Democratic candidates for Texas' 8th congressional district discuss local needs, economy

Elizabeth Hernandez and Laura Jones are facing off in the U.S. District 8 Democratic primary election. Courtesy Folio
Elizabeth Hernandez and Laura Jones are facing off in the U.S. District 8 Democratic primary election. Courtesy Folio

Elizabeth Hernandez and Laura Jones are facing off in the U.S. District 8 Democratic primary election. Courtesy Folio

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Courtesy Elizabeth Hernandez
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Courtesy Laura Jones
Elizabeth Hernandez

Years in district: 4

If elected, I would change: When I'm elected, I will use my accounting background to reduce the national debt

www.lizfortx8.com

What are the most important issues facing residents in your district?


The national debt/tax code is the first issue. We must bring the debt down and adjust the tax code to generate more revenues. That will free up funds to address other issues in [District] 8: affordable health care; improving public schools; improv[ing] roads and bridges; and reducing gun violence.

What are your district's greatest economic needs, and how do you feel you can help to address them?

1. Funding for expansion of Medicare for those in need. 2. Improving our roads and bridges—23 bridges in [District] 8 have been deemed structurally deficient and we need funds to repair them. 3. Improving public schools. I’ll address them by amending the tax code [and] generating needed revenues to solve them.

Why do you believe you would be a good voice to represent Texans on the national level?

Only 11 members of Congress are accountants. I will take my accounting education and experience to Washington and use it to fix our fiscal issues. Once our fiscal house is in order we will have funds needed to address the issues that Texans face and bring down our national debt.

What are your priorities regarding immigration policy?

I will maintain DACA, protecting eligible immigrants from deportation while they pursue their education, obtain a work permit and become citizens. I will protect families who come to the United States seeking asylum, and stop the separation of children from their families while their applications are being processed.

Laura Jones

Years in district: 1.5

If elected, I would change: the way constituents are represented by fostering a bottom-up approach so [all] voices are heard.

www.laurajonesforcongress.com

What are the most important issues facing residents in your district?

The lack of rural internet prevents local industry from moving into District 8, while the subpar education system means graduates are not college-ready, if they can even afford higher education. Meanwhile, flooding and lack of access to health care pose immediate crises on a regular basis.

What are your district's greatest economic needs, and how do you feel you can help to address them?

Rural Texans should be able to earn a living wage in their local communities. This requires industry jobs, which in turn requires infrastructure, well-educated citizens and local amenities like grocery stores. Funds need to be directed to industries like small farms, the formerly lucrative timber industry and cottage industries like hemp growing.

Why do you believe you would be a good voice to represent Texans on the national level?

District 8 is split between rural and suburban communities, both home to proud, resilient, hard-working Texans. Having lived in the city and the country, I understand the needs of both. I am a business owner, and my kids go to public school. I am a working-class, native Texan who will represent all of District 8.

What are your priorities regarding immigration policy?

All individuals must be treated humanely and with dignity, without separating families. At the same time, the immigration process needs to be streamlined and sped up. Any deportations should happen quickly. Instead of a wall, in 2020 let’s use technology like laser grids, GPS, drones, and satellites.
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