Two years ago, Marc Veasey faced 10 opponents in the Democratic primary for the U.S. House, seeking to represent a new congressional district that straddled two counties, was 61 percent Hispanic and said to have been drawn to favor a candidate from Dallas over Veasey’s hometown of Fort Worth.
The four-term state representative led the crowded field of District 33 contenders and went on to beat both well-funded Dallas lawyer Domingo Garcia in the runoff and a Republican in November, becoming the first black member of Congress from Tarrant County.
Veasey, 43, a former aide to then-U.S. Rep. Martin Frost and state House member, promised voters to serve the entire district regardless of geographic lines, party affiliations or ethnicity.
He has lived up to that pledge, becoming an on-site, hands-on legislator who, in addition to carrying out his Capitol Hill duties, spends much time in the district addressing constituents’ concerns. His “Congress on the Corner” outreach sessions, which include bilingual “caseworkers” on the spot to assist those with problems, puts him directly in touch with residents in their own neighborhoods.
Representing a district with more uninsured people than any in the country (40 percent), Veasey has been an outspoken proponent of the Affordable Care Act, and a strong advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, job and overall economic growth, veterans assistance and education.
His opponent, Tom Sanchez, 61, voices concerns for some of the same issues. A licensing attorney and engineer who lives in Irving, Sanchez labels Veasey a “mediocre” congressman and says he could better represent the district on the major issues of “jobs, jobs, jobs” and immigration reform.
Sanchez, who has served on the board of the Irving and Dallas Chambers of Commerce, calls Congress “the biggest job-killer in the world” for passing legislation that forces businesses to take jobs overseas.
Although Sanchez exhibits a passion on selected issues, he does not have the knowledge, experience and commitment to service that Veasey has demonstrated.
The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Marc Veasey in the Democratic primary for U.S. House of Representative District 33.