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VOTE411 Voter Guide

U.S. House, District 22

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    Steve Brown (Dem) Renewable Energy Financing Consultant

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    Mark Gibson (Dem) Chairman, Wells Funeral Services

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    James Green (Rep) Instructor

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    Margarita Ruiz Johnson (Dem) Retired Grandmother of 6

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    Sri Preston Kulkarni (Dem) Foreign Service Officer

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    Danny Nguyen (Rep) Commercial Real Estate

  • Pete Olson (Rep)

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    Letitia Plummer (Dem) Dentist

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    Eric Zmrhal (Rep) Engineer

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

Identify what you think are the three most important issues directly affecting the people in your district and explain how you will address these issues,if elected?

What do you think should be done to help those who don’t receive employer-sponsored health insurance and cannot afford insurance through other currently available options?

What do you think is the appropriate role of the federal government in fostering a positive environment for job creation in the United States?

Education/Degrees B.A. in political science from North Carolina A&T State University Graduate Studies in Urban & Minority Politics at the University of New Orleans (all but thesis completed)
Professional Experience Currently specializes in providing solar and energy efficiency strategies to public, commercial, non-profit and multifamily housing clients. He began his career at The White House. He joined the staff of U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
Community Involvement With 15 years of government relations, public affairs, coalition building, grassroots and message development. He was the 2014 Democratic Nominee for Railroad Commissioner and made him the youngest African American to win a statewide primary in Texas
Campaign Phone (281) 858-3323
(1)The absence of an advocate for all constituents: Parts of this District have higher levels of poverty than in the inner city of Houston. With access to life-saving social programs harder to obtain outside the loop, the incumbent time and time again votes against the interests of working and middle-class families- once elected I will champion access to the Promise of America and be an advocate all of my constituents can be proud of.

(2)Lack of live-saving infrastructure: I am the only candidate in this race with experience working for both the Texas Department of Transportation and Houston METRO. I understand the need for investment in multimodal forms of transportation. Specifically, I’ll work to build commuter rail lines into Fort Bend and Brazoria Counties. I also, I will be an advocate for regional flood control measures and green infrastructure development.

(3)We will work to restore the Voting Rights Act requiring the preclearance of electoral changes before they take effect
I believe that healthcare is not a commodity. Free markets will always find that sick, poor and elderly people aren't profitable. Each of us might one day find ourselves, or our loved ones in one of those categories. That is why last year I organized, with the help of the progressive grassroots, a rally advocating for Medicare for All in Fort Bend County.
Government's primary role should be to protect labor rights, safety and ensure equal access for the American worker. It should also actively look for retraining opportunities for workers in emerging industries, and ensure enforcement mechanism to require pay equity for female workers.
Education/Degrees BBA/Management Information System, University of Houston; Master in Strategic Studies (MSS), US Army War College; JD, South Texas College of Law
Professional Experience Chief of Staff, Rep. Harold Dutton, Texas Legislature, 1987 Session; Aide, late County Commissioner El Franco Lee; Campaigns: Dan Morales for Attorney General, Bill White for Mayor, Lee Brown for Mayor (2); 2018 Democratic Nominee, District 22
Community Involvement Former VP, Colony Crossing HOA; Former President, Fondren Meadow Civic Club; Volunteer, Fishes & Loaves (feeding the homeless); Member, Fort Bend County & Pearland Democrats; Member, Houston Alumni - Kappa Alpha Psi; University of Houston Alumni
Campaign Phone (713) 301-9021
Twitter @MarkGibsonTX22
(1) Affordable heathcare and reducing the cost - will support the ACA and make it easier for small businesses to participate without the penalties (2) Flood control management and improvements - will push for $1B designated for Ft Bend, Brazoria and Harris County to provide the necessary improvements along the Brazos River to prevent another Harvey in the District (3) Immigration Reform - with almost 18% South Asian population & voters, will support a balanced immigration policy that includes strong support for DACA, clear path to citizenship and other reforms.
We should provide or strengthen the Affordable Care Act with incentives for small businesses to participate and not get penalized. We will change the ICD-10 codes to allow a balanced reimbursement between physicians and payouts by insurance companies. Lastly, we would support some type of Medicare for all; restore the cuts in Medicare; remove the work provision in Medicaid and not punish families with children with special needs by forcing these children to work when they would have difficulty finding work.
I think the role of the federal government is to boost job creation; expand opportunities for small businesses; remove barriers all businesses, including women-owned and minority-owned businesses; and provide more creative funding expansion and tax incentives. If elected, I would propose a $1B funding in small-business startups in the areas of high-technology, science, and digital transformation.
Education/Degrees BA-Liberal Studies (Political Science) AS-Nuclear Engineering Technology
Professional Experience Electrical Maintenance - Instructor Senior Reactor Operator Certified - Instructor USN Chief Electricians Mate Submarines (Retired)
Immigration - Submit legislation establishing a merit based immigration system, ending chain, and lotto immigration practices. Fund a physical boarder wall and electronic surveillance systems. Healthcare - Support clean repeal of ACA, repeal of McCarran-Ferguson Act, Tort reform legislation, and submit a routine care bill that removes government and insurance from routine care. Budget - Submit legislation requiring a budget reduction of 25% to any agency that isn’t meeting effectiveness goals.
A rewriting of Federal Savings Account legislation should create a non-interest bearing account for all American citizens not eligible for Medicare. Each account should be given an annual stipend from the government and allowed pre-tax personal contributions up to $2k per year. This account would be used to pay for all routine medical care (i.e. physicals, vaccinations, eye exams, dental exams, etc.). This would reduce the costs associated with private insurance plans making them less expensive. Tort reform would further reduce the hidden costs of healthcare and eliminate the need for excessive testing. Repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act would allow insurance to be sold across state lines making a more competitive and streamline market which should reduce cost.
The federal government should establish foreign trade policies which level the “field” between American manufacturers and their foreign competition who don’t follow the same environmental regulations, uphold the same workplace safety standards, provide adequate wages to workers, etc. Nationally, the federal government should ensure no state is given an advantage over another as a result of federal regulation or law, including but not limited to tax codes that benefit corporations in one state at the expense of others. Maintain a rigid review process to eliminate unnecessary or overburden some regulations.
Education/Degrees Viet Nam Era Veteran, BA UT Austin, MA UH CLC, Author Lib. of Congress 4 books, Adjunct Professor at San Jack South, College of the Mainland, Alvin Community College
Professional Experience Finance, Accounting, Military, human resources, real estate, teaching, retail, mediation, sociology, pychology, languages...
Community Involvement Habit for Humanity fund raising for Puerto Rico. Resilient PR Green Project...
Campaign Email
Campaign Phone (713) 870-6836
Harvey and its direct and non-intended consequences, in Pearland is the annexation without concent of the community affected, and the problems with pollution from an old garbage dump and its affect on the residents, in Fort Bend they are having problems of pollution,also.

I will closely monitor what, if anything, the local goverment is doing to remedy these problems and will facilitate coordination with state and federal agencies to remedy these situations with a win/win for all affected.
All citizens should have access to medical care, and therefore, all citizens should have medical care via local health centers, the expansion of Medicaid at the State level, the expansion of Medicare at the federal level, making health care available to more seniors, and bring the age down to 60 years old, local health cooperatives that are non-proffit, the expanssion of CHIPs for needed children with contribution from the state and federal level expansion, and any other creative ideas that can be incorporated to cover all of our citizens. The Republicans and Democrats in Congress need to get together to come up with a formula using all these current programs, which by the way are accepted by US Citizens, and are very popular, and bring every one in, and have 100% coverage for all of our citizens.
The federal goverment should be a force for good, and not a force for evil. In its appropriate roll in a goverment by and for its people, the federal goverment can foster and contribute towards training our workers for the jobs of the future and try to match the person with the job more effectively, and create partnerships with private businesses to train the workers. Additionally, the US can invest proactively in what is needed to grow our economy: rebuilding our bridges, roads, our electric grid, expanding our navigation ports, developing a national force to protect our internet communications from foreign enemies, and help us build an internet security wall to protect our pattents, and slow down the stealing of our inventions from foregin foes. The federal goverment can help us come together as a nation and protect our values of fairness, a nation of laws, and help protect our families and the difficult decissions they have to make during difficult family times.
Education/Degrees B.A. University of Texas, Plan II Honors M.P. A. Harvard University, Kennedy School
Professional Experience 14 years, U.S. State Department, with overseas assignments in Iraq, Russia, Israel, Taiwan, and Jamaica 1 year, Pearson Fellow, foreign policy advisor to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Community Involvement Volunteer/Recruiter, Big Brothers and Big Sisters (Moscow) Founder, Breaking Bread initiative to increase mutual understanding and reduce political tension in America Former Lt. Governor, Houston area (Div. 3S) Key Clubs
Campaign Phone (512) 957-1211
Twitter @SriPKulkarni
Education: I will fight for accountability for our Department of Education, so that it does not helping weaken public schools in favor of for profit or lower standards schools, or schools which do not accept all students. I will ensure a greater role for the Department in sharing best practices, helping with teacher training, and promoting innovation across state lines, so that all schools can benefit from the success of the best schools.

Disaster relief: I will push for greater funding for disaster relief, and greater accountability for FEMA, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers, so that natural disaster victims are taken care of and victims of human error are reduced.

Immigration reform: We need a rational, comprehensive reform that doesn't force us to lose our highly skilled immigrants, especially those who have waited years for green cards, and doesn't punish those brought here as children who are now productive members of society and no no other home.
We need a truly universal health care system, such as Medicare for All, which will bring down health care costs for everyone in the district and make sure no man, woman, or child is left without health care, just as in all other developed nations. All Americans should have access to health care through either their work, the VA, Medicare, or Medicaid. If they do not have one of those options, then they should be given the ability to join Medicare or a similar program. As Obamacare continues to be weakened by the current Congress, we should take this opportunity to address the biggest problem: sharply rising health care costs, which are often twice as expensive for the same procedures as in Europe, while achieving lower life expectancies.
The federal government must help encourage innovation and investment in the sectors of the future, including renewable energy. It must make long term plans to mitigate the effects of automation on the workforce and make investments in specific areas that help create good jobs in the future. Many of the technologies we use every day, such as GPS and the internet, were made possible through federal government investments in science and we can continue to do this as we adapt to disruptive long term trends. The federal government must ensure that all new jobs created adhere to our high labor standards, and that the rights of existing workers are protected from exploitation by employers. Tax incentives should favor true innovators and entrepreneurs, not just industries with large lobbying firms, and should be tied to the creation of middle class jobs.
Education/Degrees Graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in business, attending the Master’s degree program and later obtaining his certification as a CCIM, the highest designation in the commercial real estate industry.
Professional Experience Danny jumped wholeheartedly into the world of commercial real estate. Having gained experience working with major commercial real estate firms as an agent, Danny soon after obtained his broker’s license and opened his own firm.
Community Involvement 2x Missouri City councilman at large Involvement in Tx GOP
Campaign Website
Campaign Phone (832) 899-5542
1. Flooding; begin to implement drainage improvement projects, that have been in-work, and shovel ready for decades.

2. Actually begin to enforce existing immigration laws., I will support the loosening of constraints on local law enforcement and enable a cooperation between Federal and local law enforcement the country has not seen before.

3. Continue to support the NASA manned space flight program and the commercial space flight operations that are slated to be launched and recovered at our Ellington Airport/Spaceport.
Create good fiduciary incentives for businesses to capture local healthcare facilities/providers that can produce basic wellness programs for their employees.
The proper "Constitutional" responsibility/role is to promote the general welfare and that supports good public policy through legislation that decisively removes government regulations that restricts business growth, both domestically and for international coordination of each other's goods and services. Reduce and or eliminate corporate taxes that inhibit businesses from developing innovative processes that bring about efficiency, reduce overhead expenditures and increase profitability for its shareholders so they will carefully consider investing more into that successful business.
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Education/Degrees Graduate of the High School for Health Professions C/O 88 Spelman College C/O 1992- BS Degree Baylor College of Dentistry C/O 1999 Doctor of Dental Medicine
Professional Experience In 1992 I graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry attaining a DDS and began my career in medicine with the Harris County Hospital District as a Public Health Dental Provider. Opened two Health Care Centers; serve as a board member
Community Involvement CEO of CareerSmiles a non-profit created for low-income adults needing dental needs for job placement. In 2014 I legally lost custody of my son due to a loop-hole in Texas’ surrogacy laws. I wrote legislation defending the parental rights.
Campaign Phone (832) 606-5104
Twitter @plummerTX22
Healthcare affordability, access and coverage; infrastructure development; and tax relief are the most critical issues affecting the District. If elected I will spend the bulk of my time and energy focused on these three priorities. Healthcare: Single payer has been a hot topic this year because of the Medicare for All bill Senator Sanders and several Dem. co-sponsors introduced last fall. While I believe single-payer should be a North Star policy makers are guided by, I don’t believe an overhaul of the magnitude it’s advocates are currently articulating is prudent. The TX 22 is home to many small and independent business owners like myself who rely on the individual market to receive their insurance plans. Rather than doing away with the Affordable Care Act and starting anew, I believe there are three things that can be done to improve the Act. 1.Introduce a Public Option such as a Medicare Buy-In. 2.A National Insurance Exchange. 3.Elect a governor who will expand Medicaid.

As a small business owner, I am intimately aware of this dilemma. I believe my solutions of a Public Option, a National Insurance Exchange, and the expansion of Medicaid are the prescriptions for what ails our health system-- especially for those who don’t qualify for employer sponsored insurance.
Access to capital is the engine of the entrepreneur’s dream. Right now, job creation in this country has been left largely to the Federal Reserve through its maintenance of interest rates-- setting a baseline for liquidity in our economy. Before leaving office, former Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Federal Reserve had been as creative as it could in fostering full employment, and that the onus was now on Congress to enact fiscal policies that would fill the rest of the gap. Sadly, Chairman Bernanke’s words fell on deaf ears. The Federal government should take an activist approach to job creation. It is my belief that many programs of the so called “Great Society” were heading in the right direction by incorporating local community with federal dollars to achieve maximal employment in their areas. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the end of that endeavor, I’ve been thinking of it quite often. I think the programs would serve as blueprints for my office.
Education/Degrees BS - Mechanical Engineering, Miami University
Professional Experience For the past decade, I have worked as an engineer and project manager in various capacities in the oil and gas industry. I have managed projects, led teams and I am currently working on a flagship, deepwater project in the Gulf of Mexico.
Community Involvement Board Member - Cardiff Ranch Property Owner's Association, Precinct Chair - Fort Bend County (2014-2016), Volunteer Coach - Katy Youth Soccer (2015-Present), Volunteer - Parkway Fellowship Church (2015-2016), Second Baptist Church (2017-Present)
Campaign Phone (281) 785-1820
Twitter @EricZmrhal
I believe the federal budget, healthcare and national security are 3 of the top 5 issues impacting the district. Federal budget: I would propose a constitutional amendment to ensure the budget is balanced. Security: I would pass legislation that ensures the DoD and DHS have a buy-in to the final appropriations instead of politicians dictating how departments should spend money. Additionally, I will work with other Texas representatives to ensure our airports and the Port of Houston obtain federal funding to ensure they have the staff, resources and equipment necessary to deter and detain any illicit trafficking in people, drugs, illegal weapons, etc. Healthcare: I believe the healthcare system should be reformed and my solution to this issue is answered in the next question. Our elected officials are disgracing their offices with their inability to pass legislation. In order to deter this, I would propose term limits on Senators (2 terms) and Representatives (6 terms).
People should have the choice to not purchase health insurance if they do not want it. The ACA should be replaced with a system that incentivizes quality of care instead of quantity of patients seen. I think a Medicare "look-a-like" that would merge Medicare and Medicaid by splitting the responsibility between the federal and state governments could be a good proposal. State governments would assume Medicaid’s cost for children and young adults while the federal government would be responsible for the cost for the elderly and disabled (i.e. long-term care). I would reform Medicare Part D to reduce drug costs, including a ban on pharmaceutical advertising. Additionally, any new law should focus on health care, not health insurance. We need to establish an incentive or performance-based system that rewards clinics, hospitals, doctors, hospital staff, etc. for quality of care and deter quantity of patients of seen as a method to increase income.
I believe we are finally on the right track with corporate tax reductions and incentivizing corporations to keep jobs in (or repatriate jobs/money back to) America, though we can do more to cut regulations that hamstring businesses. The government should pass immigration reform that would allow immigrants with STEM degrees or other highly skilled immigrants to legally stay/work in America, which will boost private sector spending and output while also increasing federal tax revenue. At a macro level, the government can continue with infrastructure projects. Overall, I believe the government should be committed to free enterprise and individual freedom, while cutting regulations and not spending money that provides no benefit. Simply put – stop overspending and borrowing and focus on stimulating private-sector growth to spur job creation.