Q&A: Meet the candidates for US House District 8

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
(Community Impact Newspaper staff)

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)



HOUSTON



U.S. House District 8




*indicates incumbent






Elizabeth Hernandez



D



Occupation: Accountant


Experience: 20 years experience in accounting, B.A. in accounting from Sam Houston State University






What are the top challenges now facing residents in your district, and how do you plan to address them?



LH: Too many residents of TX-8 struggle every single day with how to make ends meet. They live paycheck to paycheck, in fear of any unexpected expense blowing up their monthly budget for food and housing. We can help these residents with things such as a public option for the Medicare system, affordable daycare and after-school care with tutors. These then benefit everyone in TX-8, since we all benefit from a happy, healthy and productive society.



What are the largest effects of the COVID-19 pandemic you have seen in District 8, and what role does the federal government have in local recovery?



LH: The largest effect I have seen is the decline in education and social development for our kids, particularly those with special needs, who require specialized training and facilities. The pandemic has also amplified the need for improved infrastructure in the rural areas, ensuring that everyone has access to high speed internet. The federal government must establish a uniform approach for recovery. State governments then assist with the recovery by implementing the measures.



Why do you believe you would be a good voice to represent District 8?



LH: I understand the struggles of everyday Americans. I have experienced those struggles firsthand. Therefore, I am in a far better position than my opponent, Kevin Brady, to prioritize those struggles and address them for the residents of TX-8. I will be a Representative who is available, transparent and accountable to the residents of TX-8. I can then take my accounting experience to Washington and use it to free the resources to address these issues.



What are one to two specific bills you are looking to file or support in 2021?



LH: First, I want to amend Title VII. We need to reform the process for the [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] to investigate discrimination claims and give it more power to resolve such claims. I also want to raise the damage caps, so that corporations are deterred from such conduct in the workplace. Second, I want to explore the parameters of a new balanced budget Amendment to file. We absolutely must curb the annual deficits under which we are operating.









Kevin Brady



R



Occupation: Chamber executive and U.S. Congressman


Experience: Years as a Representative and Chairman of House Committee on Ways and Means






What are the top challenges now facing residents in your district, and how do you plan to address them?



KB: TX-8 is successfully fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The top challenge we face is reopening our businesses and restarting our economy. In the first rounds of relief passed by Congress, I ensured every resident received direct relief payments and businesses across my district and across the nation received [Paycheck Protection Program] funding. We need another, targeted round of PPP to help our still struggling small businesses reopen and stay open and I am committed to working for that.



What are the largest effects of the COVID-19 pandemic you have seen in District 8, and what role does the federal government have in local recovery?



KB: The largest effect of COVID-19 has been on our small businesses. Many are having difficulty reopening because they cannot get their workers to return to work. A good friend of mine ... had to reduce her operating hours because she could not hire enough new staff after ... her former workers refused to return to work. That is why I'm championing a Return to Work Bonus and other programs that ... return our economy to the most powerful in the world.



Why do you believe you would be a good voice to represent District 8?



KB: Texas is recovering swiftly because of the work President Trump and I have done; both on recovery and relief packages during the pandemic and also through the tax cuts and deregulation that we passed before it. When I am reelected, I will continue to work with President Trump and Republicans to rebuild America.



What are one to two specific bills you are looking to file or support in 2021?



KB: In September, I stood on the steps of the capitol with my fellow Republicans in Congress and made a commitment to America. We promised to restore our way of life, rebuild the greatest economy in history, and renew the American Dream. Specifically, on my committee of Ways and Means, that means continuing to pass proven, pro-growth tax policies that increase take-home pay and encourage innovation. I will work to end our dependence on China and enhance our economic security.









Chris Duncan



L



Occupation: Sales Manager for family oil-field business, law student


Experience: Bachelor of Science, Economics; minors in mathematics and physics; magna cum laude - Texas A&M University, Juris Doctor Candidate - University of Houston Law Center






What are the top challenges now facing residents in your district, and how do you plan to address them?



CD: The top challenges now facing residents in District 8 are financial in nature due to the damaging effects of the coronavirus lockdowns that have yet to be fully lifted. I would vote for allowing residents and businesses to keep more of their own money through tax reductions and tax breaks. Until everyone is able to get some money in their pockets, many will continue to face an uncertain and frightening future.



What are the largest effects of the COVID-19 pandemic you have seen in District 8, and what role does the federal government have in local recovery?



CD: The largest effects have been the loss of jobs, the reductions in salaries, and the closing of businesses. I believe the state government is actually the cause of most of these effects, given the draconian lockdown orders and mandatory business closures that Governor Abbott put in place. The state government needs to fully reopen the economy and allow businesses to thrive again before it is too late and the entire small-business sector is wiped out.



Why do you believe you would be a good voice to represent District 8?



CD: I believe I am the only candidate who principally wants to dramatically decrease the size and scope of the federal government, allowing for a drastic reduction in taxes and more money in the pockets of the taxpayer. As a Libertarian, I advocate for more rights and liberties than the other two parties combined and would fight to restore the freedoms that are slowly being eroded by the ever-expanding federal monolith.



What are one to two specific bills you are looking to file or support in 2021?



CD: I would file or support further legislation to reduce the tax burden on all Americans, along with a budget reform in order to reign in our atrocious spending. Income tax and others take hard-earned money out of Americans pockets and put them into the pockets of the government. Americans pay more in taxes than in clothing, food, and housing combined. The eventual goal would be the complete elimination of the income tax and the abolition of the IRS.


By Andrew Christman
Andrew joined Community Impact Newspaper in early 2019 after moving from Indiana. He is a 2015 graduate from Indiana State University, where he received degrees in English and journalism. He has written for a number of small town publications throughout his career as a reporter.


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