ALDINE – With the retirement of Congressman Gene Green from the 29th District, many other candidates have started campaigning for the position.
Last Wednesday evening, civic clubs and the East Aldine District hosted a Candidates Forum at their offices, to meet some of the candidates and hear their positions on various issues.
Candidates attending were Democrats Roel Garcia, Sylvia Garcia, Tahir Javed, and Augustine Reyes, and Republicans Phillip Aronoff and Carmen Montiel. Not present were Democrats Dominique Garcia, Hector Morales, and Pedro Valencia, and Republicans Jaimy Blanco and Robert Schafranek.
Because the district is heavily Hispanic, it is expected that this seat will finally go to a representative of that community. It has been held the last 26 years by Gene Green, a non-Hispanic male quite popular with his constituents, partially due to his hard work to represent their needs and issues in Congress.
The Forum was moderated by Marina Suggs of the Green Forest subdivision civic club, and questions were taken from all the civic clubs and the audience.
Also, each candidate had two minutes at the beginning to state their position, and a minute at the end to summarize. In between they answered questions read by various civic club representatives.
An underlying theme most of the candidates mentioned was the need for a Hispanic delegate to represent their special interests.
Some of them emphasized that they were born and raised in District 29, but Javed was a Pakistani and Montiel was from Venezuela. Reyes said not only was he raised in District 29, but cited his service as a Marine, and later helping to clean up the drug trafficking.
Questions ranged from asking positions on healthcare, and Obama Care vs. Trump’s plans, flooding and drainage, and social security and medicare. One odd question was whether we should make English our national language.
Reyes Garcia wanted to know how the candidates would get more federal funds for sewer and water projects for Aldine.