The quest to represent the 33rd Congressional District has been a battle between Dallas and Fort Worth, Democrat and Republican, even black and Hispanic, since it was first created.
This year is no different.
U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey — a Fort Worth Democrat who has represented the district since it was created to give North Texas minority voters a chance to elect a representative of their choice — again has drawn a Dallas Democratic challenger: Carlos Quintanilla, a vocal activist who first ran for the post four years ago.
“I am seeking re-election to this office so that I may continue to fight for not only the friends and neighbors I grew up with, but hundreds of thousands of diverse voices across North Texas,” Veasey said.
At the same time, Republicans Bruce Chadwick, a former illusionist, and M. Mark Mitchell, who has medical and law degrees, are each hoping to claim their party’s nomination to face the winning Democrat in November’s general election.
The 33rd Congressional District stretches from the Fort Worth Stockyards to Oak Cliff in Dallas.
Each set of candidates squares off in the March 1 primaries to determine who will represent this district, which stretches from the Fort Worth Stockyards to Oak Cliff in Dallas.
At stake is a two-year term that pays $174,000 a year.
Early voting runs Feb. 16-26.
Veasey, 45, began his political career as a longtime aide to former U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, D-Arlington, before he was elected to the Texas House in 2004. After serving five terms, he ran for the newly drawn 33rd District in 2012.
That year’s race for the 33rd was one of the most controversial local races. It began with 11 candidates — including Veasey and Quintanilla — in the Democratic primary and ended with Veasey gaining the nomination over Dallas attorney and former state Rep. Domingo Garcia in a runoff. Veasey went on to easily win the general election.
If re-elected, Veasey said his top priorities would be to work to make sure constituents have access to good-paying jobs, affordable healthcare and quality education. He also plans to work to protect their civil rights.
“I have a deep understanding of what it is the constituents of DFW need from their legislator in order to be prosperous,” Veasey said. “I have lived in Fort Worth my whole life, and the issues facing this part of the Metroplex are issues that have affected me personally, which gives me a particular insight.”
Quintanilla, a 58-year-old cancer survivor, said he understands the needs of North Texans and he is willing to go to Washington, D.C., to fight for them.
He has long touted himself as a fighter, leading community battles such as those against anti-immigration ordinances in Farmers Branch and efforts to “declare war against drug dealers” in Dallas.
“I have been in the trenches fighting on issues that include senior citizen abuse, addressing the disappointing educational dropout rates, the dismal number of college graduates,” he said. “I have fought slumlord abuse. I organized over 127 homeowners whose homes were severely damaged due to the 635 Construction Project, leading to the filing of a $20 million lawsuit.
“It would take my opponent a lifetime to be in my shoes on effective activism.”
Chadwick, a 57-year-old longtime entertainer, is making his first bid for public office because he said he is the person who could best help the district.
“I know and understand the needs and culture of Congressional District 33,” said Chadwick, who also has worked as a keynote speaker, minister, writer and political activist.
Top priorities, he said, include creating jobs, fixing the country’s immigration problem and protecting families.
At the same time, “we need a Congress that will protect religious liberty and promote traditional family values,” he said.
Mitchell, a 60-year-old who last ran for a local Texas House district as “Monte Mitchell,” said he’s the best person for the job because of his “knowledge, skill, philosophy and integrity.”
The biggest problems facing Congress include healthcare, the economy and immigration.
“We need an extreme overhaul/repeal of the ACA,” he said, referring to the Affordable Care Act. “We deserve an insurance reform bill that corrects healthcare access and cost.
“I am not a politician and because I am not part of the system, I can see what is wrong and fix it,” Mitchell said. “I am a Christian, husband, father and a pro-life supporter. I am a constitutional conservative and believe that our founding fathers got it right the first time.”
A closer look
Occupation: Member of Congress
Residence: Fort Worth
Contact:817-446-8222, email@example.com or 6707 Brentwood Stair Road, Suite 226, Fort Worth, TX 76112
Occupation: Owner of Plaza Broadway, a 100,000-square-foot indoor mall in Garland
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; on Facebook: carlosquintanilla.90; website: quintanilla2016.com/es/tv
Occupation: Congressional candidate; former entertainer (illusionist)
Residence: Fort Worth
Contact:817-927-0581; email@example.com; www.ChadwickForCongress.com
M. Mark Mitchell
Occupation: Physician and attorney services
Residence: Fort Worth
Contact: 817-457-4777; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.mmarkmitchell.com