Texas House District 7: Jay Dean vs. David Watts - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Texas House District 7: Jay Dean vs. David Watts

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -

The race for Texas House of Representatives District 7 pits contrasting personalities.

Former Longview mayor Jay Dean goes up against Longview businessman David Watts.

As of 11:20 p.m. Tuesday, Dean was leading the polls with 58 percent of the vote to Watts' 42 percent. Dean received 14,333 votes to Watts' 10,373. About 98 percent of precincts had reported voting totals.

The charismatic Dean served 3 terms as Longview mayor, leaving office after term limits in 2015.

His Cajun roots and homespun delivery made him a favorite in each election with Longview voters. A self-proclaimed “fiscal conservative”, many remember his sober leadership towards the end of his final term during the tumultuous 2015, after a rash of shootings and violent crimes had neighborhoods pleading for the city to intervene.

Dean called on the community and the city to work together in partnership to end violence, and create better relations between the public and law enforcement.

Frugal with city funds, he was criticized for a 2014 action in which the city paid rock artist Ted Nugent 16-thousand dollars to prevent him from playing at the city’s Fourth of July celebration, saying that the rock star did not fit the family atmosphere event the city was promoting.  Taxpayer money  that opponents have not forgotten.  

Dean is running on a platform of lower taxes and economic diversity for east Texas.

David Watts is a Reagan-style republican, running on a “less government, more liberty” platform.

The Alabama native and graduate of the University of Louisville opposes property tax increases and wasteful government spending. Watts authored the “traditional marriage proclamation” to mayor Andy Mack in response to the city hosting an LGBT celebration.

He unsuccessfully ran for the position of Texas land commissioner in 2014.

A minister and author of a book on the Korean war KLTV interviewed him about called “Hope In Hungnam”.

Anit-abortion and pro-second amendment, Watts recently had to dodge some controversy when “robo-calls” went out from an unknown source claiming Dean had quit the race. Watts publicly responded saying neither he, or anyone on his staff was in any way involved in the calls.

District 7 covers Gregg and Upshur counties.

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