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    U.S. House of Representatives: Meet the candidates

    U.S. House of Representatives: Meet the candidates

    U.S. House of Representatives

    District 5

    Lance Gooden (R)

    Age: 37

    Occupation: Worked in the insurance industry before being elected

    Lives in: Terrell

    Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance, University of Texas

    Experience: Has served three terms in the Texas House of Representatives. Vice ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services. Has served on the Appropriations, County Affairs and House Administration Texas committees, 2013-2014; Served on the Administrations, Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence and Licensing and Administrative procedure committees, 2017.

    Did you know: Is a board member at the Terrell Share Center.



    COVID-19: Gooden’s website has a COVID-19 updates tab with information on how COVID spreads and ways to prevent it. He encourages wearing masks and social distancing. His website also includes resources for businesses that are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Criminal and social justice: Encourages enforcing better security along the border. His plan includes $800 million to expand operations along the Texas-Mexico border, more troops and stricter enforcement of immigration law.

    Education: Wants to make public education a priority by getting rid of the “one-size fits all” method that government uses. Has worked to increase funding for public and higher education and to eliminate many of standardized tests. Believes in giving teachers and parents control of their schools.

    Gun control: Believes in the right to keep and bear arms. Has been recognized by the National Rifle Association and the Texas State Riffle Association for his work in strengthening the gun rights of Texans.

    — Compiled by Kayla Pineda

    Kevin Hale (L)

    Lives in: Dallas

    Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of North Texas

    Experience: Has worked in sales.

    Did you know: Won his first sales contest at the age of 7.



    COVID-19: Does not believe the state government should order schools to provide online-only classes during the pandemic.

    Criminal and social justice: Wants to end the war on drugs and completely decriminalize marijuana. Believes this will allow police to focus on actual crimes with actual victims. To ease the tension between civilians and police, he would pardon and release all non-violent offenders of victimless crimes such as drug use and sex work, repeal laws for victimless crimes, and end qualified immunity for law enforcement, militarization of police, civil asset forfeiture, mandatory minimum sentencing, the ATF and the DEA. He would also make police carry liability insurance.”
    Education: Wants to end standardized testing, saying they “have zero indication of a student’s future success or failure.” Wants to empower parents and teachers to set curriculums for the individual student, end primary education at the 10th grade and replace the last two years with pre-paid college, trade school or job training. Believes remote learning would benefit rural communities, allow flexibility for both students and teachers and decrease overcrowded classrooms. Would reduce administrative staff by requiring a staff-to-student ratio as a condition of federal funds and would reinvest portions of saved costs back into teacher salaries and classroom supplies. Wants to end predatory student loan lending.
    Gun control: Does not favor additional restrictions on gun purchases. Believes teachers should be allowed to carry guns at school.
    — Compiled by Kayla Pineda

    Carolyn Salter (D)

    Age: 64

    Occupation: Physician

    Lives in: Palestine, Tx

    Education: Attend Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches; earned her M.D. from UT Southwestern in Dallas 

    Experience: Served two terms as the first female mayor of Palestine, Texas starting in 2005. Served on not-for-profit boards following her tenure.

    Did you know: Salter was a faculty member in anesthesiology for three years at the VA hospital in Albuquerque.



    COVID-19: Promotes precautions such as “mask hacks” in order to help make masks more comfortable or a better fit. Believes in the importance of educating people about reducing the spread of COVID-19. Encourages everyone to do their part and continue to social distance, wear masks and sanitize.

    Criminal and social justice: Believes police officers should be better monitored. Doesn’t believe in the death penalty and thinks those convicted of drug possession should not be given a mandatory minimum prison sentence.

    Education: Believes the federal government should help pay student tuition.

    Gun control: Believes the government should institute a mandatory buyback of assault weapons. Would provide more restrictions on the current process of purchasing a gun.

    — Compiled by Kayla Pineda

    District 30

    Tre Pennie (R)

    Lives in: Dallas
    Occupation: Has worked as a police sergeant and college educator

    Education: Associate degree in administration of justice, Honolulu Community College; bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, Midwestern State University; masters degree in counseling, Prairie View A&M; doctorate in higher education, Texas Tech University.
    Experience: Served in the U.S. Army for four years and spent 20 years as a Dallas police sergeant.
    Did you know: Is the executive director of three nonprofit organizations that help families of police officers injured or killed in the line of duty.

    Platform: Developed an economic recovery plan called “EARN IT” (Education Academic Reward Network in Training in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and social injustice. The plan would allow corporations and individuals to “earn economic and social rewards based on their contributions to the recovery process.” The plan also includes decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana. Wants to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. Wants to invest in the infrastructure of public schools. He believes the pre check systems for immigration helps the process more efficient. Wants to “ensure greater accountability in reducing crime, enhancing education, growing the economy, and improving the lives of all constituents.”

    — Compiled by Al’Darius Thompson

    Eddie Bernice Johnson (D)

    Age: 84

    Lives in: Dallas
    Occupation: U.S. Representative, District 30

    Education: Nursing degree, Saint Mary’s College; bachelor’s degree in nursing, Texas Christian University; masters of public administration, Southern Methodist University.

    Experience: Has been a state representative for the 30th district since 1993; representative for the the 33rd district, 1973-1977; member of the Texas Senate from the 23rd district, 1987-1993. Serves on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and subcommittees for Highways and Transit and Water Resources and Environment. Is vice chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus.

    Did you know: Was the first black woman from Dallas elected to a public office and the first nurse elected to Congress.
    Platform: With her nursing background, she believes quality healthcare for the American people should be a priority.  Introduced the COVID-19 Shelter Act to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority communities. Says it is “plainly evident that America’s immigration system is broken” and wants to reform the system and keep families together. Wants to legislate against voter suppression and “discriminatory tactics that would deny American citizens their sacred right to vote.”


    — Compiled by Al’darius Thompson

    Eric Williams (I)

    Age: 53

    Lives in: Dallas

    Occupation: Documentary filmmaker who spent 30 years working in journalism

    Education: Bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism, University of Detroit; masters from University of Hartford
    Experience: Staff photographer at National Geographic and a number of newspapers including the Boston Globe, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Hartford Courant. Integrated the photo departments at many of the publication he worked for during his career. Personal filmmaker for the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Is CEO of Out The Box Productions, and his independent documentaries have appeared on CNN, ABC, FOX, BET, CBS, NBC and PAX TV. His photographic documentary “Haiti Cries Out” was presented at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta.

    Did you know: Was the first African American to win the National College Photographer of the Year award in 1987.

    Platform: Supports strengthening public schools, Medicare for all and comprehensive immigration reform. His priorities are the 3 E’s: education, economic development and the environment.


    — Compiled by Al’Darius Thompson

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