2020 Voter Guide
Get to know the candidates running in the general election
COMPILED BY ANDREW CHRISTMAN
U.S. House District 8
Occupation: accountant Relevant experience: mother to three children, ages 5, 11 and 15; 20 years of experience in accounting and a B.A. in accounting from Sam Houston State University www.lizfortx8.com ELIZABETH HERNANDEZ
Occupation: sales manager for family oil-field business; law student Relevant experience: graduated magna cum laude from Texas A&M University; juris doctor candidate at University of Houston Law Center www.facebook.com/chrisduncanlptexas CHRIS DUNCAN
Occupation: chamber executive and U.S. Congressman Relevant experience: years as a Representative and Chairman of House Committee on Ways and Means www.bradyforcongress.com
What are the top challenges now facing residents in your district, and how do you plan to address them?
TX-8 is successfully fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The top challenge we face is reopening our businesses and restarting our economy. In the first rounds of relief ... I ensured every resident received direct relief payments and businesses ... received [Paycheck Protection Program] funding. We need another, targeted round of PPP to help small businesses reopen and stay open.
Too many residents of [District 8] struggle ... with how to make ends meet. They live paycheck to paycheck, in fear of any unexpected expense blowing up their monthly budget. We can help these residents with things such as a public option for the Medicare system, affordable daycare and after-school care with tutors. We all benefit from a happy, healthy and productive society.
The top challenges now facing residents in District 8 are financial ... due to the damaging effects of the coronavirus lockdowns that have yet to be fully lifted. I would vote for allowing residents and businesses to keep more of their own money through tax reductions and tax breaks. Until everyone is able to get some money in their pockets, many will continue to face an uncertain future.
What are the largest effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in District 8, and what role does the state government have in local recovery?
The largest effect of COVID-19 has been on our small busi- nesses. Many are having difficulty reopening because they cannot get their workers to return to work. A good friend of mine ... had to reduce her operating hours because she could not hire enough new staff after ... her former work- ers refused to return to work. That is why I’m championing a Return to Work Bonus and other programs that ... return our economy to the most powerful in the world.
The largest effect I have seen is the decline in education and social development for our kids, particularly those with special needs. The pandemic has also amplified the need for improved infrastructure in the rural areas, ensuring that everyone has access to high-speed internet. The federal government must establish a uniform approach for recovery.
The largest effects have been the loss of jobs, the reductions in salaries, and the closing of businesses. I believe the state government is actually the cause of most of these effects, given the draconian lockdown orders and mandatory business closures that [Gov. Greg] Abbott put in place. The state government needs to fully reopen the economy and allow businesses to thrive again before ... the entire small-business sector is wiped out.
Answers may have been edited for length. Read full Q&A’s at communityimpact.com/vote .
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