DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – From now until the March 6 primary, we’re taking a closer look at some key races across Texas and here in the DFW area.
One race that is generating a lot of interest is the 32nd Congressional District in Dallas and Collin Counties, long held by Republican Pete Sessions. While this district has been historically Republican, it was one of three Republican Congressional districts in Texas in which Hillary Clinton won.
Even though it was a one point victory, it is giving Democrats hope that they can repeat the outcome in 2018. As a result, there are seven candidates vying in the primary.
You may not know Ed Meier, but chances are you’ve seen the ads on TV for his campaign to unseat Sessions. He has raised more than $800,000, which is nearly as much money raised by the other six Democrats — combined — who are running in the primary.
“People are enthusiastic about my campaign, because they’ve seen that I’m someone that’s proven that I know how to raise the resources necessary to beat Pete Sessions,” Meier said.
Meier is one of three Democrats in this race who worked during the Obama administration. He worked at the State Department under then Secretary Hillary Clinton. “I managed the military transition out of Iraq and made sure our diplomats and aid workers were safe and secure out of Iraq after the troops pulled out,” he said. “And so, folks are looking for someone who knows how to take all the values we’re talking about and actually put them into action and know how to get things done in Washington.”
Meier counts his 9-year-old daughter, Penelope, as one of his volunteers who campaigns door-to-door. And he credits her for inspiring him to run. “That motivated me at that moment to do everything I could in 2018,” he said. “to do everything I could that we’re fighting for the values we believe in.”
Meier said that the issue people most talk to him about is healthcare — and he believes that improving Obamacare and universal healthcare are the answers. “The most important thing we have to do is to make sure that everyone has quality healthcare,” he said, “and to me, the most immediate step we need to take is to build on the Affordable Care Act and have Medicare available for every single person.”
He said that prescription drug costs need to be slashed.
Meier also wants Congress to pass a clean bill that would grant a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. “First and foremost, Dreamers are as American as any other American in this country and we must provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers,” he said.
Meier opposes any effort to reduce legal immigration. “I think it’s terrible the Trump administration is using the Dreamers as a bargaining chip for more extreme policies to try and limit legal immigration in this country,” he said.
Meier said that, while Democrats didn’t turn out in 2016, he believes that they will show up this year.