Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
Start Over

Voters Guide

U.S. House, District 5

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, announced last fall that he would retire after 14 years in Congress representing Texas’ sprawling 5th Congressional District. Lance Gooden was the eventual winner of the Republican primary, which was crowded and contentious. The 35-year-old insurance consultant has represented a rural Kaufman County portion of the district for three terms in the Texas House of Representatives. Dan Wood, the Democrat in the race, is a former Terrell City Council member. The 63-year-old lawyer is board certified in criminal appellate law and owns a farm with his wife. The Dallas Morning News endorsed Gooden over Wood, calling them both qualified candidates. The district includes parts of Dallas, Garland and Mesquite before extending to the south and east to include all of Anderson, Cherokee, Henderson, Kaufman and Van Zandt counties, and parts of Wood County.

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Lance Gooden
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Dan Wood
    (Dem)

  • Phil Gray (Write In)

Social Media

Biographical Information

What do you consider the most critical issue Texas will face over the next five years? If elected, how would you approach this issue?

School finance in Texas has generated lots of talk but little legislation in recent years. What is your philosophy on the future of public school funding?

Do you believe America has a problem with gun violence? If so, how do you plan tackle it?

Congress and the President want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and have taken steps to dismantle it. What role should the government have when it comes to health insurance?

Texas adds about a thousand people a day. This rapid growth has caused several problems. What are the top three issues the government should address because of this growth?

As a Texan, what do you believe is missing from the conversation about immigration and border security? How would your beliefs influence your approach to those policies?

Describe a unique experience from your childhood that shaped who you are today.

Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Age Born: Oct. 5, 1955 Current Age: 63
Education Baylor Law School, J.D., 1986 Baylor University, Finance major, 1983 Texas A&M University, Economics and Finance major, 1974-1977
Campaign Phone 972.551.20002
Website www.votedanwood.com
Facebook @votedanwood
Twitter @danwood2018
website www.votedanwood.com
contact info@votedanwood.com
Economic opportunity is the most critical issue Texas will face over the next five years. Ordinary people in Texas' 5th Congressional District are getting screwed financially which affects all aspects of our lives. Income inequality is at an all-time high; wages are stagnant; women aren't getting equal pay for equal work; and young folks are graduating college with crippling debt. Dan wants to fix this by introducing universal healthcare, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, empowering small businesses, and supporting the middle class workforce.
Investing in public education is an ever-pressing issue. When we invest in our children’s education, our entire society reaps the benefits. Education boosts economic growth and social capital, and we must invest in education so that our children can reach their full potential. This also means supporting teachers and equipping them with the necessary resources they need in order to educate our children and young adults effectively. Nearly 1 in 5 teachers leave the education field after just 5 years. I will work to increase funding for teachers’ salaries to encourage experienced teachers to remain in the classroom.
We need better mental healthcare options for our citizens. This would involve a comprehensive approach that: 1) educates the public on better recognizing mental health issues in order to help eliminate the stigma that people who suffer from these issues cannot be helped; 2) increases training for HR representatives and school counselors to seek out dialogue and resolutions for emotionally disturbed employees and students; 3) increases public funding for mental healthcare treatment. Open communication and the willingness to listen to people who are having issues is very important. Secondly, on gun control reform, we need to eliminate access to bump stocks and large-capacity magazines. Weapons made for self-defense are protected under our 2nd Amendment rights, but we must draw a clear line between self-defense and mass assault. Finally, the conversation on gun reform has grown toxic in the U.S. Gun control reform is not a binary, all-or-nothing, issue. The complexity must be addressed.
Healthcare is a right that all citizens deserve, so I will support legislation that ensures universal healthcare. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a critical step moving toward an America with universal healthcare, but we must replace it with a comprehensive, universal healthcare system. We need to move forward and build upon the successes of the ACA, not cut coverage of Americans. The primary issue with our current system is that healthcare is a for-profit industry where large corporations make money off of sick people. Only when we cut out the insurance companies and profit margins can we start lowering the cost of healthcare.
The top three issues the government should address because of the rapid growth in Texas are 1) Housing shortages and the resulting decrease in availability of affordable housing; 2) Public safety; as shown by the situation in Houston before Hurricane Harvey, rapid growth strains public services, particularly fire services, hospitals districts, school districts, and law enforcement; and 3) Effects on the environment. As the human population expands deeper into previously unpopulated areas, we must be careful about displacing plant and animal life, as this can have a negative effect on our population and the planet.
We need a path to citizenship for current undocumented residents. The U.S. is, and always has been, a country of immigrants. Our country benefits greatly from immigrants coming here to work or attend school, and I think giving undocumented immigrants a fair, realistic path to citizenship will be mutually beneficial.I do not support construction of a border wall. Not only would a border wall be ineffective, it would be a massive waste of taxpayer money. I think we need to embrace the 21st century and use/continue to use surveillance drones where the U.S. Border Patrol can monitor movement along our southern border.
About age 12, my grandfather helped me buy two Holstein calves. Later in my teens I began a custom hay baling business using a rented Super M Farmall tractor, a borrowed hay rake, a cutter and a square-bale hay baler. I bought the cutter and baler with money from a loan at the Terrell State Bank that my grandfather co-signed. I baled hay for customers through the summer of ’75 before deciding to return to Texas A&M University for the fall semester. I remember the hay customer wanted to be sure each bale weighed 50 to 60 pounds so they would get their money’s worth for the job.
Age 62
Education BS Political Science 1988 MS Political Science/PADM 1990
Campaign Phone 903-780-5644
Website phigrayfortexas.com
Facebook Phil Gray 4 Congress
Twitter @philgray00
Among the critical issues Texas will face in the near future are adequate water availability for a burgeoning population, underfunded municipal pensions, leftover shortfalls of 2 billion in the State budget for the current biennium, plus a similar deficit going forward, and increased risks from adverse weather. If elected, I will put in place measures to pay down the national debt. Since Congress funds the bonds, and investors buy the bonds for the return Congress offers, additional payments reduce the future bond sales. The money becomes available to loan, dollar for dollar. This will create a fund that Texas, her cities, counties, and water districts, can tap for needed capital, all at 3% interest, to address these and other shortfalls. As the loans are repaid, the money becomes available to loan to others.
Until the private sector has devised a means of educating all children, we will continue to need to fund public education. I propose to reward our best teachers from the Fund that builds up as we reduce the debt. I question why we need so much administration, at the expense of fewer teachers. I would like to see parents choose the teacher they want, allow teachers to post parent comments on their website, so parents can make informed choices, and the more highly sought teachers would earn a bonus. The school with the most students seeking entry would earn more funding. I stress that this proposal is preliminary and incomplete.. Solutions must be found to improve outcome nationally, but schools must be locally run. These are among my goals for education.
America has too many killings. Guns play a role in the problem. A part of the solution lies in creating a duty to report worrisome behavior, particularly if the actor is known to be armed. I propose that bankruptcy protection be removed for anyone who could have or should have prevented a mass killing. Let those who have concerns report them to a county health department that has professionals trained to assess risk and decide what appropriate action is needed. All situations need not involve law enforcement, as officers generally cannot act until a crime has been committed. If someone fails to act, they can be sued by survivors in civil court, and have the opportunity to tell the jury why they failed. This will not prevent all killings. It will help. A vigilant populace cannot hurt as much as the dreadful pain inflicted by one of these acts of insanity.
I believe that free market dynamics can reduce the cost of healthcare. Competition must be added. To accomplish this, I propose that organizations be allowed to negotiate health insurance for their members. Second, insurers post on their websites what they will pay for a procedure. Third, providers post on their website what they will charge for a procedure. Finally, the consumer chooses which coverage best suits, which insurer, be it the one available through work, ACA or the organization option, and which provider best meets the needs. I want an end to networks, and to prohibitions of insuring across state lines. The role of government should be to facilitate healthcare so that all can attain it who need it. My debt proposal will make moneys available to loan. I would like those loans to be made available to those with catastrophic expense. Beyond that, my proposals to create new jobs will reduce the number of recipients on Medicaid, providing savings to shore up Medicare.
The burgeoning population will exacerbate many problems. Of these, three that will require government action are making available clean drinking water, adequate transportation alternatives and facilitating adequate power. Roads will require funding, and I propose that the high speed toll lanes for thru trucks be considered. Set the toll at a level that drivers are pleased to pay to expedite passage. This should ease congestion on other lanes, so that all traffic can pass as optimally as possible, perhaps reducing the need for so many new lane miles. Right of ways for utilities should utilize existing routes. Low interest loans from the Fed Fund can help to finance the roads, added power generation,and reservoir and pipeline expansion to address the water issues. Repayment of those loans will reduce the debt that threatens us all, and again become available to loan.
We need to recognize that good hardworking people flee violence and poverty at home, asking only for a chance for the safety and prosperity many Americans take for granted. Those who break our law by coming here, only want to provide for their family. They are good people. The cowards never left home. The fools died on the way. Those who are here already pay taxes, as it is unavoidable. I propose that they be allowed to live and work freely, come out of the shadows, and earn the wages they deserve. For this, I ask that they voluntarily pay 10% of their income to our national debt. They pay it on their tax return, with applicable taxes. Their 1040 becomes their renewable Green Card. When questioned by the authorities, they show it and state, "I paid. I stay" Those here under DACA and DAPA can do the same. Allow those seeking entry to make a payment of $3000 for an expedited temporary visa, and pay their taxes, with that 10%, annually. After 10 years payment, offer a path to citizenship
My parents were physicians, still doing house calls in the 1960s. I recall many times accompanying them. One in particular comes to mind. A family of color, grandma quite ill, and the grandchildren frightened for her… They were also amazed that these white kids wanted to play with them.. Grandma got well, as I recall, but we were frequent guests for a while. This was during the racial unrest culminating in Selma, the stand at the Courthouse door, Watts, the death of Dr King, and Vietnam. In the face of that deep division within this great nation, kids were able to play together.. We can end the hate. Sadly it still exists today, but we can end it, and we must.