DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With just over eight weeks to go before the March 6 primary in Texas, Andrew White of Houston knows he’s playing beat-the-clock.
He’s one of ten Democrats vying to run against the popular Republican incumbent Greg Abbott.READ MORE: I-Team: Bank Of America And Zelle Customers Targeted In New High-Tech Scam
White says, “My message is get rid of the extremism.”
Political analysts believe White is among the leading candidates in the field, but will face the most competition from former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez.
White says, “As it compares to Lupe, I think I have an experienced background dealing with creating jobs as an entrepreneur for 20 years, dealing with building consensus over different issues.”
Asked how Texas would be different under a Governor Andrew White he said, “First thing, I would veto any bathroom bill that crosses my desk. It’s a job-killing bill, and it’s discriminatory.”
White says his top priorities are expanding Medicaid in Texas and improving public education. “No business wants to relocate to Texas if schools here are forty-third in the nation. And yet it’s happening, but you know it’s happening because of all the other great things about Texas. It’s (education) is not helping. When your schools are just a little bit better than Mississippi’s. You know you’ve got a problem.”
He says one way to improve public schools is to give teachers a $5,000 pay increase.READ MORE: North Texas Looks At High-Speed Rail Between Dallas And Fort Worth
White would pay for it, he says, by eliminating a tax loophole that he says helps owners of commercial properties, not homeowners.
He considers himself a common sense Democrat. “It means using data and science to drive your decision-making. We have leaders who aren’t interested in data. They’re interested in appealing to a fringe element of their primary party.”
White says while he personally opposes abortion, as Governor, he would veto any additional abortion restrictions.
He opposes the new sanctuary cities law in Texas and the $800 million the state spends on border security.
White also says he believes there should be a path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant as long as they’re not criminals.
He opposes the border wall proposed by President Donald Trump but says he supports a strong border.
White says he never wanted to jump into politics.
But that changed after his father, former Democratic Texas Governor Mark White died last August.MORE NEWS: 'I Feel Like I'm Doing Something That Actually Matters' Says North Texas Mom Who Became Truck Driver Amid Nationwide Shortage
White says he spoke with many people about running — except for one person in particular. “I never actually spoke to my dad about running for Governor, ever. Which looking back, is a regret. We don’t have the leaders we used to have, so I felt like someone needed to step up.”