There is one race on the Super Tuesday primary ballot that many did not expect to see. Former Harris County Sheriff and current Houston City Council Member Adrian Garcia is challenging long-time Congressman Gene Green in the Democratic primary.
Challenger Adrian Garcia argues that Congressman Gene Green is not up to the job — and it's time for a change.
"When you have a district that has the third-worst ranking in America on educational attainment, when you are the 6th worst ranking or graded Democrat on the environment, when you're voting against gun safety, then I think it's important to let someone provide real leadership for the district," Garcia argued.
Green responds that he's proud of his record of providing jobs for the heavily-Hispanic district, which lies on the east side of Harris County.
"This last Congress, we fixed the repayment for doctors who received Medicare. It was messed up in the 1997. We finally got it fixed. That was a bill that I co-sponsored. But we also added two more years for federally qualified health clinics, which have been greatly successful in North and East Houston-Harris County."
The candidates spoke passionately about issues that affect residents in the district, including the environment, gun violence and jobs. On several occasions, civility took a back seat.
Green: "In our district we need job training...”
Garcia: “There he goes again...”
Green: “…we want Houston Community College, San Jacinto Community College ...”
Garcia: “I have not met. I have never met...”
Green: “…will you let me finish and I won't interrupt you?”
Part of Garcia's strategy in the race has been to position himself to the left of Greene, arguing that he is the more liberal and progressive candidate. Garcia argues he can clean up the environment of the heavily industrial district while improving the economic lives of residents.
"It's a false choice to say you gotta vote against the environment because it's good for jobs,” Garcia said. “And look, the better paying jobs aren't in the district."
Green's main response to the attacks from his opponent is to point to his long record of service in Congress. He argues he has consistently delivered jobs and services to his constituents since he was first elected in 1992.
"I have a good environmental record for a district that's blue collar that depends on those industries to provide the jobs for our community," Green argues.
Early voting for the Super Tuesday primary is already underway at numerous locations around Harris County. The Texas Primary is March 1st.