AUSTIN (KXAN) — The two Democrats facing off in the July primary runoff election are confident that Texas’ 10th Congressional District, which U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul held on to by less than 5 percentage points in 2018, is ready to turn blue.
Mike Siegel will face Dr. Pitesh Gandhi in the Democratic primary runoff on July 14. Early voting begins June 29.
Siegel, a civil rights attorney and former public school teacher, was the Democratic nominee for TX-10 two years ago, losing to McCaul by 13,132 votes. He received 44% of votes in the March 2020 primary election, while Gandhi finished second to advance to the runoff with 33.1% of the vote.
“We’ve made tremendous progress and now we’re on the tip of finishing the job this cycle and I’ve built an even better campaign to come back and do it,” Siegel said.
Gandhi, a primary care physician and activist, is a new-comer to politics who has been on the frontlines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Central Texas.
He acknowledges that Siegel’s 2018 performance proved that TX-10 is in play for Democrats but said it’s time for someone else to finish the job.
“I think [Democrats] lost in 2018 because Mike campaigned on rhetoric,” Gandhi said. “The reality is that Mike under-performed not just Beto [O’Rourke] in this district, but almost every statewide candidate that ran in 2018 — and he’s doubling down on that kind of campaigning again.”
According to the Cook Political Report, Texas’ 10th Congressional District “leans” Republican in 2020.
ON THE ISSUES
Siegel, who is endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, is a supporter of Medicare for All, The Green New Deal, and reforms to policing that include community oversight, national use of force standards, and an end to qualified immunity for officers.
Gandhi advocates for Medicare for All (who want it) and believes Medicaid expansion is a key step toward providing universal health care for Americans. He, too, supports massive overhauls to criminal justice and policing in America, including the Justice in Policing Act of 2020.
On addressing climate change, Gandhi supports reinstating Obama-era climate policies and re-entry into the Paris Climate Agreement.
Gandhi has so-far won the fundraising race, pulling in just over $1 million to Siegel’s $664,291, according to federal campaign finance records.
In 2018, Siegel raised $481,417.