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VOTE411 Voter Guide

U.S. House, District 1

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    Brent Beal (Dem) Business Professor

  • Anthony Culler (Rep)

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    Louie Gohmert (Rep) U.S. Congressman

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    Shirley McKellar (Dem) Retired U.S. Army Officer

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    Roshin Rowjee (Rep) Hospitality Industry

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Biographical Information

What strengths do you bring to this position?

What specific changes, if any, would you propose to the current immigration policy? Please explain.

Redistricting: Would you support the use of an independent citizens redistricting commission to draw the Congressional & State Legislative districts? Why or Why not, please explain.

Would you support term limits? If so, what would the term be? If not, what is your reason?

Experience No political experience (various professional leadership roles)
Education PhD in Business Administration (from Texas A&M)
Campaign Phone (225) 802-7015
Campaign Email
Twitter @beal2018
I'm a business professor. I will work with our cities and counties to support our entrepreneurs and our local, small and family-owned businesses; we need to attract and retain businesses that offer good-paying jobs and treat employees fairly and with respect. Improving local public infrastructure and developing and leveraging local capabilities and expertise should be priorities.
I support meaningful immigration reform that affirms our commitment to welcoming immigrants into this country in a safe and orderly manner. Congress should act immediately to pass a “clean” Dream Act to protect the millions of young people who came here as infants and children with their parents. I am against Trump’s border wall; it is a cynical, expensive, and ineffective PR stunt that would do far more harm than good.
Yes. Redistricting should be done by a nonpartisan entity (and the overriding objective should be open and competitive elections).
I believe we should focus on making elections more competitive (by implementing policies that minimize the advantage of incumbents, for example, and by eliminating partisan gerrymandering). In my view, the best term limits are competitive elections.

I would consider terms limits as a last resort if elections can't be made more competitive through other means.

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Experience Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, Louie was elected to three terms as District Judge in Smith County, Texas. He was later appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to complete a term as the Chief Justice of the 12th Court of Appeals.
Education Texas A&M University Baylor Law School
Campaign Phone (903) 939-1101
Campaign Email
The strengths I bring to this position include understanding of what laws should say through many years of judicial experience, devotion to east Texans, and passion to make this country better for our children and grandchildren. Not only have I served my country on active duty four years in the U.S. Army, I’ve served as a prosecutor, businessman, elected three times as District Judge in Smith County, Texas, and was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to complete a term as Chief Justice of the 12th Court of Appeals. As Congressman, I’ve stood up for my district and constituents and have the scars from Republicans and Democrats to prove it. I’ve relentlessly supported and defended our Constitution and country – maintaining the oath I took as an Eagle Scout – to do my duty to God and my country, all while maintaining my commitment to the east Texas values we hold dear.
It’s been my unwavering position – we must secure our border with a wall where it is needed. Once our border is secure, we can address what to do with immigrants in this country illegally. We have elected a president who has made it a priority to secure our border. It is imperative he keeps that promise. We should lower the legal immigration far below the million plus who legally immigrate into the U.S. and eliminate the diversity visa lottery. We have passed these reforms in the House, but the Senate needs to follow through. Whenever there's talk in D.C. about legalization programs, there is a massive surge of illegal immigration. It’s time for our executive branch to use the resources available and secure the border. The courts have ruled only the executive branch can carry this out. Once the border is secure, we can finally control our own destiny again.
No. It is the responsibility of elected officials to draw the required lines that reflect the legal requirements for each district in our state. In states where unelected bureaucrats draw the lines, it appears even less fair than where those who draw the lines are accountable to the voters.
I’m a fan of term limits and pledged I wouldn’t run for more than three terms as district judge. I did not make any pledge regarding terms in Congress. It will take someone, who has been elected for a while, to finally get limits pushed through. If I could get that done, I would be glad to let that be my last term. The bill I have drafted and am about to file does not just limit terms for elected officials but also for bureaucrats who are in supervisory positions. They seem to have even more power currently in Washington than elected officials and that must change. We’ve got some work to do but must ensure that people across America understand – this is our last chance to get things repaired in our government system that has been so badly corrupted.
Experience McKellar's leadership; grass-roots non-profit 501(c)(3) launched many successful projects. Contracts; sexually/physically abused women/ child. African-American Breast Cancer Outreach Project (ABCO) University of Texas, Nursing.Till midnight academy
Education Undergraduate degree, Texas Women's University in Nursing and Chemistry; masters degrees,University of Texas with honors, community health nursing, organizational speech communications. BS political science; graduate student in political science.
Campaign Phone (903) 520-0297
Campaign Email
Twitter @Vote4McKellar
My greatest strength is the ability to perform the duties of a Congressperson. I have performed these tasks in the civilian world and the military. I have a strong leadership background. My past employment and educational background sets me aside from other candidates. I have employed hundreds of citizens in Texas; jobs, jobs, jobs. I can relate to the people in East Texas because, I am a East Texan. I am compassionate healthcare provider and I and have deep concern for the well-being of all mankind.
Realistically, America does not have the resources to deploy 8 to 11 million undocumented immigrants any place. Therefore, DACA needs to be finalized and Congress and Senate needs to establish an Immigration Reform Bill and move on. We have used too much valuable time beating this issue to death. It is time to move on to taking care of our children's healthcare, senior citizens, college students and middle class America. There are so many more issues that need the attention of the legislators. We can not destroy families and lives of people who are productive men and women in America.
Yes, I think a fair and independent commission should have that opportunity. It needs to happen now and especially in Texas. And I want to serve on the commission. We need a body of citizens who are not bias and have nothing to lose or gain; just fairness.There should never be a partisan elected official allowed to draw lines. They would be tempted to draw in favor of their party or themselves. We need to maintain our principles when establishing lines.
Yes, I would support a term limit. We already have term limits for the president, city councils and county commissions. We need a change in Congress and the Senate. Congress consist of two years; I believe that the voters should decide if you are doing a great job or not. After that, 10 terms is a career of 20 years. Senate is a six years term, citizens should decide. After that a 3 term will be a career of 18 years. If we are going to take care of these elected officials for life, they need to earn their retirement. Therefore, if they are living up to the citizens expectations, we would consider a career.
Experience I have 40 years experience in the hospitality industry, medicine (completed medical school), and education (collegiate professor).
Education Bachelor of Science (BS) Masters of Science (MS) Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Campaign Phone (936) 632-7989
After the 2003 GOP redistricting of county lines here in Texas, our state created puppets, not true leaders. Many candidates and politicians alike are products of a network, where connections, wealth, friendship, religion, and nepotism determine election outcomes rather than the true caliber of an individual. My journey has been marked by what seems thousands of trials placed forth by individuals or organized networks. I have stood on my own two feet to meet these challenges head on; yet, more often than none, being successful has brought a plethora of further obstacles and roadblocks. Whether living in developed nations and especially third world countries, I have grown immensely from my travels, never compromising morals, charity, human decency, and becoming stalwart in self reliance, always taking the higher road, which at times has cost me years of my life. I have learned from my successes and failures, and wish to continue to serve humanity and the public interest.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I published an article proposing a border wall complete with checkpoints every 50-100 miles. The checkpoints would contain the Homeland Security database, a computer system that would check the background of individuals wanting to enter the country,while also regulating the numbers of people entering our nation. Temporary, renewable work related visas could be offered on an annual basis allowing migrant workers to work seasonal jobs, make money, renew the work visa fee, and return to their country once work was completed. Failure to comply would result in deportation and not being able to return to our country in future attempts. I wrote that article in the time frame 2004-2007, having the vision to protect our borders yet also realizing our nation’s foundation is a medley of global, immigrant populations that make our country strong and vibrant. Most leaders and candidates alike are followers; however, over a decade ago, I led.
The 2003 GOP redistricting of county lines has created a massive, disillusioned cohort of District 1 population whose vote matters little if at all. I chose to run to become the next US Congressman as many rural community people mentioned to me that “not only do we feel underrepresented, we feel there is no representation at all.” The 2003 redistricting is unfair to the southern half of District 1 (Pineywoods). Why? The majority populace lies in the northern half of District 1; thus, upon voting in elections, the most votes are cast in the northern part of the District 1 silencing voters in the southern part of District 1. The consequences of the 2003 gerrymandering of county lines in Deep East Texas (Lufkin, Nacogdoches), has decimated the Pineywoods with numerous, permanent industry closures and the loss of 10,000+ jobs over this past decade. I would support independent citizens be included in redistricting commissions as long as that citizen has no conflicts of interests.
I am an avid supporter of term limits, as established politicians have become a liability to people and a proper functioning government. Congressional positions loyalty should be to their constituent base, not protecting their pockets and self interests or the interests of powerful lobbyist groups and industries. A maximum of three three year terms or two four year terms, to be voted on by the people, I believe would allow, a candidate to improve his/her community, and promote their platform accordingly.