Here's Why This Race is So Important 
by Pete Gallego  

A national media outlet recently said our congressional race would be one of the few in the country to provide "edge of your seat general election excitement." 

And that's probably pretty accurate. There are only a handful of toss-up congressional races in the entire country - and this is the only one in Texas. 

This race will once again be a high-profile battle with the campaigns and Super PACs spending millions of dollars on mudslinging and attack ads. 

Here's the irony - anyone who knows me knows that I hate all that stuff. 

There are people who run for office because they love all that gamesmanship and the yelling and screaming that comes with it - that would not be me. 

Corny as it may sound - I run for office because I  believe in giving back through public service. And, I love working on good public policy.

My parents taught me that I could make a difference and had a responsibility to try. I teach my own son that, too. And so, I try. When I fall off my horse, as I did last November, I get back on. It's another lesson I'm passing on to my son.

A big part of that feeling of responsibility comes from knowing that Congressman Hurd and I have vastly different policy views. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that we have fundamentally different views of how Congress and government should function and how the 23rd District of Texas should be represented. 

And it's those differences that make this race so important. 

Congressman Hurd voted to freeze Pell Grants even though college costs are skyrocketing. I believe it is vital that we make college accessible to everyone if we want to give the next generation a legitimate shot at achieving the American Dream. No one should be priced out of the education system.

He voted to allow development in Big Bend National Park. Over 200 additional miles of new roads. I know from growing up around there that it would be a travesty to allow roads and traffic along the rims of the park's majestic canyons. 

He opposes reauthorizing the Export Import Bank. I believe we need the bank both because it supports 1.4 million jobs and because small businesses in Texas are among the biggest beneficiaries. Leaders like Ambassador Ron Kirk also tell us it is vital to our national security interests. 

He resigned his position on the Small Business Committee because he said he didn't have time for it. I grew up working in our family's restaurant and developed a profound respect for the small business owners who are the backbone of our country's economy. 

And he votes with his party 95% of the time. This is a big difference between us - I've always believed that the job of a representative is to fight for the interests of the people he represents - not follow blindly along whatever his political party happens to be pushing. 

I get a lot of heat from my own party sometimes - but I know the people in my part of Texas very well. I'm positive they don't agree with either party 95% of the time. That's why I always took a long look at each issue and always made a decision based on the policy, never the politics. 

Bottom line - you will definitely start seeing all the silly attack ads and mudslinging. When you do,  remember that there are actually some very serious policy differences in the election, and that those differences carry heavy consequences. 

I hope you give those differences serious thought in deciding who to support in this election - and I hope I can count on your support. 

- pete 

P.S. - If you've made up your mind to support me in this race, I hope you'll help out by making a contribution or sharing this post. Thanks!