DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As early voting continues, those running for office in the all-important Texas primary, are trying to get their message out and their supporters to the polls.
We continue our series of reports on some of the key races and major candidates, including the 32nd Congressional District in Dallas and Collin Counties. This race is generating a lot of interest because seven Democrats are running to unseat veteran Republican incumbent, two years after Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in this and two other historically Republican districts in Texas.
One candidate — Colin Allred — was a professional athlete, worked under President Barack Obama, and now wants to return to Washington, D.C. to represent the district.
“This is my home. I was born and raised here. I was literally born in a hospital in this district and I went to public schools in this district.”
Allred says he’s ready to tackle Congress after playing for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and as General Counsel in HUD under Secretary Julian Castro during the Obama Administration. “I’ve been fighting for people who don’t have a voice since before I ran for Congress. And I want to continue doing that when I’m in office.”
He’s one of seven Democrats running in the 32nd Congressional District primary — with the hope of replacing Republican veteran Pete Sessions. “In this era with Donald Trump as President, with this Congress, and with this version of the Republican Party in charge, I felt like the time is now, there’s no time to wait.”
Among his top priorities, solving what he calls the healthcare crisis here in North Texas and statewide. “I think we have to get to universal healthcare in this country. We actually already have it, right? We just do it through the emergency room, which is an extremely inefficient and cruel way to do it. And here in Dallas County, we’re feeling that in our property taxes at Parkland.”
Allred says he would build on Obamacare, and give everyone a chance to enter the Medicare system. He wants to increase spending on early childhood education, boost the minimum wage to a livable wage, and make sure all workers can share in a company’s success.
When asked how he would legislate that Allred said, “I think we create the conditions for it. I really do. Create the conditions for businesses to thrive here and that’s more than just giving away tax cuts.”
Allred favors granting a path to citizenship to DACA recipients and opposes President Trump’s plan which would tie that to an expanded border wall. “I have a problem with the wall period. I think this country can not allow the symbol of this country become a wall with a barbed wire on top of it. The symbol of our country is the Statue of Liberty and it has to remain that way.”
He says his goal is to give back to the community that helped him become who he is today. “I was able to go and do all the things I wanted to do, play in the NFL, become a civil rights attorney, work for the President of the United States, and I want to make sure stories like mine aren’t unique.”
Allred has raised the second highest amount of money in the primary, more than $400,000.
He’s not airing any ads on tv, but says his campaign will use mailers to help spread their message.
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