DALLAS (CBS11) – All this week and next week, CBS11 is highlighting some of the key political races in the Texas primary on March 6.
We’ve profiled the major Democratic candidates running in the 32nd Congressional District who want to unseat veteran Republican incumbent Pete Sessions.
In all, seven Democrats are vying for the chance to challenge him.
“I don’t know who their candidate will be but I look forward to discussing the issues,” said Rep. Sessions.
After 21 years in Congress, he seems unfazed by Democrats’ who are energized this year. “I’ve not lost an hour’s sleep yet. I’ve not been worried about it. But this will be a vigorous debate.”
Congressman Sessions says his message to his Republican supporters is about the booming U.S. economy under President Donald Trump. “America’s going to go from 24th in the world to doing business to 1st. We’re going to make America strong. We’re going to bring back economically the American people, the American free-enterprise system. And we’re going to take people off welfare and allow them to move to work at their rate.”
Sessions says one of his top priorities is safety — for the military, law enforcement, and students.
Polls show a majority of Americans support keeping guns away from the mentally ill.
Sessions says he agrees.
When asked if he would support a bill that would do that he said he would if it includes due process rights for individuals.
He says it was a lack of due process that led him and the Republican-led Congress to wipe out an Obama administration rule aimed at keeping guns away from the mentally ill.
He says people could have had their guns taken away after facing accusations.
But Sessions says there is an important exception. “Where someone clearly is a threat to someone else or himself and they exhibit that especially in social media, that’s enough to go to any court.”
Another priority for Sessions is immigration reform.
When it comes to DACA recipients, he opposes a path to citizenship. “I think a compromise would say we’re going to make them guest workers. We allow them to have guest worker status.”
He says healthcare remains unfinished business.
While Sessions voted to repeal Obamacare, he says his own plan, which didn’t pass, would allow people to stay on Obamacare or receive tax credits to buy health insurance for their families.
And regarding one of the biggest issues facing Americans, Sessions says he supports the #MeToo movement, but says there needs to be a balanced approach.
“It is not ok for you to offer an unwanted advancement. Likewise, it’s not fair when there might be this advancement for later to turnaround and bludgeon somebody.”
Sessions faces a Republican primary challenger, Paul Brown, but he hasn’t campaigned full time and federal records show he hasn’t raised any money.
He says he tries to work with Democrats and those who disagree with him politically.
Sessions says his bottom line is to make sure Dallas works.