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The Blue Team - #TribFest19
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Differences emerge between Texas’ Democratic candidates for US Senate

When it comes to impeachment, gun reform, and health care, Democratic candidates differ slightly.

In 2020, Texans have the opportunity to unseat Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn, who after 17 years in office is unknown or unliked by two-thirds of the electorate.

There is no shortage of Democratic candidates working to represent Texans in the U.S. Senate, and we were able to get the first of many looks at some of the policy differences from five candidates at the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival, including:

  • Chris Bell, the former Houston congressman and gubernatorial nominee

  • Amanda Edwards, Houston City Council member

  • MJ Hegar, Air Force veteran and former Congressional candidate 

  • Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, Chicana/Mexican-American organizer and author, the co-founder of the Workers Defense Project and Jolt

  • Royce West, longtime Texas Senator 

While all candidates agree on the need for an impeachment inquiry, gun reform, and access to affordable health care, their answers to each panel question differed. Here’s a quick summary: 
 

Do you support the impeachment inquiry? 

✅  Chris Bell 

✅  Amanda Edwards 

✅  MJ Hegar

✅  Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, made clear she also supports impeachment.

✅  Sen. Royce West
 

Do you support background checks and other gun reform measures?  

✅  Chris Bell
Bell supports a mandatory buyback program.

✅  Amanda Edwards 
Edwards says she supports the restriction of sales on assault rifles, and a voluntary buyback program as a “starting point.”

✅  MJ Hegar
Hegar says she wants to also discuss stopping the trafficking of weapons internationally, and supports ending open carry.

✅  Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez
Tzintzún Ramirez endorses the Peace Plan by March For Our Lives, and credits young people for leading progress on gun reform solutions.

✅  Sen. Royce West
West says he has a history of working on gun reform, and has previously written bills in Texas to ban assault weapons. 
 

Do you agree that health care is a human right? 

✅  Chris Bell
Bell says residents need access to Medicare, and we must take action to solve Texas’ maternal mortality crisis. 

✅  Amanda Edwards 
Edwards supports expanding the Affordable Care Act and ensuring Texans’ have a public health care option. 

✅  MJ Hegar
Hegar agrees that health care is a human right, but also said “we are a nation of choices and freedom.” 

✅  Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez
Tzintzún Ramirez supports Medicare For All, and says the richest nation in the world should be able to provide health care for its residents. 

✅  Sen. Royce West
West says we must fix the Affordable Care Act, and that he will fight for affordable health care. 
 

Why should Texans vote for you? 

All of the candidates brought up their track records and ability to take on corruption, represent Texans, and unseat Cornyn in 2020. 

No matter who you support as the Democratic candidate, we must vote Cornyn out of office. Need a reason? We’ve rounded up 10 things you should know about Cornyn