Incumbent Max Sandlin Rallies Teachers' Support

Congressional District 1 incumbent Democrat Max Sandlin was rallying support from teachers today at Bergfeld Park in Tyler.

Sandlin wants them to know he is trying to bring a bill to the House floor that would give teachers back their spouse's Social Security benefits.

Teachers were pushing their agenda, while Sandlin was pushing his. It was a strategy different from his opponent's, Republican Louie Gohmert.

Sandlin emphasized the importance of allowing teachers Social Security benefits in order to keep them in the teaching profession. He hopes his work will help pass a bill to make that possible. Sandlin also hopes it will get him the teachers' vote.

In fact, he emphasized that while he was standing out in the heat with dozens of them, Gohmert was holding "a fancy party" on the other side of town. Not only that, but Gohmert invited yet another famous Republican to back him up, U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

"Anytime that my opponent wants to bring a congressman from Illinois that voted to send jobs overseas and that won't stand up for the teachers and that voted for the Republican prescription drug bill that doesn't give any prescription drugs to seniors, but helps the pharmaceutical companies, I hope he'll come back every week," Sandlin said. "And if he will, I'll pay for it."

No big-name democrats for Sandlin, at least no one planned yet. Sandlin says he can stand on his own record of eight years in Congress, serving on various committees.

And of course, this race will determine if Sandlin will be able to keep his position, following congressional redistricting. He's now in a heavily Republican district.

Julie Tam, reporting.