Mary Jennings (“MJ”) Hegar is a U.S. Air Force veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor. She had announced that she is running against Rep. John Carter (R-TX), who has held his position for 14 years.
In 2009, Carter cosponsored the “birther bill,” which would require presidential candidates to show their birth certificates to be eligible to run which was a jab at former President Barack Obama. Even though Obama provided his birth certificate in 2011, Carter said the bill was “finally resolved,” but he also added that he was “disappointed that the president took this long to do so. This could and should have been done when the question was first raised.”
The district that Hegar is running in is a solid red district in which Carter won his 2016 reelection by almost 22 points.
She mentions that she grew up in a Republican family and voted for the party when she was younger. But she said that beliefs that made her once vote Republican are “no longer true,” so she now considers herself an “independent Democrat.”
She believes that she can flip the district and is confident that she can get supporter from both sides because of her experience at international and national levels. She also revealed that Donald Trump being elected was partly what motivated her to run.
She said she wants to send a message to lawmakers like Carter. Her message is that congresspeople “cannot get away with just representing his voters, his special interests.”
In a recent interview, Hegar stated, “I see a threat to our Constitution, our democracy and I feel compelled to do something more about it.”
There are other Democrats that are running against Carter but Hegar believes that she has a “better chance to beat Carter than they do.” She added, “but I hope they continue to stay engaged.”
Hegar announced her candidacy with a powerful video.
You can watch the video below:
Today I am announcing my candidacy for TX Congressional District 31. We must protect the progress we've made. https://t.co/gVXntBZUbC
— MJ Hegar for Texas (@mjhegar) July 6, 2017