Politics & Government

2014 election: The race for the 24th Congressional District

U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant said he has lived in 24th Congressional District for more than five decades and he knows what people there need and want from their elected officials.

That’s why the Republican incumbent said he wants to continue the work he is doing for another two years.

“I understand the concerns of families and individuals in the district,” said Marchant, R-Coppell. “I work hard each day to ensure that all people who live in the 24th District are represented and have a strong voice in Congress.”

Democrat Patrick McGehearty disagrees, saying he’s the person voters need to send to Washington, D.C., to represent this congressional district.

The computer scientist and Lewisville Democrat said he’s ready to go into the U.S. Capitol and make some changes.

“I am running for office because the Republican House of Representatives has repeatedly acted as obstructionists in ways which damage our national economy, causing people to lose jobs,” he said.

Marchant, McGehearty and Libertarian Mike Kolls face off Nov. 4 for the right to represent District 24, which stretches from far east Fort Worth to Southlake and The Colony and includes parts of Tarrant, Dallas and Denton counties.

At stake is a two-year term that pays $174,000 a year. Early voting runs Oct. 20-31.


Marchant, 63, a real estate developer and investor, has served in elected posts for more than 30 years. He first was a Carrollton councilman and mayor in the 1980s before being elected to the Texas House of Representatives.

He served more than 15 years there before being elected to the U.S. House in 2004.

“My experience as a small business owner and as a local and state public servant gives me a unique perspective and in-depth understanding of the ways in which federal regulations and taxes impact the daily decisions of small businesses, mayors, city council members and state legislators,” he said. “Voters in the 24th Congressional District deserve a responsible, experienced representative in Washington, D.C.”

If re-elected, Marchant said his top priorities are taxes, border security and deficit spending.

“I believe our nation deserves a flatter, fairer tax system that lowers rates, creates more jobs and strengthens our economy,” he said. “I am working to ensure border security and interior enforcement remain top national priorities. … If we are going to truly secure our border, we need to clamp down on illegal entries with a swift, firm and humanitarian response that utilizes all appropriate resources.”

And he said the “runaway spending” in Washington must stop.

Marchant raised more than $75,000 between April and June and has more than $850,000 in cash on hand, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.


McGehearty, 63, said he wants to help improve the economy and help make this country a better place to be.

“The Republican shutdown of the government in Oct. 2013 cost our economy at least $24 billion affecting thousands and thousands of jobs,” the political newcomer said. “My opponent voted to continue the shutdown even after the general consensus was that nothing positive was being accomplished.

“I will work to improve our economy and act to move our country forward and solve the issues which face our nation.”

If elected, he said his top priorities are hiking the minimum wage to at least $10.10 per hour, expanding transportation funding and investing in education.

But he said the main issues in this race are jobs and the economy.

“There are major differences between candidates and parties on many issues,” he said. “Elections do have consequences, sometimes bad ones. I encourage every eligible citizen to review the issues and vote.”

He said he has raised less than $10,000 in this race but has picked up endorsements by groups such as the NE Tarrant County Democrats, Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and the Stonewall Democrats of Denton.

“I was born in Texas … [and] I want the Texas my grandchildren grow up in [to] offer the same opportunities for all its citizens that I received, both in terms of first-class education and in career prospects,” he said.

He raised nearly $10,000 since beginning this campaign and has nearly $2,000 in cash on hand, federal election reports show.


Kolls, 51, said he’s running because he wants to make a difference.

“The federal government is broken; we have strayed far from the vision given in the Constitution of the United States (circa 1791),” the Lewisville project manager in information technology said. “It is time to return to this truly revolutionary form of self-governance.”

This is Kolls’ first bid for public office

“The annual deficit and enormous federal debt are core issues of my candidacy,” he said. “The federal government is too big, it tries to do too much, and what it does, it does poorly. The more government eats, the bigger it gets. Each dollar taken by government takes away opportunity and Freedom from We the People.”

His priorities include reclaiming the Constitution, creating sound finances and reinventing foreign policy.

“I pledge to conduct myself above today's politics,” he said. “I have been successful in Information Technology by conducting myself professionally and keeping focused on the task/challenge at hand.

“I am a successful problem/puzzle solver. I am also a lifelong student; it is important to continually investigate new things and continually learn.”

A campaign finance report for Kolls was not found online with Federal Election Commission.

“I have raised no funds,” he said. “I have personally funded bumper stickers and personally printed campaign fliers.”