Candidates Battle In Representatives Race - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/12/06-Longview

Candidates Battle In Representatives Race

Five-term State Representative Tommy Merritt is looking for a sixth term, but now finds himself challenged inside his own party coming to the March primaries. "My record will speak for itself representing the people here in East Texas," said Merritt.

His challenge comes from newcomer Longview businessman Mark Williams, who says it's time for a change in District 7, and is running on a number of issues. "Education, lower property taxes lean and efficient government, cracking down on illegal immigration, bringing more jobs to East Texas so our sons and daughters don't have to leave to get good jobs," said Williams.

And Merritt has issues as well. "School finance a high speed rail infrastructure, cut property taxes" he says.

Adding fuel to the race are attacking television ads by Williams camp accusing Merritt of being an ineffective legislator. "I have an obligation to talk about current Representative Tommy Merritts' record. We're gonna talk about his record. We're gonna talk about how he votes. We're gonna talk about his effectiveness in Austin," said Williams.

"Well, that's politics! That's somebody from outside the district. We have an election and they will decide whether someone who has walked the walk is more important or someone who is alleging these things against me is wrong," says Merritt.

Early voting for the primaries begins February 21st. The primary is scheduled for March 7th.

Bob Hallmark reporting, bhallmark@kltv.com

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