Senate hopefuls Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Paul Sadler prepare for their final faceoff tonight, with the live KERA debate beginning at 7 p.m. on channel 13, 90.1 FM, and Univision. KERA's Bill Zeeble talked to some likely voters at the State Fair, and they shared some of their key concerns.
More than a quarter of likely voters in a recent Texas poll labeled the economy their top issue. That resonated with Amy Porch, of Dallas, as she stood outside Fair Park’s Centennial Building. "It’s getting harder for me to save money because the price of everything is going up. Because we’re not drilling for oil, we’re not doing things we need to, to make us independent and be able to have lower gas prices like we did four years ago." said Porch.
When asked about his number one election issue, the first words out of retired Air Force mechanic J.D.’s mouth were also 'the economy.' J.D. said, "I hope it grows more. Do something to make it grow more. It hasn’t affected me, I’m retired military, but I feel for the other people, still, people got to live," JD said. But J.D,, who is from Sherman, did not stop there. He continued, "I’ll tell you the truth. I would like to see Congress and the Senate have term limits and have a whole new regime because they’re not getting along. Don’t matter who’s president. If Democrats don’t get along with Republicans and Republicans can’t work with Democrats, it’s not going to work anyway," said J.D.
Russell Huffman, with his wife and little boy climbing in and out of an SUV on display, said he is especially concerned about the House and Senate Congressional races. Because he says that’s where gridlock starts, and must stop. "It’s all Congress and Senate who make decisions. Jobs, education, they all tie together. They all can be changed if the people in Washington would just not worry about lining their own pockets and worry about the American public," said Huffman.
Recent Baylor graduate Drew Kelly, who at first mentioned the economy as his main issue, also ended up connecting it to education. "I would like some kind of help with student loans after people graduate. All the candidates talk about getting more loans and grants to people while going to school, but if I could give some kind of public service or volunteer my time after graduating then, and get some money forgiven on my loans, that would be awesome," concluded Kelly.
As they waited in line for corny dog coupons, or looked with longing at new cars, these State Fair visitors wondered how Congress might create jobs or improve their standard of living. They want their next Texas Senator to avoid partisan bickering and get down to business.