May 10 2012

Veasey best Democratic choice for new U.S. House District 33

Fort Worth Star-Telegram endorses Marc Veasey for new U.S. House District 33.

“North Texas has one of four new congressional districts drawn as a result of the state’s explosive population growth in the last decade. District 33 — heavily Democratic and majority-minority — straddles the Dallas and Tarrant county line, stretching from the Fort Worth Stockyards through parts of Arlington and Grand Prairie to West Dallas and Oak Cliff. Although 61 percent Hispanic, the district’s Latino population eligible to vote is 39 percent while blacks of voting age make up about 25 percent.

Some political observers characterize this contest as a battle between Dallas and Fort Worth or blacks versus Hispanics. Neither should be a consideration in judging the 11 Democrats and two Republicans in the primaries.

Democratic primary

Most of the Democrats seeking this office have long records of political and/or community service. Six are Dallas County residents; five are rooted in Tarrant County.

The current and former office holders: Domingo Garcia, 56, former state representative and Dallas City Council member; state Rep. Marc Veasey, 41, of Tarrant County; Fort Worth City Council member Kathleen Hicks, 39; Steve Salazar, 46, a former member of the Dallas City Council, and Tarrant County Justice of the Peace Manuel Valdez, 65.

The other candidates: David Alameel, 59, a Dallas dentist and businessman; J.R. Molina, 67, a former Tarrant County assistant district attorney; Carlos Quintanilla, 54, a longtime Dallas community leader; Chrysta Castañeda, 49, a Dallas attorney; Dallas neighborhood activist Jason Roberts, 38, and Kyev Tatum Sr., 46, a Fort Worth pastor and civil rights leader.

The candidates generally agree on major issues: create more jobs, provide affordable healthcare for more people, improve public education, develop alternative energy sources and bring Americans home from Afghanistan.

So, the main question: Who can most effectively represent this North Texas district in Washington?

Garcia claims the advantage because he’s on a first-name basis with the president and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Opponents are quick to point out, however, that although in Texas Garcia has been a fighter for various causes, he is known as a divisive leader who makes more enemies than friends.

Veasey stands out as the person whose leadership qualities would serve the district best. In representing Texas House District 95 since 2005, he has a proven record of fighting for his constituents and the issues he believes in while acting as a unifying force and a coalition builder.

Veasey, a rising star in his party, earned the respect of his House colleagues by challenging the GOP majority on issues like voter ID, school funding cuts, gerrymandered redistricting maps and the defense of marriage amendment. He serves as chairman of the state House Democratic Caucus.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Marc Veasey in the Democratic primary for U.S. House District 33.”

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