Three men hoping to represent the 6th Congressional District next year agree that big challenges lie ahead for anyone serving in Congress.
But they disagree on what challenges should be taken up — and how to address them.
“The decisions made in Congress over the next few years will have a profound effect on the future of the country,” said U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, who has represented the district since 1985. “I think I have the conservative credentials and the leadership ability to make sure the views of the people in the 6th District are properly represented in Washington.”
Democrat David Cozad said it’s time to remove the incumbent from office.
“I fear that if Mr. Barton stays in office, his policies as dictated to him by certain of his donors, will endanger my children and my grandchildren,” said Cozad, who is making his second bid for this office. “He has already caused massive health problems not only in the 6th District, but throughout the country.”
Libertarian Hugh Chauvin said he, too, believes it’s time for a change.
“I believe the nearly 30 years the incumbent has been in office have not resulted in any major improvements in U.S. energy policy, unless you count outlawing 40 and 70 watt light bulbs and declaring war on coal,” he said.
Barton, Cozad and Chauvin face off Nov. 4 for the right to represent District 6, which includes most of Arlington and Mansfield and all of Ellis and Navarro counties.
At stake is a two-year term that pays $174,000 a year. Early voting runs through Oct. 31.
Barton, who years ago was nicknamed Smokey Joe by some for defending industries against tighter pollution controls, has been among the congress members speaking out about Ebola — calling for a ban on direct flights from West Africa and fearing the CDC isn’t treating the issue with the urgency that it should.
His top priorities, if re-elected, include working to reduce government spending, trying to repeal the nation’s healthcare system known as Obamacare, working to develop effective immigration reform and secure the southern border and addressing growing threats from extreme terrorist groups such as ISIS.
“I don’t think my work is done,” said Barton, 65. “I’m a consistent conservative voice for Texas and the nation in Congress. I have a proven record of achievement and responsible representation for the district.
“I have called the 6th District home nearly my entire adult life,” he said. “I understand the values of the people who live here and we share many of the same core conservative beliefs.”
Barton raised more than $115,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30 and has more than $530,000 in cash on hand, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Cozad, a retired software development manager, is challenging Barton for the second time, following an unsuccessful bid in 2010.
He earned 31.2 percent of the vote in the general election four years ago.
His top priorities, if elected, would be to support the president’s policies regarding converting energy and transportation systems to electric powered by solar and stopping Republicans “from killing this country with the madness of inflicting austerity during a depression caused by Republicans and continued by Republican obstruction of any and all positive programs presented by President Obama.”
“Mr. Barton does not have a clue of the danger his policies pose to everyone,” said Cozad, 66, of Arlington. “I have been studying these problems for 40 years and I have found the experts that can exchange the bad policies of Mr. Barton to policies that will create a much better future for everyone.”
Cozad raised $1,893 between between July 1 and Sept. 30 and had nearly $500 on hand, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Chauvin, who lists his age as “over 40,” is a U.S. Air Force veteran and construction manager with more than three decades of international experience.
He said he’s the best candidate for this office for many reasons, including his experience in international management. If elected, Chauvin said he will donate half of his congressional salary to charities in the 6th district.
As for his top issues, he first named ISIL in Syria and Iraq. Then he went on to say that “our foreign policy has deteriorated significantly during the past six years.
“The U.S. major domestic issues that our government has failed to address,” he said. “Our economy has not fully recovered from the recession and we need real representation, particularly since the current Congress has an approval rating of around 13 percent.”
Chauvin raised no money between Jan. 1 and June 30 and had about $1,100 in cash on hand, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.