DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With numerous TV ads, and the few polls that have been conducted showing a tight race, Democrat Colin Allred is hoping to unseat veteran Republican Congressman Pete Sessions.
It’s all part of the battle for the 32nd Congressional District in Dallas and Collin Counties, which is one of the most expensive U.S. House races in Texas.
The Allred-Sessions race is attracting national attention because Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in this district in 2016.
That’s helped energize Democrats nationally and locally about Allred’s chances.
Allred said, “We know this is going to be a very close race. But we are extremely encouraged by the early voting numbers.”
The political newcomer was born and raised in North Texas, and says he wants to give back. “This is a personal race for me. I’m running in my hometown.”
Healthcare is the Democrats’ number one issue, and Allred says he favors a plan that would continue having businesses provide health insurance to their employees, and have Congress approve of another option not available now: “I think the best way to do that is through a medicare buy-in in which if you’re in the individual market, and you want to have a low cost option that will compete with a private insurer, you might be able to take that option, and hopefully, that will drive down costs for all of us.”
Allred opposed the tax cuts passed by Republicans last year, and says he believes the first bill approved by the next Congress should be for infrastructure improvements.
Some Democrats in Congress have said if they retake the House, they would conduct investigations into President Trump, and consider impeaching him.
Allred says he doesn’t talk about that. “I don’t want to go to Congress and gum up the works. I don’t want to go there and find every way possible I possibly can to go after the President. I think there are things we need to get done.”
If Democrats win, Nancy Pelosi may become Speaker again.
CBS 11 asked Allred about potential pressure from House leadership to vote a certain way and if there is any scenario in which he would vote against his party.
He said, “Of course, of course. If’ it’s good for North Texas, of course I would. And I’m a former NFL linebacker, I don’t think anyone’s going to be pressuring me into anything.”
A New York Times/Siena College poll of 500 likely voters conducted between September 19-24 showed Sessions with a one point lead, 48 to47 percent.
The website, FiveThirtyEight, says the race still leans Republican and gives Sessions a seven in ten chance to win re-election and Allred a three in ten chance to beat Sessions.
Federal Election Commission records show Allred has raised $4,955,159 between January 1, 2017 and October 17 of this year.
He spent $3,569,332 and has $1,385,827 cash on hand.
Records show Sessions raised $4,416,949 during the same time period and spent $3,328,294.
He has $1,592,793 cash on hand.
Both say they have an army of volunteers knocking on doors and making phone calls.