Longtime Rep. Lamar Smith faces newcomer in CD 21 race
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Lamar Smith may be the quintessential career politician — he has represented District 21 in the U.S. House of Representatives since the mid 1980s.
This year, the district he knows is changing with new constituents coming in Travis County.
"I have done a lot I think to create jobs, to reduce excessive spending and to reduce the burden of unnecessary regulations on businesses," Rep. Smith said.
Now the longtime congressman is facing a challenger in the form a newcomer, Democrat Candace Duval. Duval is a small business woman turned politician.
"Well I am definitely trying to break into the boys club," Duval said. "When we got three new congressional districts with the redistricting this year, I felt it was an opportunity to stand up and do public service that I have wanted to do for some time."
While this may be her first crack at Congress, Duval feels her real world experience will give her an advantage on Capitol Hill.
"We shouldn't be divided by a race or color or where we come from, we shouldn't be divided even as parties. We're people -- we are the same -- we have the same issues we have the same problems,” she said. “We have to come together and find common sense solutions to today’s problems."
While serving in Congress, Smith has served as the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
"We have to get this economic house in order. We have to stop this excessive spending, and it is this deficit,” Rep. Smith said. “The president promised that when he was running for election that he was going to cut the deficit in half, instead he has doubled it. This deficit is not just theoretical it is a drag on the economy."
Unlike her challenger, Duval is running for office on a shoe string budget and hopes to serve on the Science and Technology Committee if elected.
"I am here for my constituency, my door will always be open for everybody and not just the chosen few that are in my pocket, I don't wear pockets for a reason," she said.
Election Day is Nov. 6.