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00000175-b317-d35a-a3f7-bbdf00220000This legislative session, public radio stations across Texas are answering voters' questions about the elections. KUT has partnered with Houston Public Media, KERA News in Dallas, San Antonio's Texas Public Radio, Marfa Public Radio and Texas Standard to tackle crowdsourced questions from voters all over the state.

Here Are The 2018 Congressional Races In Central Texas We're Watching

Liam James Doyle

Ninety-three percent of eligible voters have registered in Travis County and are ready to vote in the Nov. 6 elections. Now comes the hard part: actually going to vote.

We've put together this list of candidates running for Congress in Central Texas. To find out what's going to be on your ballot, including what congressional district you live in, go here and type in your address.  

District 10

The district contains all or part of nine counties and runs from Central Travis County to Western Harris County.

Republican incumbent Michael McCaul is running for his seventh term. He is currently the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee and is on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

His re-election campaign has focused on a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, increased military funding, tax cuts and increased domestic oil and gas production.

His opponent, Democrat Mike Siegel, says he wants to create a health-care-for-all insurance system, investment in renovation of national infrastructure, adopting a $15 national minimum wage, and the creation of an immigration system that provides a pathway to citizenship.

Libertarian candidate Mike Ryan is also on the ballot. He supports the ability of families to spend education tax dollars any way they want, wants a flat tax for everyone and is in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood.

District 17

U.S. House District 17 covers a large swath of Central Texas from Waco to Bryan and a small stretch of Austin.

Republican Bill Flores is seeking his fifth term in office. He currently sits on the Energy and Commerce and the Veterans’ Affairs committees. His campaign issues include limited government, increased domestic oil and gas production and border security. He is opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage.

Democrat Rick Kennedy is trying to flip the district by campaigning on stabilizing and expanding the Affordable Care Act, supporting immigration changes that provide a pathway to citizenship and combating climate change.

Peter Churchman is running as a Libertarian. He’s running to decrease the federal debt, increase post service program for our war vets, and pass a flat tax.

District 21

The 21st Congressional District includes parts of 10 counties running from South Austin to Northern San Antonio and west into the Hill Country.

Longtime incumbent Lamar Smith is retiring, prompting more than 20 candidates to take a shot at the empty seat during the March primary.

Republican Chip Roy is focusing his campaign on reducing federal spending, cutting regulations, reducing the power of the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal judiciary, and defunding Planned Parenthood.

Democrat Joseph Kopser has a platform of expanding Medicaid and creating a public option for health insurance. He also believes in climate change and is pushing for increased renewable energy sources.

Libertarian Lee Santos is also on the ballot. She’s running on a platform of legalizing marijuana, ending the U.S. role in foreign wars and stopping any plans to build a wall along the Mexico border.

District 25

The 25th Congressional District in Texas runs from Johnson County, just south of Fort Worth, all the way to Hays County, south of Austin. It includes all or parts of 13 counties.

Republican Congressman Roger Williams is seeking his fourth term in Congress. He is currently on the House Financial Services Committee. Williams is a former Texas Secretary of State and was a major fundraiser and campaign coordinator of the GOP in Texas.

His campaign focuses on traditional Republican issues, including a strong Second Amendment, stopping illegal immigration and ending abortion rights. He is also opposed to same-sex marriage.

Democrat Julie Oliver has an accounting and law degree. She works for St. David's HealthCare and is on the Central Health board of directors. Oliver is pushing for a Medicare-for-all system to provide that health insurance option to the entire country. She also advocates for an immigration overhaul, women's reproductive rights and criminal justice reform

Desarae Lindsey is running as a Libertarian. She wants to end all U.S.-involved wars, abolish the death penalty and create open borders.

District 27

The district includes all or part of 13 counties, running from Central Texas to the Gulf of Mexico and down to Corpus Christi.

The seat became vacant after Rep. Blake Farenthold resigned April 6, following sexual misconduct allegations against him. On June 30, Republican Michael Cloud won a special election to replace Farenthold for the rest of the 2018-2019 term. He currently sits on the Oversight and Government Reform and Science, Space and Technology committees.

Cloud is now running to win a full term. His campaign is focusing on reducing federal spending and debt, increasing defense spending, a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act and protecting gun ownership.

His Democratic opponent in November, Eric Holguin, was the runner-up in July’s special election to replace Farenthold. Holguin will take a second shot at winning the seat with a campaign focused on rebuilding infrastructure, creating a single-payer health care system, funding education and protecting Social Security.

Libertarian Daniel Tinus is also on the ballot. He’s pushing for greater protection of personal liberties, increased enforcement of the 10th Amendment (which allows stronger state self-governance) and paying down the federal debt.

District 31

The 31st Congressional District in Central Texas includes all of Williamson County and most of Bell County.

Republican John Carter is seeking his ninth term in Congress. He is on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He is campaigning on his efforts to support law enforcement and stop illegal immigration. He also touts his support of the Second Amendment and his opposition to abortion.
DemocratMJ Hegar is an Air Force helicopter pilot. She served three tours in Afghanistan and received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained after her helicopter was shot down. She's running on issues like increasing support for veterans and military families, lowering prescription drug costs, lowering college student debt and increasing funding for colleges, universities and vocational training.
Jason Hope is running as a Libertarian. He wants to strengthen gun rights, legalize marijuana and increase police transparency.

District 35

The 35st Congressional District is in Central Texas and includes portions of six counties running from Travis County to Bexar County.
Democrat Lloyd Doggett is seeking his 13th term in Congress. He is currently on the House Ways and Means Committee. His campaign focuses on gun safety, supporting the Affordable Care Act, campaign finance reform and combating global warming.
Republican David Smalling has worked as an electrician for 40 years. He is campaigning on lowering government regulations on small businesses, increasing wages for workers and making college education more affordable.

Libertarian Clark Patterson is also on the ballot. He wants to phase out all entitlement programs – like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare – over the next 50 years. He also supports a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the end to the war on drugs.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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