✅LEFT UP TO US ENDORSES Chris Perri (D-TX)
Perri supports campaign finance reform, ending gerrymandering, and promoting universal health care either through single-payer or by requiring private companies to become nonprofits. He wants to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and increase incentives for renewables, and he supports a progressive income tax and a $15/hour minimum wage. Perri wants a Clean DREAM Act, expand DACA, and remove red tape from the process of obtaining legal immigrant status. His vision for criminal justice reform emphasizes rehabilitation and reintegration into society; both he and Paul Quinzi helped found the UT’s Expunction Project that gives pro bono help for criminal record cleanup. Perri made headlines on the campaign trail over the summer for debating InfoWars street reporter Owen Shroyer in front of the Texas Capitol.
Julie Oliver (D-TX)
Oliver serves on the board of managers for the Travis County Healthcare District. She supports instituting Medicare for All and strengthening women’s health care. She wants to connect Texans with jobs by investing in training, certification, and apprenticeship programs. She prioritizes strengthening democracy by ending gerrymandering and the influence of dark money, strengthening voting rights and implementing term limits. She supports full equality for LGBTQ people, comprehensive and humane immigration reform, and comprehensive criminal justice reform. She wants to increase taxes on corporations and the wealthy, increase the minimum wage to at least $15/hour, and fight climate change through environmental protections.
Chetan Panda (D-TX)
Panda is a first-generation candidate seeking to run a conciliatory, inclusive campaign. His professional background is in the financial industry managing mutual funds. His campaign website lacks specifics, and he did not respond to the questionnaire Left Up To US sent to candidates. However, his stance is generally progressive: as IndiaWest says, Panda emphasizes “making healthcare affordable for all, creating jobs to strengthen the economy, energizing education, protecting the environment, investing in infrastructure, modernizing the rural economy, breaking down barriers for women, empowering veterans, advocating for equality and LGBT rights, and keeping the community safe.” In an interview, Panda said he’s running “because I want everyone to have a shot at their own American dream” and emphasized Trump’s immigration ban as a catalyst. Panda voted in the 2016 Republican primary.
Kathi Thomas (D-TX)
Thomas ran a grassroots campaign in 2016 and has advocated at length for progressive causes. She has been unwilling to fully support Medicare for All, stating, “Until we have a Congress that will pass a public option ("single payer"), the ACA is clearly superior to what we previously had...As a bridge to Universal Healthcare, I support allowing people to opt into Medicare, starting at 55, then lowering that age every year, with the goal of gradually evolving into a single payer system (which will be paid for differently than Medicare.)” She does not support a blanket $15/hour minimum wage; instead, she would prefer to see a living wage set according to cost of living. She supports comprehensive immigration reform, overturning Citizen’s United, and ending the “war on drugs.” She has spoken out on racial justice issues and environmental issues and has publicly supported strong consumer protections.
West Hansen (D-TX)
Hansen, a licensed social worker and business owner, was a late entry to the TX-25 race. His website features a national debt clock and advocates paying down the national debt. He supports an approach to universal health care incrementally by allowing different groups into Medicare gradually, beginning for example with teachers and veterans. He is for an unspecified minimum wage increase but with federal incentives for states to go beyond the federal level, and he had a business at which he paid his 20–30 employees at least $15/hour. He has also written a book, due out soon, on his experience kayaking the Amazon and Volga Rivers. West is also head of the nonprofit Worldwide Waterways Inc., which promotes clean water initiatives in developing countries.