Look up gerrymandering in the dictionary and you might see a picture of Texas’ tadpole-shaped Second Congressional District.
Atascocita and Humble form the head and the long tail stretches through Spring, west Houston and the Heights before ending near Rice University.
Longtime incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Poe isn’t seeking reelection after seven terms, and whoever replaces him will have to perform a difficult balancing act of bringing both suburban and urban concerns to Washington.
Voters have two thoroughly impressive major party candidates on the ballot, but Todd Litton would best serve Houston in Congress.
Litton, a Democrat, is a sixth-generation Texan with a law degree from the University of Texas and an MBA from Rice University. Deeply engaged in the world of nonprofits — with a specific focus on early childhood education and after-school programs — Litton, 48, has a career and service record that cuts across the major institutions of our city, including the the Center for Houston’s Future, the Houston Endowment and the Episcopal Health Foundation. His campaign slogan, “Common Sense and Common Decency,” embodies the business-minded sense of duty and obligation that historically defines our city’s leadership.
He references local experts Stan Marek and Charles Foster , both Republicans, when discussing immigration issues and vehemently opposes the idea of a border wall with Mexico. For Litton, immigration is a matter of heart — welcoming refugees expands the promise of liberty — and also a matter of economics. He notes that a global business hub like Houston needs national immigration policies that don’t scare away the best and brightest. He also recognizes that our city must address the long-term trends in oil and gas — especially in the context of climate change — if we don’t want to go the way of Detroit.
On health care, Litton wants to close gaps in the Affordable Care Act instead of beginning a single-payer program. In a position particularly appropriate for this meandering district, Litton calls for independent redistricting commissions to prevent gerrymandering.
On the Republican side, Dan Crenshaw, 34, ran an insurgent, underdog campaign in the primary that helped him overcome a self-funded millionaire and a sitting state representative. His intelligence and charisma have made Crenshaw a national figure. The former Navy SEAL lost an eye to an IED in Afghanistan during his third deployment. After serving two more tours, he went on to receive a master in public administration degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Over the campaign he’s had a piece in the National Review calling on the United States to cooperate with Mexico on addressing migrants, appeared on Fox News and generally served as a bright spot for a local party playing defense during this midterm.
Crenshaw mimics Donald Trump in supporting a wall-first border security plan. In contrast to more strident protectionists within his party, he understands that Texas businesses don’t want to cut the number of legal immigrants. However, that insight isn’t exactly balanced by heart. Crenshaw vehemently defended the Trump administration after it separated mothers and children seeking asylum status at the border.
Insisting that the millennial generation shouldn’t expect to receive Social Security, Crenshaw is also calling for entitlement reform.
While both candidates agree on the need for additional federal spending on flood control infrastructure, Crenshaw believes his time as an assistant for U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, would give him better insight into the legislative steps necessary to deliver for the district.
With his combination of youth and political experience, Crenshaw may represent the future of the Republican Party.
On the other hand, Litton represents the future of Houston.
The core of his campaign isn’t drawn from the usual Democratic Party talking points. Instead he echoes the message you can hear from the Greater Houston Partnership, the Kinder Institute or any local group dedicated to building a sustainable, growing city: We must focus on the next generation of Houstonians.
“You can see investing in our people, especially when they’re really young, helping them succeed in school and later on in life has a huge positive effect not just on the child or the child’s family, but on our community as a whole,” he told the editorial board. His entire platform seems crafted with that concern in mind.
No doubt that Crenshaw is an impressive candidate, but he’d be impressive just about anywhere. Litton is uniquely Houston, and for that he’s earned our endorsement.
Read full article here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/recommendations/article/2nd-House-District-Todd-Litton-Dan-Crenshaw-2018-13309238.php#photo-16314948