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The Race for Texas' New Congressional District 35

State of Texas District Viewer

As Republican candidate Susan Narvaiz points out, both of the top candidates in the newly created Congressional District 35 race are newcomers being that District 35 is newly created; although Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who currently represents Texas' 25th District, has been in the political arena for quite some time.

The new District 35 is a product of the 2010 Census, which divvied up the population and created four new districts; the news seats attributed to the growth of the Latino population.

For Narvaiz, the diverse population is familiar as she is the former mayor of San Marcos. But the district combines two very different, large cities: Austin and San Antonio.

Asked how she would best serve the Latino population, she responded that the issues are more similar than they are different for Latinos.

"They don't see their issues as different," said Narvaiz. "They see them as the same. They want us to know that."

Health care is another major concern for voters this election year. On President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, Narvaiz said there is a better way to reform the system.

"The reality is that I'm not in favor of the type of program that we have," she said. "The issues that are coming to these small businesses that no one knew about as it pertains to this health care bill. I have been uninsured in my lifetime. I understand we have to come up with some different options. The question is who should come up with those. And I believe by having a free market response, we really make it more affordable and more accessible."

She said there are federally qualified health care centers, and county hospitals, that could serve as options for people over a plan that mandates purchased health care for every citizen.

"I would never support anything that mandates that we must buy a product, or a service, in the way that this bill does," said Narvaiz.

Rep. Doggett says his priority for Congress is education. He hopes that more people of good-will are elected to help break the stalemate in Congress that currently keeps any bills from being passed.

On the president's Affordable Car Act, Doggett believes lawmakers should show bi-partisan support to make it stronger instead of trying to destroy it.

"There are some deficiences and shortcomings in it, but what we need to be focused on is how to make it better and more comprehensive," he said. "To a student at UTSA or St. Mary's who's able to stay on their parent's insurance policy, to a young cancer victim on the south side who can now get insurance and won't face lifetime fine print limits in a policy that will deny the benefits when they need it the most, to the many people in San Antonio and small businesses and individuals who received rebates this year because they were overcharged on their insurance... there is benefit on top of benefit. But the main effect of the Affordable Health Care Act will be in 2014 and I want to improve it prior to that time and that will be a big job of mine on the House Weighs and Means Committee."

Doggett says there is a unique satisfaction in making a difference, and that is why he is running for a new seat in Congress.

Doggett is the favored candidate for Congressional District 35, but Narvaiz believes she has a strong chance of winning because of people who she says would like a change in Washington.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.