ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The United States presidential election continues to take center stage on the political platform, however November 8th marks the date for many local and state elections that can impact the policies in local areas for years to come, like who will represent the First District of Texas in the U.S House of representatives.
This year, the 12 counties encompassed by district one will see a full ticket with three candidates representing three political parties as well as their own ideas of how to make a difference in congress.
"I want to pay off the national debt, I want to create millions of jobs and I want to save you money," said Libertarian candidate Phil Gray, running for his first political position. "I want to make it possible for the American people to make their own fuel for 80 cents a gallon and in turn see a trickle down that will save Americans money."
Shirley McKellar is running for the third time against republican incumbent Louie Gohmert, and hopes third time is the charm. She said she will not back down until Gohmert has been voted out of office and does not agree with his representation in congress.
"I'm healthcare, I'm military, I'm education, I'm entrepreneur I have brought many jobs and initiatives and jobs to East Texas," McKellar said. "My original reason for running for the United States Congress has not change since the first time I ran."
Gohmert, who if elected will begin his 7th term with the U.S. House of Representatives, said he will continue fighting for limited government interference in the lives of East Texans and beyond.
"The founders had it right in the 10th amendment, any power not specifically enumerated in the constitution was reserved to the state and the people, and that's my number one focus. Returning that power back to the people," Gohmert said.
Each candidate brings something unique to the table, and for Gray running as a Libertarian on the ticket he feels he will be able to reach across party lines and find compromise among stiff political tensions.
"Libertarians are for small government, libertarians are for low taxes, libertarians are for freedom first. I want to give you the freedom to choose," Gray said. "We are all Americans, we are very divided now on a variety of things but we all want what's best for our children and I think I can reach across the aisle and show them how."
McKellar feels that Gohmert has misrepresented East Texans during his previous representative terms, and will continue a campaign centered on job creation, affordable college tuition, and military benefits.
"Gohmert has not represented to the greater good of East Texas, he has voted against so many things that we deserve and need, he is just not representing our counties the way he should," McKellar said. "Since I have been running for this seat I have been listening to so many college students complaining about the debt that they are in when they get ready to graduate from college, and this should not be happening."
McKellar said she will push for low interest's rates, and a way for students to become productive parts of society. Gohmert said he does not agree with McKellar's belief that his past terms have not been productive for East Texas.
"She is misrepresenting my voting record when you see something that sounds good on its face that I vote against, you can be sure there is a poison bill in there that a huge majority of east Texans are fully against, Gohmert said. "Which is why I vote no, we are on the right track improving every year, we don't need big daddy government telling Texas what to do."
Libertarian candidate Gray said that as he begins to make his case heard outside of the two major political parties he wants to give immigrants an opportunity to become productive citizens of the US, and help the middle class put more money in their pockets.
"The Republican Party said we are going to create more jobs by leaving money in the hands of the wealthy, they don't spend that they just invest it," Gray said. "Those monies don't trickle down to us you can only own so many yachts, we need to be putting that in the hands of those who will consume."
He said in addition to this, providing Americans the power to make their own fuel or choose between electric or oil energy resources will make the future better for generations to come.
Gohmert will continue his push to separate federal government and the state's ability to decide what is best for their region. He said he is on the brink of passing a bill he has been working on for several years to put a stop to the automatic increase of federal budgets.
"No non-profit, no business, no organization in the world has an automatic increase on their budget, when federal government tries to say they have flat lined, it's flat lined with an automatic increase," Gohmert said. "It is time we reign in the federal power and give it back to the states."
The candidate that wins the upcoming US House of Representative election will hold the office for the next two years. Early voting has begun for those in East Texas, and those in Angelina County can cast their ballots at the courthouse annex downtown.