Kent Lester (D-TX)
Lester is a former high school teacher and retired Army Lt. Colonel and a long-time philanthropist in North Central Texas. He has worked with Derrick Crowe on organizations such as the Austin Children’s Shelter and SAFE Alliance. Lester believes that the military budget is bloated and would prefer to use part of that budget to fund better healthcare. He supports increasing federal education spending as well as expanding programs to ensure debt-free college for all. He believes that the U.S. should be a leader in the fight against climate change and has vowed to work toward a Medicare for All system; as a veteran, he has access to high-quality, comprehensive healthcare with low premiums and freedom of choice, and he believes that all Americans should have access to a similar system. He supports a livable wage and HUD housing assistance and opposes school vouchers. He supports the right of transgender people to serve in the military.
MJ Hegar (D-TX)
Mary Jennings Hegar is an air force veteran, one of Foreign Policy magazine's 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2013, and the author of Shoot Like a Girl. She is most well-known for her successful legal challenge to the Pentagon’s ban on women serving in combat zones and receiving the benefits that come with that service. A self-described “progressive Reagan Republican,” she supports progressive ideas such as a living wage, LGBTQ rights, and freedom of religion but offers little in terms of tangible policy details. She supports access to health care and wants to “fix” the Affordable Care Act. She opposes single-payer health care because she does not want it to have the problems of the VA system. She opposes the anti-Muslim travel ban and supports “common sense” gun legislation. She opposes Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military and has spoken out against the culture of sexual violence in the military. Hegar was publicly challenged recently by one of her opponents for insinuating she had been exclusively tapped by the DCCC. She voted in the 2016 Republican primary and for Hillary Clinton in the general election.
Mike Clark (D-TX)
Clark is an IT professional who ran against John Carter in 2016 but lost overwhelmingly. Mike’s platform calls for modernizing our transportation system (including high speed and light rail) and investing in infrastructure. He supports “high quality, low bureaucracy” veterans benefits and focused funding of early childhood education through Head Start and Early Head Start. Clark supports Medicare for All, increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour, a clean DREAM Act, and protecting Social Security. He supports Black Lives Matter and sensible gun legislation.
Christine Mann (D-TX)
Mann has been a practicing physician in Cedar Park, TX for 18 years. She is a lifelong Democrat and is best known in the community as the Wilco Indivisible founder and activist. She believes that the minimum wage should keep up with inflation and needs to be raised to $15/hour. She is strong on women’s rights and voting rights and supports requiring more background checks on gun sales. She supports renewable energy, LGBTQ rights, and universal pre-K education. She has been an advocate for a single-payer, Medicare for All healthcare system since 2009. She advocates for debt-free higher education and supports the full legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use as well as declassification of cannabis as a schedule 1 drug. She believes that homelessness should be tackled by providing housing to those in need in a way similar to Utah’s successful chronic homelessness program. She supports providing universal free school lunches to children. Mann is one of the only candidates in the TX-31 race to repeatedly discuss racial justice issues, from the Hutto detention center injustices to voter suppression and representation of people of color in political campaigns. She was the target of vandalism in which a noose was placed on one of her campaign signs.