Three Republicans seek to unseat Rep. Pete Sessions in District 17
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) — Big changes have come to U.S. House District 17 as state lawmakers redesigned the district to run primarily east to west, stretching from Waco to Nacogdoches. The shift brings a wave of new Republican challengers to the ballot for incumbent District 17 Rep. Pete Sessions (R).
Rep. Pete Sessions is running for his second term as District 17’s representative in Washington.
“Republicans need to win back a majority and that’s something I’m very focused on and working with our team in Washington and the candidates not just in this state but in other places,” Sessions said.
Sessions sees himself as a conservative and a straight shooter. If re-elected, he says he will focus on the border and government spending.
“I’m not talking about a balanced budget because we’re so beyond that,” the rep said. “I’m talking wisdom in spending and overspending like the Democrats have done five times the normal rate is just unsustainable.”
Additionally, Sessions said he will continue to work on improving infrastructure throughout the district, especially after the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Employment Act.
“The Infrastructure Bill is essentially complete. Now we have to compete for that money and those dollars. We have been very successful in getting articles from the House side,” Sessions said. “They were taken out by the Senate, so now we go to the administration, the Department of Transportation, as well as Austin, where I think will do very well to get the designated money this year not only in the county of Brazos, but all over Central Texas and East Texas. “
“So that money is now there, the projects are competing, and I think we’ll be very competitive,” Sessions said. “I will be a strong promoter in this area so that we continue to have not only economic development, but also security involved.”
Note: According to the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, Sessions the voting record on the HR 3684: Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is recorded as “no”.
East Texas-born and raised candidate Rob Rosenberger says his family has lived in the Nacogdoches area since the 1800s. Rosenberger has worked for five U.S. intelligence agencies and served as a top executive on Capitol Hill.
“I’ve spent my public service career sort of behind the scenes, but I have a passion for service, which is what I feel compelled to do,” Rosenberger said.
He worries that the district is not properly represented in Washington.
“There’s a disconnect between us and mainstream America in Hearne and Calvert, Milam County,” Rosenberger said. “I don’t believe that our values and our faith and the things that we believe are cherished and what we pass on to the next generation, there’s a disconnect between that and Washington DC and that shouldn’t be.”
When asked what Rosenberger thinks of how the incumbent currently travels to the district, which Session repeatedly told KBTX each month in every county in the district, Rosenberger said it was the job requirement.
“I think it’s great, and frankly, I’m glad he’s doing this, but with all due respect, isn’t that his job,” Rosenberger asked. “It would be my job if I had this job. I think it comes with the territory. So while I applaud him doing this, any member of Congress should do it. If I was a policeman, I don’t think I would brag about going to work every day.
“I think what I would do is take pride in the fact that I serve my people the best they can. I like to be compassionate and to serve. I want to know how I can play a role in influencing the things that are important to them regarding legislation and our core values on the hill,” Rosenberger said. “So while I give him all due respect, if a member of Congress were to run for office, I would expect nothing less.”
If elected, he wants to be that voice and address issues such as energy independence and government overreach.
“I believe that the excess of government power is almost like pulling a single thread from our flag inch by inch and gradually eroding our rights as individuals.”
Jason “Storm” Nelson recently retired from the military after serving for over 19 years.
“No one will work harder than me, ever,” Storm said.
Storms says he wants to remove the “filter” between the rep position and the people of the district.
“There are so many people in this district who have reached out – nurses, doctors, civil servants, military, people with disabilities, farmers – I mean everyone has reached out and said they just felt ignored. “Storm said.
However, as a proponent of term limits, he will only serve for a maximum of six years, so he can always be there to watch his children grow.
“Anyone who said they’ve been in Washington D.C. for over six years, you must be thinking, ‘how can you get rid of a swamp,’ Storm questions. “Frankly, that’s enough time to let the swamp grow over you and you be part of it.”
In terms of platform, Storm says it wants to create jobs in the neighborhood and protect bodily autonomy.
“People want health autonomy,” Storm said. “They never want to see another term.”
Paulette Carson has a background in finance and runs two non-profit organizations. She wants voters to remember her by her initials.
“My initials are PC Paulette Carson – Passionate and Engaged,” Carson said.
She is against the high-speed train.
“It’s not the best for our district,” Carson said. “It’s not really consistent with the constitutional use of eminent domain requirement.”
If elected, Carson would become the first woman to represent District 17 in Congress. She says the current structure of the district would give her an excellent resource as a representative.
“Our whole district is very linear, and there are so many experts in their fields out there gleaning their expertise and I can’t wait to do that,” Carson said.
Plus, she wants to focus on national security.
“There was a time and a day when we had border counties,” Carson said. “Every county in Texas is now a border county. Every state in the United States is a border state. So at the federal level, we have to secure our borders.
Whoever wins the primary will face Democratic candidate Mary Jo Woods in November. To learn more about the woods, click here.
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