Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

U.S. House, District 32

2 year term. Must be 25 years or older, a US citizen and a resident of Texas. Responsible for representing the citizens of his/her district in the US House of Representatives.
  • Paul Brown (Rep)

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    Todd Maternowski (Dem) Writer, Small Business Owner

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    Colin Allred (Dem) Civil rights attorney

  • Pete Sessions (Rep)

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    Ron Marshall (Dem) Aerospace Engineer

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    George Rodriguez (Dem) Immigration Attorney who founded his own practice almost 23 years ago with his wife Michelle. He is an AV-preeminent lawyer, a designated “Super Lawyer,” and the co-founder of a U.S. News and World

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    Brett Shipp (Dem) Former Investigative Reporter

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    Lillian Salerno (Dem) Candidate; Lawyer; Small Business Owner

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    Ed Meier (Dem) Non-Profit Executive

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

IMMIGRATION: What changes, if any, would you propose to our immigration policy for current undocumented residents? Do you support construction of a wall along our southern border? If so, how would you pay to it?

FOREIGN INTERVENTION: Under what circumstances should the US intervene militarily in a foreign conflict? What policy would you support regarding North Korea?

BUDGET: Social Security and Medicare are key programs which are relied upon by millions of Americans. Do you support changes to these programs in order to reduce the budget? If so, how would you accomplish that? If not, how would you reduce budget deficits?

HEALTHCARE: What legislation would you support, if any, to ensure comprehensive, affordable healthcare for all Americans? Should Obamacare be repealed, replaced or reformed?

OTHER ISSUES: What other issues do you believe will be most pressing in the next session of Congress, and what is your position on these issues?

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Age 42
Education Graduated from Cistercian in Irving. Worked toward B.A. in Religion at University of Chicago
Campaign Phone (214) 764-4016
Twitter @ToddforTexas
Immigration is the bedrock of our country, and has been since before its founding; we need to update our obsolete immigration policy to more modern, efficient standards. The undocumented immigrants already here should have a pathway to citizenship that includes; a thorough background check, payment of any back taxes, a fine, and a citizenship test. The few "bad apples" can be removed, but the vast majority of the hardworking families who are here, who want to play by the rules, should be allowed to do so. A wall may have been a good answer in 900 A.D., but considering most illegal aliens enter this country by plane, it's clearly a massive waste of taxpayer funds, as well as a potent anti-American symbol.
The U.S. should only intervene after all diplomatic avenues have failed. Rage-tweets composed on a golden toilet at 5 am do not constitute "diplomacy." North Korea in particular has shown some willingness to come to the table (as well as macho bluster); no regime, anywhere, wants to lose its grip on power. America's economic and international might is far greater than its military strength; we should leverage that to convince rogue regimes that their best interests (and regime survival) lie within the accepted norms of the international community.
Social Security and Medicare are funded by us, every week, via deductions in our paychecks. These are not "entitlements" to be politicized and eliminated in a short-term hatchet job. While we will likely have to start drawing on the massive reserves for SS, we can maintain its current level of funding by removing the $118k cap on taxable income. This would keep SS solvent for most of the next century. The budget can certainly be cleaned up in a number of ways. There are many, many ancient and obsolete programs that draw 11-figure budgets but serve little purpose. We can also raise money in other ways, like lending microloans at U.S. post offices, or legalizing and then taxing recreational marijuana.
I support affordable, universal healthcare, in the model of Taiwan or Japan. Every other first-world country has some form of universal healthcare, and for decades have reaped the benefits and peace of mind that it offers. A single-payer plan would eliminate premiums, deductibles, drug price spikes, and whether your doctor is in or out of network. It could be paid for in the same manner as Social Security; via automatic deductions in your weekly paycheck, both from you and your employer, and would eliminate the need for Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA system. My family and I have been on Obamacare for the last five years because we had no other options; I'd only repeal it if there was already another plan in place.
The single biggest issue facing Congress is corruption from within. When politics is money and money is politics, good candidates are chased away by those willing to bend the knee to special interests and lobbyists. Congress' slide from the most democratic branch of government to arguably the least --and the results of that, which is that it accomplishes next to nothing other than enriching its own members, who are almost all well-off lawyers and CEOs to begin with-- is the reason its approval ratings are in the single digits. Working to pass strict campaign finance laws is just the beginning of what needs to be done to pull Congress, kicking and screaming, out of the swamp.
Age 34
Education Hillcrest High School, 2001 Baylor University, B.A., 2005 UC Berkeley School of Law, J.D., 2014
Campaign Phone (469) 573-3916
Twitter @ColinAllredTX
We are a nation of immigrants, and we should embrace the diversity, talent, and hard work of those who have come to this nation looking for opportunity. Congress should pass the DREAM Act to protect those who were brought here as children and are now serving in our military and contributing to our communities and our economy.

We must also pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for those already here. Immigration reform must supply our economy with the workers it needs, treat those coming here with respect and dignity, and effectively control our borders. And finally, I oppose the construction of the wall both as a waste of money and as a racist symbol of exclusion.
The decision to use force is the gravest decision any nation can make. We should only intervene militarily when our vital national interests are at stake or to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, and only as a last resort after diplomatic options have failed.

The North Korean nuclear program is the most serious threat we face. Congress must do everything it can to tighten sanctions on North Korea to pressure it to negotiate an end to its nuclear/missile programs--the only real solution to the crisis. It must also ensure that our military has what it needs to defend our country from a North Korean attack. Finally, the President must stop engaging in bellicose and dangerous rhetoric that is only making this crisis more dangerous.
We must honor our commitments to our senior citizens by preserving--and strengthening--Social Security and Medicare. These programs are not “entitlements,” they are earned benefits: you pay into them your entire working life so that you can draw from them once you become eligible. It is a part of the modern social contract, that you can work your entire life knowing that you can eventually retire with dignity.

As Congress takes steps to bolster these programs, I will honor that fundamental promise between the generations by acting to preserve and, where possible, expand these programs so that they actually meet the needs of retirees. If necessary, we must ask for more sacrifices from those at the top to fully fund these programs.
Health care is a fundamental right, but Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country. That is why I will fight every day to deliver universal, affordable health care to every American. We can do that by protecting Obamacare by stabilizing the individual markets and expanding Medicaid. We must also give Americans a not for profit option for their health insurance by allowing every American the option to buy in to Medicare. Medicare's low overhead costs and established provider networks can provide all Americans with a quality, affordable health care option that puts people over profits and that will compete with private insurers, driving down costs and cutting out the insurance executives in the process.
Restoring the Voting Rights Act is the first piece of legislation I would like to see passed in Congress. The right to vote is the most fundamental right, because it protects all the other rights our Constitution guarantees. Yet the Supreme Court’s decision gutting the VRA has unleashed an attack on voting rights, and Congress must act to restore the VRA’s full protections.

The other major priority must be increased investments in education. I support providing universal Pre-K; recruiting, training, and retaining the best teachers in the world; rebuilding the decaying infrastructure of our public schools; strengthening apprenticeship and job training programs; working toward debt-free college; and bolstering our community college system.
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Age 74
Education B. S. Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, M. S. Mechanical Engineering
Campaign Phone (214) 212-8205
The best thing we can do is create a rational humane immigration reform policy that provides a path to full citizenship. Immigrants who have lived here for a period of time and not been convicted of any crimes should be eligible.

I think Trump’s idea of a wall is a bad idea. We are better off spending the money on other issues. The wall is an ecological nightmare. The same thing can be accomplished with surveillance devices rather than a physical wall. The issue is better handled with work permits. The number of illegal immigrants has not been increasing.

The United States should intervene in a foreign conflict to protect human rights and democracy. In the past we intervened to protect our oil supply without a plan to end our dependency on oil. We need to end our dependency on oil do we don’t have to do this again.

In the case of North Korea we need to make the consequences of an attack by North Korea clear, but let go of the bombastic rhetoric.
I am opposed to reducing Social Security and Medicare benefits. The solvency of Social Security can be greatly improved by raising the upper limit of payroll deductions. The threat to many programs that help ordinary people is the head long rush to tax cuts for the rich while almost all new wealth is going to the top few percent of the population.
I support universal health care. We should try Medicare for all and try to incorporate the best practices from other countries.
I am an Aerospace Engineer and I am familiar with the laws of physics. The laws of physics are not optional which means all the denial of man-made global warming in the world is not going to stop the planet from warming up and the resultant extreme weather. We need to replace fossil fuel energy with solar and advanced nuclear energy technologies that don’t have the radioactive waste, radioactive meltdown, or nuclear weapons proliferation problems of uranium and plutonium reactors. We need an aggressive research and development project like the Manhattan Project that developed the atom bomb. I am writing a book on this subject.

We need to restore Net Neutrality and prevent censorship of the internet by corporations.
Age 49
Education DISD - Primary through Highschool, University of Notre Dame - Bach of Arts, SMU Dedman School of Law
Campaign Phone (214) 717-1893
Twitter @George4Texas
You Tube
Millions of undocumented immigrants in the US must be seen in terms of social justice and economics. Dreamers are in this country by no fault of their own pursuing education, serving our military and contributing to our economy. We must update immigration laws to provide individuals who have been in the US the ability to adjust their status, be allowed to pay a penalty to pardon their unlawful status while immigrating through family ties. Individuals with significant business investments, as outlined in the International Entrepreneur Regulation, should be allowed a non-immigrant visa that is renewable if they maintain a viable business, have no significant criminal record, and employ US citizens. I do not support the building of a wall.
We must begin with diplomacy and tools short of military action before engaging in war. Currently, we are threatened by non-state terrorist groups, such as ISIS, which require immediate military action. In a nation-to-nation situation, it is important we seek peace, international cooperation, and sanctions prior to utilizing military force. In N. Korea we must utilize other nations to help us contain Kim Jong-un. We have to place pressure on China and utilize China’s economic ties to the North. N. Korea is not just a threat to the US, it is a threat to the world. We must “name and shame” Chinese nationals violating sanctions just as we have done with other human rights abusers. I do not support a preemptive strike against N. Korea.
I support preserving Social Security and Medicare, but not through privatization. I am aware of several different ideas of preserving Social Security, including raising the full retirement age, increasing the payroll tax, or applying a means-testing approach. I am open to evaluating all of the possibilities because, as the wealthiest nation in the world, we need to stand by our values and protect our elderly. We failed the American people by passing a tax plan that potentially contributes $1.2 trillion to the deficit. With true tax reform and fair share burden to corporations and the wealthiest, we can control the deficit, make policy changes to the programs, and fund Social Security and Medicare for the future.
ACA should not be repealed. We are failing Americans if we do not find a way to reform it. For those 25 and under, I support Federal Government funding as an investment in our society. Our youth should not receive lesser care based upon which set of parents they are born to or their parent’s employment. A smart, good society invests in its youth. For those 25 -65, I would “de-link" health insurance from employment and build upon ObamaCare. Enable health insurers to innovate and produce insurance products and networks that work for individual and enable them to look for employment without the “healthcare benefit” question. For those 65 and over: “Honor Thy Father and Mother” is my policy. We should build upon and strengthen Medicare.
Americans want a fair shot. I support policies focused on economic fairness that will provide the average person a chance at the American Dream. We have to strengthen and expand the middle class by taking the following steps for strategic tax reform, affordable healthcare, stair-step up minimum wage to $15/hr, strengthening the Equal Pay Act including legal remedy for victims, and student loan interest rate caps with tax-free employer repayment. While I do not think legislation should be the primary mechanism whereby the sexes learn to treat each other, I believe this next Congress has the opportunity to establish a new tone about the equality of the sexes as it relates to economic fairness, educational opportunity, and workplace culture.
Age 59
Education Bachelor of Arts - Stephen F. Austin State University 1983 Diploma - Highland Park High School 1977
Campaign Phone (214) 624-9832
Twitter @brett_shipp
You Tube
We need a reformed path to citizenship. We cannot simply deport 12 million people on a whim. We must preserve Temporary Protected Status for immigrants who came to America seeking safety and employment. Let’s protect DACA and pass a clean DREAM Act. The children who benefit from these programs are part of our future as a culture and an economy. They are human, just like the rest of us. It is our duty to ensure they have a shot at opportunity without fear of being separated from their families. There is a legitimate need to invest in additional personnel and smarter technology to help prevent human and drug trafficking. Building a wall across the entire US/Mexico border is not the answer to any immigration or security issues we face.
There is no need for military pre-emptive strikes or empire building overseas. Military action needs to be a contemplative process that involves moral and ethical deliberations. Military force should be used chiefly as a defensive maneuver and the President needs to consult with Congress before engaging in military conflicts. The U.S. should intervene only if our allies are invaded or attacked by an unfriendly external force or when called for by treaty or moral obligation. We must not antagonize North Korea with our “nuclear button”. We must maintain as civil a relationship with North Korea as possible, seek economic sanctions if necessary, and strive for peaceful resolutions.
Social Security and Medicare are commitments to the American People and these programs’ benefits cannot be cut. To save money on these programs, we must focus on efficiency and eliminate fraud and waste in Medicare and Medicaid. We'll have to make difficult choices relating to Social Security, like raising the retirement age to keep the fund solvent, but we should not slash benefits Americans depend on to live because some politicians want to cut taxes for corporations and the super wealthy. To further reduce deficits, Congress should examine spending less money on the Military. This is the largest single piece of our discretionary spending and where our biggest savings could come from.
Healthcare is a right. Our end goal must be quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans. We must begin fixing our healthcare system by reversing the Trump administration’s recent corporate tax giveaway and using the added revenue to better fund healthcare services, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program and, especially, Medicaid. I support the Affordable Care Act and believe we must continue to improve it until we can implement a Medicare-for-all or single payer system. I believe this is the path down which we are headed and is the best long-term solution.
Congress must take care to focus on economic inequality, protecting our personal and civil rights, and taking bold action to address climate change. We can start by reversing the recent, massive tax giveaway that benefitted only corporations and the super wealthy at the expense of everyday Americans. Let's raise the minimum wage to $10/hour immediately and then to $15/hour over 5 years. We must stand up for our 1st Amendment rights and ensure the media is allowed to speak and report the truth. Congress must fight against policies that restrict women's access to healthcare or equal pay for equal work. We must make it easier for Americans to vote and end voter suppression committed against people because of their race, language, or background
Age 57
Education Southern Methodist University School of Law, J.D. University of North Texas, M.A. UT-Austin, B.S.
Campaign Phone (972) 643-8599
We need comprehensive immigration reform that prioritizes the unification of families and reflects the reality of our increasingly interconnected world. In the meantime, I would support UAFA and the passage of a clean DREAM Act. Right now, we must demand the Trump Administration reinstate DACA as a precondition for the passage of any appropriations bill. Personally, I will use my platform as U.S. Representative to stand with Texans impacted by our outdated immigration policies, support Texans who are advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, and highlight the benefit DREAMers have brought to our community. I do not support the construction of a border wall.
Military intervention should be a last resort. There is no silver bullet to reducing the risk of nuclear warfare with other nation-states. Doing so will take expert, sustained, and multilateral efforts led by American diplomats and other government officials to induce states to abandon their attempts to develop nuclear weapons. I support the Iran deal and agree with most experts who view it as effective. The cavalier attitude of the Trump Administration to the possibility of nuclear warfare with North Korea should keep us all up at night, and I support changing American law so the President cannot unilaterally decide to launch a nuclear strike, along with reopening a multilateral dialogue with the North Korean regime.
Expanding Social Security and Medicare, combined with a range of policies that would help to raise wages and reduce the costs of essentials like child care and college, is key to ensure workers and retirees can live out their lives with dignity and security. As more Americans retire, Social Security payments are gradually creeping higher than the taxes collected to fund it, requiring supplemental funding to be drawn from the Trust Fund. To close the shortfall, I support making the payroll tax more progressive by lifting the cap on those making more than $250,000 a year. To reduce budget deficits in our Medicare program, we must tackle the larger question of affordability for pharmaceuticals, insurance providers, and medical devices.
The progress made through the Affordable Care Act must be protected. I support a public option and would work toward a single payer system. In order to do so, we first must tackle out of control healthcare and pharmaceutical costs so we do not perpetuate these excesses in a new system. We need to fight the monopolistic powers within our healthcare industry, including private insurers, pharmaceutical corporations, the medical device industry, and group purchasing organizations that are allowed to set the terms of the debate behind closed doors at the expense of the interests of the American people.
Left unchecked, climate change imperils the planet that we will leave our children and grandchildren. But it also presents one of the greatest economic opportunities of our time. I support a market-based approach to reducing CO2 emissions at a pace in accordance with climate science, while ensuring that the federal government will encourage -- rather than inhibit -- innovation and deployment of clean energy technologies. And, because climate change is the ultimate global issue, we must work cooperatively with nations worldwide. I strongly oppose the Trump Administration’s intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, and will work to ensure the U.S. remains a part of this historic agreement.
Age 41
Education 2004 - JD, UT Law 2000 - Masters, Oxford Univ. 1998 - BA, Intl. Affairs, George Washington Univ.
Twitter @EdforTX
Congress is long overdue to pass comprehensive immigration reform. We should be working to pull people out of the shadows and give them a realistic road map to citizenship. One of my top priorities will be defending Dreamers, and I would push to immediately pass the DREAM Act in Congress. It will protect families and communities, make us safer, and improve our economy. There is simply no excuse for the delay in making this the law of the land. I will also support smart policies like the Uniting American Families Act that would eliminate some of the discrimination in our immigration system. President Trump’s proposed physical wall along the entire southern border is a foolish and wasteful campaign promise, and I would not support it.
Military intervention in foreign conflicts should be the last step the United States takes after all other options have been exhausted. As a Senior Advisor in the Obama Administration at the State Department, I worked side by side with our troops on several trips to Iraq and developed policies to address some of our most pressing foreign policy challenges. The retreat of American leadership under Trump has harmed our ability to avoid conflict. I will fight efforts to destroy our diplomatic and development work and other cost-effective tools that help address threats. On North Korea, Congress must continue to authorize new harsh sanctions to tighten the economic pressure and impose significant and damaging costs on the North Korean regime.
Social Security and Medicare are two of the most important programs in our history, and we must protect and strengthen them so they are available to future generations. For years, Republicans have launched partisan attacks on these critical programs. I would not support efforts to cut Social Security or Medicare. There are alternative ways to reduce deficits rather than cutting off the safety net for vulnerable Americans. We need to close loopholes in our tax code that allow some of the wealthiest individuals and corporations to pay a lower effective rate than the middle class. We must also invest in economic policies that support a fair economy that works for everyone, which will increase the tax base and reduce needs within the system.
Health care is a right. Any health care approach must get us closer to the goal of universal health care so everyone, regardless of background, gets the care they need. The ACA was a critical step on that path, and we must stop partisan attacks to sabotage the law. In Congress, I will fight efforts to repeal or weaken the ACA and oppose eliminating protections provided under the law. There are immediate ways to stabilize and strengthen the law, while working towards health care for all. This includes a strong public option, lowering the eligibility age for Medicare, guaranteeing funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), lowering drug prices, and protecting women’s health care options.
There are many challenges facing Congress. First, we must build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. This starts by investing in better paying jobs where people are treated with dignity, ensuring workers can organize, raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing paid leave, and putting families first. We also must protect and expand LGBTQ and civil rights, invest in education, and combat climate change. Most of all, Congress must start standing up for our values. In this district, we have a Representative that has stopped listening and spends his time working for Washington special interests and condoning Donald Trump. It’s time for the people to have a voice and for a Representative who will fight for the change we need