North Texas is the site of one of the most competitive congressional races in the country, drawing national attention and visits from Vice President Pence, potential presidential candidates and millions of dollars in campaign cash. Democratic challenger Colin Allred is seeking to oust Republican incumbent Congressman Pete Sessions from his House seat in District 32 this November.
Born and raised by a single mother, who also taught in Texas public schools for nearly thirty years, Allred earned a scholarship to play football at Baylor University before spending five years as a linebacker in the NFL. After a career-ending injury, he chose to study law and would later work in the Obama administration under Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, then joining a Dallas law firm as a voting rights attorney.
“I’m not running for Congress to just be a check on one person in the White House,” he told the North Dallas Gazette. “I want to represent this community that has meant so much to me.”
His opponent and his allies have spent millions on ad campaigns to attack Allred over his views on taxes, border enforcement and the perception that he is too liberal to represent the district in Congress. Despite this, a September New York Times/Siena poll shows Allred only a point behind Sessions in what is quickly becoming a neck-and-neck race to finish.
“He is, I think, relying on national support, whereas I’m relying on local support,” he responded when asked about recent visits from top Republicans to the district. “That’s what’s made our campaign special, not bringing in the Vice President or Donald Trump, Jr.”
Despite disagreeing with President Donald Trump on most significant issues, Allred does see the potential for common ground on what he views as the top priority for the next Congress.
“If I have my way, the first bill out of the next Congress is going to be an infrastructure bill. We’re growing extremely rapidly here in North Texas. This is something [the President] has said he wants to do,” he continued. “I think if we put [an infrastructure bill] on his desk, it will get signed.”
Affordable healthcare for Texans a priority
Allred has also chosen to make health care one of the issues front-and-center in his campaign, repeatedly criticizing his opponent for voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“There are 330,000 people here in North Texas that have preexisting conditions. Pete Sessions has voted over fifty times to take away protections for preexisting conditions. That’s on the ballot in this election.”
To address the failures in the current system, Allred stated, “What we want to do is lower costs and give more options to the people of North Texas and to the country.”
The candidate has called for a Medicare buy-in program, which would allow every American the opportunity to enter the Medicare system with the expressed goal of forcing private insurers to compete with what is seen as a less expensive and more efficiently delivered service.
When asked whether he would go on record supporting potential tax increases to pay for subsidies to help individuals afford to buy into Medicare, Allred instead pointed to the high cost of the current system.
“We’re paying too much for care that’s not covering enough people. We need to restructure our system so that what we’re paying is more efficiently used to provide care and to lower costs for everyone.”
Allred has, however, gone on record to call for the ending of private prisons, mandatory minimums and the War on Drugs.“
“Jeff Sessions and Pete Sessions [are supporting a policy] that is proven not to work; that has a huge and disproportionate impact on communities of color, and that is ultimately costing us an enormous amount of money,” Allred stated.
This race and others will be decided on Election Day, Nov. 6. Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 22 and runs through Friday, Nov. 2.
For more information on polling locations and other election-related information, visit here.
For more information on Colin Allred, visit here.
This article originally appeared in the North Dallas Gazette.