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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Primary candidates meet during forum

Derrick+Crowe%2C+Democratic+candidate+for+U.S+Representative+in+District+21%2C+addresses+the+audience.%0ASandra+Sadek+%7C+News+Reporter
Derrick Crowe, Democratic candidate for U.S Representative in District 21, addresses the audience. Sandra Sadek | News Reporter

The League of Women Voters of Hays County held a forum for the Primary Candidates for the U. S. and State Representatives and State Senator.
The event was held Feb. 15 at the San Marcos Activity Center from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30.
Present candidates running for U.S Representative in district 21 included Democrats Derrick Crowe, Joseph Kopser and Elliott McFadden, and Republicans Peggy Wardlaw and Samuel Temple. They were the only two republicans in the race that were present out of the 18 total running. Running for U.S Representative in district 25 were Democrats West Hansen, Chetan Panda, Chris Perri and Kathi Thomas. Out of those running for U.S Representative in district 35, Republican David Smalling was the only one present.
All candidates running for state senators in district 25, Democrats Jack Guerra and Stephen Kling and Republican Shannon McClendon, were present. Democrats Rebecca Bell-Metereau, Les Carnes, and Erin Zwiener and Republicans Ken Strange and Austin Talley were at the event as state representative in district 45.
Candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties present were each given five minutes to address citizens and emphasize important issues that they will address, if elected.
Although from different parties, candidates agreed on the several issues to be addressed, with gun laws being among the most discussed, especially in regards to the recent shooting at the high school in Florida, that left 17 students dead.
“We are becoming numb to these shootings and nobody is doing anything. Why do we allow guns on school and college campus?” Chris Perri, Democratic Candidate for U.S Representative in District 25, said. “Parents shouldn’t be afraid to send their kids to school every morning.”
All 18 candidates emphasized a support for regulations that would prevent future incidents of the same manner to happen again.
“We will make change. We will make it that guns are less accessible to those who want to kill themselves, that weapons of war are less accessible to those who want to commit murder. We will protect our children,” said Kathi Thomas, Democratic Candidate for U.S Rep. in District 25.
Healthcare was another topic heavily talked about during the forum. Although many agreed that healthcare should be available to all, participants had different thoughts as to how this matter should be resolved.
“The conversation surrounding healthcare has been about coverage only, which would still be expensive for the people regardless,” Samuel Temple, Republican Candidate for U.S. Representative in District 21, said. “We have to focus on making it cheaper.”
Several candidates also brought out concerns regarding workers in the area and ways to improve their conditions as well as the industry they are working in.
“We need a working representative that represents working people. I want to work for you. I want to provide equality and opportunity for all,” David Smalling, Republican Candidate for U.S Representative in District 35, said. “Those who are suppose to serve us, treat us like we are second class.”
The forum served as a way for concerned citizens to inform themselves on issues important to the community. The League of Women also took the opportunity to remind voters of the non-partisan online guide to voting, vote411.org. On the website, voters can compare responses from candidates for a particular voting precinct.
“In a complicated race like this one, voters don’t even know what elections they will be voting in. Vote 411 has been designed to help you with that,” said Jan Rudnicki, Vote 411 Coordinator. “Put in your address and it will show you who’s on your ballot, what race you can partake in.”
In-person early voting begins Feb. 20 and ends March 2. Election Day for primaries is March 6.

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