Heading into the primary election, each of the five candidates explains why they believe they should hold a seat in the U.S. Congress. Our current representative Louie Gohmert was first elected in 2004. Two of the Republican candidates say they are running against Gohmert in hopes of giving a voice back to the people of East Texas.
"[If I] win the nomination [...] I have already done one of the greatest things I will do for the people of East Texas, because I will defeat Louie Gohmert," Republican candidate Anthony Culler says. "After that, I have sales ability, so what I'm going to do is go to work for the people and try and bring in the business because it comes down to the economics; it comes down to the good jobs and everything."
Republican candidate Roshin Rowjee says he plans to focus on improving the economy.
"The main purpose is to change the economic dynamics and the management style here in our district," he says. "You know, we've had one congressman for the last thirteen years and his management style is one of just kicking the can down the road; in other words, he's been ignoring the constituency base."
Gohmert says he's running for an eighth term to get government spending under control and to reduce the nation's debt.
"So one of the things I'm advocating for is [...] let's put all public assistance, whatever kind it is; any welfare public assistance of any kind in one subcommittee so that we see all the duplications in the same place, until we do that we're not going to fix things."
This is the fourth time Democratic candidate Dr. Shirley McKellar has run for congress. She says the homeless population in East Texas motivates her to keep trying.
"There are people who are actually sleeping out there underneath tents and on the ground; so I could not give up on the people and I could not stop doing the work that the congressperson should be doing and that is making sure that we get people off the streets," she says.
First-time runner Brent Beal says his goal is to focus on economic development and bringing more jobs to East Texas.
"First, we need to have a serious conversation about economic development here in East Texas," he says. "We've lost some of our manufacturing base, our retail is under pressure a bit, and so [...] it's what we want our economy to look like, it's jobs, economic development, it's helping small businesses and entrepreneurs and kind of figuring out where we want to go as a region."
Each of the candidates say they will continue to fight for the American people and that their constituents can count on them.