet. This will help schools, small towns, farmers and ranchers, artists and culture producers. The investment will put Texans to work in quality jobs and will yield gains for generations to come.

I also want to see investment in flood control, as well as bridges and roads, to put Texans to work making our communities safer.

I also believe that providing universal access to health care will improve our economies. Too many of us are at risk of bankruptcy due to inadequate care. Employers cannot provide quality health plans, and workers are devoting too much of their income to paying for health care benefits. By guaranteeing care, that will free up consumer spending and will stimulate small businesses and local economies.






What is the first piece of legislation you would file if elected?
Specific to this district, we need a national flood control strategy. In Harris County, and in surrounding areas, the risk of catastrophic loss due to hurricanes is increasingly present. We need to have a single agency, and a lead official, that is responsible for coordinating all efforts and for looking ahead. Right now, the federal government is focused mainly on disaster relief. We need to move to disaster prevention.






What national issue do you believe is of greatest concern or importance for District 10 and why?
In my communications with voters, it's health care. Too many of us do not have insurance. Retired teachers are forced to choose between paying for expensive pharmaceuticals and paying their electric bills. Mothers of fragile children are suffering due to stringent federal reimbursement requirements, and seniors struggle, too. In the rural areas, if you are an expectant mother in a place like La Grange, and you are concerned about complications in childbirth, you have to drive 90 minutes to access a quality birthing center. We've lost two rural hospitals in 10 years in Bastrop and Colorado counties. So we need to guarantee health care for every Texan in this district, including both health insurance as well as the hospitals themselves.


By Anna Lotz

Editor, Tomball/Magnolia & Conroe/Montgomery

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor for the Tomball/Magnolia edition. She began covering the communities of Conroe and Montgomery as well in 2020. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.