FORT WORTH -- Money matters are high on the priority list of the candidates for the 12th Congressional District.Improving the economy, shrinking the national deficit, carefully cutting the national budget and getting unemployed workers back to work are just a few of the top concerns, candidates say.In this race, Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, is seeking re-election and faces two challengers, Democrat Dave Robinson and Libertarian Matthew Solodow."I am running for re-election because I feel I can still make significant contributions to our economy," said Granger, a former Fort Worth mayor who has served in the House since 1997 and is seeking an eighth term.Robinson said he's running for two reasons: He believes that no candidate should run unopposed and he believes that Granger "is one of the obstructionists in Congress.""She votes with the Tea Party Republicans almost all of the time," said Robinson, a retired educator. "She is part of a Republican congressional leadership that is on record as saying that anything that comes out of the Obama administration is dead on arrival. Doesn't matter if it is good for America or the American people, it is DOA. I think that's a pretty good reason to run."Solodow said he's in the race because he believes that the biggest challenge the country faces is the national debt."The reason for running is to help guide policy to reduce this challenge," said Solodow, a senior program manager.Granger, Robinson and Solodow square off Nov. 6 for the right to represent District 12, which includes downtown Fort Worth, all of Parker County and more than 23,000 people in Wise County. Early voting starts Monday and runs through Nov. 2.At stake is a two-year term that pays $174,000 a year.GrangerGranger, 69, a former teacher and insurance agent, has held various elected jobs. A former chairwoman of the Fort Worth Zoning Commission, she served on the City Council and as mayor before being elected to the House in 1996.Granger serves on the Appropriations Committee and its subcommittees on Defense Appropriations; and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. She heads the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs.She has drawn national attention recently for issues ranging from blocking the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in economic aid for Egypt's new government, saying she wasn't convinced of the urgent need for the aid, to leading the successful campaign to have a military ship named the USS Fort Worth. The ship was commissioned recently in Galveston.But she said there's more she wants to do.While jobs and the economy remain a top issue, she said she also needs to focus on other areas."My priorities are going to be continuing to fight the Air Force's efforts to move our C-130 squadron from Fort Worth to Montana, the F-35 program, fighting back against sequestration, continuing to make surgical cuts to the federal budget and making sure North Texas has the transportation infrastructure it needs to accommodate the huge growth our community continues to experience," Granger said.RobinsonRobinson, 65, of Fort Worth, said he's up for the congressional job because he has worked in both the public and the private sectors and has taught U.S. government, history and world geography."I know what this government is supposed to look like," he said. "I know how to compromise and understand its importance. Kay Granger seems to not know or understand either one. I am an educator running for office, not a career politician like Kay."Robinson, who is retired and a part-time consultant for the Texas State Teachers Association, said the biggest issues in the race are preserving the country's healthcare program, creating good jobs, cutting the deficit and budget, reducing "our unfavorable balance of trade," bringing overseas jobs back, cleaning and preserving the environment, providing cleaner renewable energy sources and increasing the country's industrial base.He said he would like to pass the Dream Act, which died in Congress but would have provided a path to legal status for some illegal immigrants; the American Jobs Act to create more work opportunities; and to repeal the windfall elimination provision and the government pension offset of the Social Security Act to let teachers and state employees collect Social Security."I am not a politician interested in accumulating personal power," he said. "I would not serve for more than four years. ... I would represent all Americans, not just the 1 percent."I would listen to those who do not support me and take their concerns seriously," he said."I would be willing to compromise with Republicans to move this country in a positive direction."SolodowSolodow, 41, of Keller, said he's running because he believes that the biggest problem the U.S. faces is the national debt."I'm not a 'politician' but have real-world work experience as a senior project manager," he said. " I've been responsible managing protects/initiatives with budgets up to $25 million while ensuring both time and cost constraints are met."My skills and background would be an asset to the lawmaking process."Solodow said that if elected, his priorities would include beginning work on a congressional budget, reforms to address pending problems with Medicare and Social Security and to "start measures to eliminate subsidies for politically connected companies/individuals.""I would be a responsible steward of their taxpayer dollars and a champion of civil rights," he said.Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610Twitter: @annatinsley
12th Congressional District
Term: Two years
Residence: Fort Worth
Occupation: Member of Congress
Background: Elected to Congress in 1996; member of the House Appropriations Committee; chairwoman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs; member of the Texas Women's Hall of Fame; former business owner. Former teacher and insurance agent; former chairwoman of the Fort Worth Zoning Commission; Fort Worth City Council, 1989-91; Fort Worth mayor, 1991-95.
How to contact: www.kaygranger.com, 817-870-5000
Residence: Fort Worth
Occupation: Retired, part-time consultant for the Texas State Teachers Association
Background: This is his first bid for public office. He has been a member of teachers association since 1985, serving in local and regional elected positions including president, vice president and treasurer. A former public school teacher and counselor, he has served as building representative of his union in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford and Fort Worth school districts. He served as an infantryman and radio telephone operator with the 1st Cavalry Division during the Vietnam War.
Occupation: Senior program manager
Background: This is his second bid for public office. He ran unsuccessfully for the 12th District in 2010, drawing 4,601 votes, or 3 percent.
How to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org