What’s needed more in the 12th Congressional District: Experience or a new approach?

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, and Democratic challenger Vanessa Adia
U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, and Democratic challenger Vanessa Adia Star-Telgram archives

Experience versus a new approach.

That’s what the candidates running for the 12th Congressional District say they have to offer voters.

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, a Fort Worth Republican who has served this district since 1997, said she wants to carry on the work she’s started, from continuing funding for the defense industry and Trinity River Vision to working to make schools safer.

Democratic challenger Vanessa Adia said she offers a new approach and a commitment to collaboration, transparency and ensuring that this country “ is truly of, by, and for the people.”

And Libertarian Jacob Leddy said he wants to listen to the people in the district and ensure “adequate representation.”

This is one of dozens of races local voters will decide in the upcoming Nov. 6 midterm election.

Early voting begins Monday and runs through Nov. 2.

At stake in this race is a two-year term that pays $174,000 a year. The 12th Congressional District includes parts of Tarrant and Wise counties and part of Parker County.

Here’s what the candidates in this race have to say.

Republican Kay Granger

Granger, the only Republican woman representing Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives, is a former teacher who chaired the Fort Worth Zoning Commission and served on the Fort Worth City Council and as mayor before being elected to Congress.

Grange leads the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations, and is considered to be a contender for the soon-to-be open post of chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.

“My experience as mayor and my 22 years in Congress give me a great understanding of the needs of Fort Worth and the 12th District,” she said. “I know how important the Joint Strike Fighter is to our community. And I know how crucial it is to keep taxes and regulation low so that small businesses in District 12 can continue to grow.

“I know what it takes to deliver for my district. The results speak for themselves.”

Protests are held every week outside Granger’s office, by those trying to draw her attention to issues of concern. And many have criticized her for not holding public town hall meetings.

Granger said she’s running on the record she’s built during her decades in Congress.

“There’s no one who will fight harder for their constituents — or get more results — than me,” she said.

Democrat Vanessa Adia

Adia, a middle school teacher at Benbrook Middle-High School, has worked with the Northside Inter Church Agency, Lena Pope Home and The Institute for Learning Abilities — and she spent five years working in charitable management locally.

She has served on Benbrook’s Parks and Recreation Board and the Planning and Zoning Commission and volunteered for former President Barack Obama’s campaign.

“I’m running because the American Dream is out of reach for too many Americans,” she said. “As much as I love teaching in the community that I live in, I know that it is not enough for me to live my dream when the dreams of my students and my two daughters are at stake.

“Our children deserve a future that’s worthy of them — one where they can receive a high-quality public education, have access to quality, affordable healthcare and have opportunities to pursue their own version of the American dream,” she said. “This race is about changing our district, our state and our country for the better.”

She said it’s time for local residents to have “everyday people in Washington representing everyday people.”

“Unlike my opponent, I am not beholden to corrupt interests and I am focused on putting the people of District 12 first.”

Libertarian Jacob Leddy

Leddy, a Fort Worth man who works in logistics, said he has been reaching out to voters through social media, attending community events and knocking on doors.

He said it’s hard running as a third-party candidate but he wants to give fiscal conservatives a true option in this race.

“Our current representative has continually voted for spending increases and invasion of privacy, most recently with the $1.3 trillion spending bill and the FISA 702 bill, respectively,” he said. “A town hall hasn’t been held in years, which means we the constituents do not have a voice.

“TX-12 deserves a leader committed to his constituents, someone who will listen, and a someone who will put the needs of the people before big donor money. I am running because I don’t feel represented — and I know I’m not the only one.”

If elected, Leddy said he will abide by the Constitution, vote to cut spending and hold town halls.

“In order to get something different, you have to do something different,” he said.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

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