Three Democrats have filed to represent U.S. House of Representatives District 38, a new district created following the 2020 census. The winner will be on the ballot in the November general election. Ten Republicans have also filed for the seat. The primary election will be held March 1 with early voting taking place Feb. 14-25. Candidate responses may have been edited for length and clarity.

Duncan F. Klussmann

Experience: retired superintendent of Spring Branch ISD, former member of the Jersey Village City Council, former president of the Jersey Village Crime Control and Prevention District

Occupation: clinical assistant professor at the University of Houston, small-business owner

Centrell Reed

Experience: candidate did not submit responses by press time

Occupation: candidate did not submit responses by press time

Diana Martinez Alexander

Experience: activist, community organizer, previous candidate for county commissioner

Occupation: educational diagnostician

Why are you running to represent U.S. House District 38?

DFK: I am running to represent the 38th Congressional District because it is where I lived and worked for decades. I know the joys to be celebrated and the challenges that need our most urgent attention. Marissa and I raised our family here. It’s the place where I honed my skills as a leader, a problem-solver and public servant—skills that are sorely needed in Washington, DC. I will work hard every day to unite our country and serve each and every individual in the 38th Texas congressional district.

CR: Candidate did not submit responses by press time.

DMA: When the opportunity arose to run for congressional District 38, I knew I had to answer the call. Residents deserve representation that pushes for legislation to uplift families, expand the availability of quality jobs and promote the defense of democracy. I have spent more than two decades in public service as an educator, and I am ready to continue that work in Congress.

What are the most important issues facing residents in your district, and how would you address them if elected?

DFK: Getting the supply chain moving, tackling inflation and promoting jobs should be Congress’ No. 1 priority. We also need to continue to expand access to health care by expanding Medicaid to over 1.2 million Texans who qualify, and we must bring down drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and by placing an out-of-pocket cap for prescription drugs for anyone on Medicare. And finally, flood mitigation will always be a priority of mine.

CR: candidate did not submit responses by press time

DMA: Firstly, I pledge to fight for legislation to fortify voting rights to require Department of Justice preclearance of state voting practices and public notification of changes. In Congress, we must also consider lessons from Harvey and other severe weather events to further planning for climate change, while evaluating infrastructure and transportation policies. Provisions must be codified to make the Enhanced Earned Income Credit permanent, especially as our community reels from the effects of the pandemic.

How would you support health care systems as the COVID-19 pandemic continues?

DFK: I would allow public health professional[s] to do their job and continue to provide funding for testing, vaccines and protective equipment. I would also work to provide logistical support to ensure the medical supplies get to where they are needed. As a member of Congress, I would work with the various federal agencies to make sure the dollars allocated to help our health care providers are flowing to them in a timely manner.

CR: candidate did not submit responses by press time

DMA: At the federal, state and local levels, we must collaborate to ensure that hospital systems have all the resources necessary in order to provide medical care as omicron rates continue to rise. That includes distribution of sufficient testing materials, medical staff, PPE and other equipment as needed. I also support securing the rights of our hardworking frontline and essential workers as they face workplace hazards.

The 38th district is home to some of the largest school districts in the country. What are your top priorities regarding public education?

DFK: I am the only candidate in the race with experience as a classroom teacher, school principal and superintendent of schools. I will use my proven leadership in education to influence federal policy that will support our local school districts. We must return decision-making to the individuals closest to the action. I support our teachers and school principals and want to cut out the red tape and let them do their jobs.

CR: candidate did not submit responses by press time

DMA: In Congress, I will push for legislation that expands pre-K and early education programs to bolster student outcomes. I support removing the emphasis on high-stakes testing on schools, teachers and students in favor of more authentic and personalized measures to show growth. I believe in public schools, so I will diligently advocate for ways to support them at the federal level.