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Candidates Vying For CD21 Seat Face Off In San Antonio

Democrat Joseph Kopser, left, and Republican Chip Roy
Contributed Photos
Kopser Campaign/Roy Campaign
Democrat Joseph Kopser, left, and Republican Chip Roy

The race to replace long-standing Texas Congressman Lamar Smith is heating up between Republican Chip Roy and his Democratic rival Joseph Kopser. They faced off in a debate on Wednesday at Pearl Studios, hosted by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

With topics ranging from immigration to trade, both candidates were asked what they felt should be done about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Roy supports Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s position that the federal program is unconstitutional.

“We need border security, and we need an immigration system that works that is merit-based so that people can have the labor that they need,” Roy said.

Kopser told the crowd his comprehensive immigration plan would include a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients.

“We owe Dreamers the promise that we have made to them. It is not their fault that they are here,” Kopser said.

When asked about ongoing discussions that aim to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, both Kopser and Roy agreed that any deal must be a pact that includes both Mexico and Canada.

Congressional District 21 runs through parts of the city, the Hill Country and into Austin.

The race between Kopser and Roy has attracted national attention because Texas Democrats believe they can end the Republicans' hold on the seat during the November midterm election.

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.