Job descriptionRepresents his/her district in the US House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the legislative branch of the United States. Term is two years.
Duties
  • Writes and votes on federal laws.

  • The House has the power to vote on impeachment (the Senate holds the trial).

  • If there is a tie between Presidential candidates in the Electoral College, the House has the power to choose the President.

Annual salary$174,000

 

Who’s Running?

Vanessa Adia:

https://www.vanessaadia.com
FB: VanessaAdiaTX12
Twitter: @VanessaAdiaTX12
682-730-2780
Email: info@vanessaadia.com
Democrat
Kay Granger (incumbent)

http://kaygranger.com
FB: RepKayGranger
Twitter: @RepKayGranger
Republican
Jacob Leddy

https://www.readyforleddy.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/readyforleddy/
Email: contact@readyforleddy.com
682-727-0404
Libertarian

Candidate Q&A

Note: Answers to questions will appear as they are received from the candidates.

1. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION AND EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND? WHAT EXPERIENCES DO YOU HAVE THAT MAKE YOU THE BEST CANDIDATE?
Vanessa Adia Answer:
I earned my undergraduate degree in religion and philosophy from Texas Christian University, and I earned my graduate degree in social work with a focus on non-profit management from the University of Texas Arlington. Currently, I am a public middle school teacher at Benbrook Middle-High School. As a teacher, whether through writing curriculum, leading district trainings, or previously serving as Benbrook Middle-High School's science department chair for four years, I have worked to serve both my students and my colleagues. I am committed to helping my students excel, both inside and outside of the classroom, and as a result, in 2014-2015, I was honored to receive recognition as the Teaching Chair of Excellence for Secondary Science in Fort Worth ISD. Prior to teaching, I worked in the private sector, managing charitable giving for a local business, and in 2007, I also served on the Benbrook Parks and Recreation Board and later, the Planning and Zoning Commission. With my passion for public service, and my experience in education, I am able to bring a people-centered approach to the role of representative, and I am committed to ensuring that the people of District 12, rather than corporate interests, will always come first.
Kay Granger Answer:
Jacob Leddy Answer:
I've worked in logistics and trucking my entire adult life, and during my time in the workforce I have seen the destructive effect of heavy-handed government intervention.

I've seen corporations and interest groups use big money to influence elections to make life more restrictive for the average citizen.

I've seen our freedoms, our hard-earned tax dollars, and our quality of life erode away.

I am an individualist, a constitutionalist, and a firm believer in American exceptionalism. And I'm running to represent TX-12 because I currently don't feel represented.
2. WHAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR CAMPAIGN DONATIONS COMES FROM INDIVIDUALS? WHAT PERCENTAGE COMES FROM PACs?
Vanessa Adia Answer:
My campaign is funded by small-dollar donations. I do not accept corporate PAC money.
Kay Granger Answer:
Jacob Leddy Answer:
100 Percent of my campaign is individually funded. We don't take any money from PACs.
3. IF ELECTED, WHAT IS THE FIRST PIECE OF LEGISLATION YOU WOULD PROPOSE?
Vanessa Adia Answer:
When I ask the people of District 12 how they would prioritize the work of Congress, the most pressing issues they identify are those that impact their daily lives: health care for all, an economy that works for them, a quality education for all of our children, and saving Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to ensure that working Americans can live and retire with dignity. These are the kitchen table issues that must be tackled first, and if elected, I would work to ensure are prioritized. As health care plays an important role in the lives of every American, and efforts to undermine critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions continue, I believe protecting and expanding our right to quality, affordable health care must be addressed immediately, which is why I would work with other representatives in Congress to make Medicare-for-All a top priority.
Kay Granger Answer:
Jacob Leddy Answer:
I would immediately propose a bill to cut spending. I supported the tax cut bill signed by President Trump, but we need to cut spending to match and put an end to our ballooning $21 trillion deficit. Being fiscally conservative includes rejecting unconstitutional spending, something our current representative clearly does not understand.
4. WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON VOTING LAWS? PLEASE ADDRESS WHAT IDENTIFICATION SHOULD BE REQUIRED FOR REGISTERED VOTERS AT THEIR POLLING PLACES, WHETHER YOU SUPPORT ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION, AND WHAT TIME RESTRICTIONS SHOULD BE PLACED ON VOTER REGISTRATION.
Vanessa Adia Answer:
Every American should have the right to exercise their political power through their vote, but in our current system, many Americans are denied that opportunity. Our congressional districts are so severely gerrymandered that the voting power of Americans has been diluted. I will work to ensure we craft independent redistricting commissions that are non-partisan and transparent. Voter suppression efforts, voter ID laws, and restrictions on voter registration times have also limited the ability of our fellow citizens to exercise their rights, often adversely impacting working-class individuals and people of color. We need to make participating in our democracy easier, not more difficult. I support efforts like online voter registration, which 37 states and the District of Columbia have already implemented, as well as same day voter registration, which 17 states and the District of Columbia allow. Additionally, I believe Congress must take steps to strengthen the Voting Rights Act, and I support legislation, like the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would require states and jurisdictions with a history of voter discrimination within the last 25 years to seek federal approval before changing voting policies and procedures. Congress can and must take measurable steps to protect the rights of all voters.
Kay Granger Answer:
Jacob Leddy Answer:
I am a supporter of Voter ID laws, but we must make it easier to register to vote and obtain identification. I support online voter registration provided it is secure, and support the right to register to vote up until election day, provided everything can be verified.
5. DESCRIBE YOUR POSITION ON FEDERAL FUNDING FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION. ADDRESS ISSUES SUCH AS ACCESS TO FEDERAL FUNDS BY PUBLIC, PRIVATE, AND CHARTER SCHOOLS, THE ROLE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, AND WHETHER FEDERAL FUNDS SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO ADHERENCE TO FEDERAL EDUCATION GUIDELINES.
Vanessa Adia Answer:
Public education is underfunded, understaffed, and generally misunderstood by the people who make education policies. As a teacher, I have seen this firsthand. Students and teachers need policies that will encourage better educational experiences through smaller class sizes, the elimination of high-stakes testing, and improved teacher salaries to entice our best and brightest to educate and inspire the next generation. Rather than continuing to move towards excessive testing and the privatization of education, the Department of Education should return to its original role, protecting our students’ civil rights and ensuring that all students receive equal and equitable access to education. I am a firm believer that quality public education improves the lives of all students who have access to it, which is why I believe federal funding for public education is essential and must remain with public schools, rather than going to private and charter schools who can selectively choose which students they want to educate. The wealthiest nation in the world can afford to invest in the education of its people. We simply need to make the decision to do so.
Kay Granger Answer:
Jacob Leddy Answer:
Education is a critical component of our country's future - too critical for our ineffective federal government to handle. Education should be handled at the local and state level, with parents having full control over their children's educational needs.
6. DESCRIBE YOUR POSITION ON FEDERAL IMMIGRATION REFORM, INCLUDING THE TREATMENT OF THE EXISTING POPULATION OF UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS.
Vanessa Adia Answer:
Congress must work to institute comprehensive and compassionate, evidence-based immigration reform. With so much emphasis and rhetoric focused on illegal border crossings, it is important to recognize that the majority of undocumented immigrants originally entered the United States legally on a visa but have since overstayed their time. Additionally, as we have witnessed continued coverage of the impact of the Trump administration’s family separation policy at the southern border, it is important to recognize that many of those individuals were presenting themselves to authorities and attempting to seek asylum in the United States, which is in fact, not a crime. Undocumented immigrants need a clear path to citizenship, and Congress must work to prevent future implementation of similar family separation policies. Additionally, as hundreds of thousands of Dreamers continue to sit in limbo, Congress must also work to pass a clean DREAM Act.
Kay Granger Answer:
Jacob Leddy Answer:
I believe immigration is vital to our great country, and we need to make it easier - not tougher - for hard-working people to become citizens. I support reverting back to an Ellis-Island-style system, where we can vet and process immigrants quickly and effectively. We don't need a wall - we need a simpler process.

As for current undocumented immigrants, I think we involve them in the process. If we admit 1,000,000 per year, make the current undocumented immigrants part of that million and get them legal status.
7. DESCRIBE YOUR POSITION ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE, WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO JUDICIAL DISCRETION AND THE SENTENCING OF NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS.
Vanessa Adia Answer:
Our prisons are overcrowded with people with non-violent offenses. In fact, perpetrators of nonviolent and drug offenses account for 81% of new inmates, many of whom were adversely impacted by harsh, mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offenders fail to keep us safer. Instead, they disproportionately impact low-income individuals and people of color, and they take excessive tolls not only on the individual sentenced but on that individual’s family. As a teacher, I have taught students with incarcerated parents, and I have seen firsthand how it impacts the family and their ability to participate in the American Dream. Judges should have the ability to use greater discretion on sentencing, and our prison system should include a stronger focus on rehabilitation efforts for non-violent offenders rather than simply a focus on incarceration. A justice system that has different outcomes based on one’s race and socioeconomic status is a justice system that is not worthy of our great nation and one that is in dire need of reform.
Kay Granger Answer:
Jacob Leddy Answer:
Our prison system is a mess, which is why if given a magic wand, I would immediately release all non-violent criminals from prisons. Locking up non-violent offenders is costing us billions and ruining lives. If no one is harmed, it is not a crime. Period.
8. DESCRIBE YOUR POSITION ON FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS, INCLUDING THE ROLE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY.
Vanessa Adia Answer:
Science is real. Climate change is real, and the impacts of our individual and national choices on the environment are real. The evidence has shown a clear change in weather patterns, climate, and the gradual flooding of coastal areas, as well as an increase in the rates of mosquito-borne diseases, water-borne infections, and toxin-related illnesses. As a result, the federal government absolutely has a responsibility to regulate environmental impacts. Instead of the Environmental Protection Agency’s current role of prioritizing corporate interests over the safety and well-being of the American people, the EPA must return to its intended mission of protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land on which we live. Additionally, with the signing of the Paris Climate Accords, the global community, including the United States prior to the Trump administration, united in its recognition of man-made climate change and made a commitment to take steps to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The United States must return to the Paris Climate Accords, and as a member of Congress, I will support bills that slow the progress of climate change, reduce the output of greenhouse gases, and promote renewable energy.
Kay Granger Answer:
Jacob Leddy Answer:
I believe environmental regulation to be one of the few federal responsibilities. We must regulate pollution and ensure all Americans have access to clean air and water.
9. WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON THE FEDERAL REGULATION OF FIREARMS UNDER THE SECOND AMENDMENT? WHAT RESTRICTIONS SHOULD BE PLACED ON THE SALE AND OWNERSHIP OF FIREARMS, INCLUDING WHERE FIREARMS ARE PERMITTED?
Vanessa Adia Answer:
While I support the Second Amendment, I also support the need for gun safety. We have an epidemic of gun violence in the United States, which Congress must work to address. By passing common-sense gun reform legislation, including implementing universal background checks, banning bump stocks and similar gun accessories, closing loopholes that allow domestic abusers to have continued access to firearms, and ensuring and allowing adequate funding for Center for Disease Control research around gun violence so that we can create evidence-based policy, Congress has a significant ability to improve the safety of our communities.
Kay Granger Answer:
Jacob Leddy Answer:
The right to bear arms isn't up for debate.

America was founded on the freedom to combat tyranny, and I have every intention of keeping the second amendment intact. I support your right to defend yourself, your family, your property, and your country at all times.

I will vehemently oppose any legislation that restricts or takes away that right.
10. DESCRIBE YOUR POSITION ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR HEALTHCARE PROVISION; PLEASE ADDRESS ISSUES SUCH AS UNIVERSAL COVERAGE, THE ROLE OF PRIVATE INSURERS, AND THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.
Vanessa Adia Answer:
All Americans deserve high quality, affordable health care, yet our current system fails to meet the needs of the people and instead, serves the needs of the insurance companies. The lack of affordable health care options has left too many people to choose between getting the care they need or ensuring their family is able to remain in their home. No one should have to make a choice like that, and no one should have to rely on a GoFundMe account to afford their treatments or medication. The Affordable Care Act provided us with a starting point for health care coverage and implemented much needed protections, especially around ensuring coverage for pre-existing conditions. However, it is now time for us to build on this progress and work to implement a Medicare-for-All type system. By investing money in a Medicare-for-All system, Congress has the ability to create a health care system that works for the American people, empowering them with the freedom to live their lives free from the worry of mounting medical debt.
Kay Granger Answer:
Jacob Leddy Answer:

Republicans won a trifecta in 2016 - yet they still seem unable to pass a full repeal of Obamacare. Healthcare for many Americans is more expensive than ever.

Healthcare should be affordable. It becomes affordable through more competition - allowing insurers to sell across state lines and removing unnecessary barriers to entry that force monopolies to exist.

It's imperative for taxpayer funds to stop being given to wealthy insurance companies.
11. WHAT LEGAL RESTRICTIONS SHOULD BE REQUIRED ON ABORTIONS?
Vanessa Adia Answer:
I am pro-choice because I believe that every woman has the right to choose what to do with her body, certainly more than a politician does. The ability to control one’s own body is essential to one’s personal welfare, and reproductive autonomy is essential to both women’s health and women’s equality. On a federal level, Roe v. Wade protects a woman’s right to abortion, and I believe it must remain the law of the land. Leaving abortion rights to the states will drive women in desperate situations to take life threatening measures, and making abortion illegal will not reduce the number of abortions – it will only reduce the number of safely performed abortions, endangering the lives of women. Rather than focusing on placing additional restrictions on abortion, if we want to decrease the rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortions, we must work to ensure that woman have unfettered access to birth control, as well as quality, affordable reproductive healthcare.
Kay Granger Answer:
Jacob Leddy Answer:
I unabashedly agree with and support the Pain-Capable Act, which bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. It is important to protect innocent life, and this bill logically accomplishes that.
12. DO YOU BELIEVE MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGAL UNDER FEDERAL LAW? ADDRESS ISSUES SUCH AS MEDICAL AND RECREATIONAL USE, THE STATUS OF MARIJUANA AS A SCHEDULE 1 DRUG, FEDERAL VS STATE RESPONSIBILITY, ETC.
Vanessa Adia Answer:
Yes, I believe marijuana should be legal under federal law. When thirty states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, the nation should take notice that its people are tired of seeing fellow citizens arrested for a drug that has medical benefits for a range of diseases, including seizures, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. Texas leads the nation in marijuana arrests. Too much of our state’s time and treasure is spent on marijuana offenses when instead, law enforcement and the justice system should be focused on addressing violent crime offenses. As such, I support federal de-scheduling of marijuana, ending its prohibition and replacing it with government regulation.
Kay Granger Answer:
Jacob Leddy Answer:
Prohibition has proven ineffective time and time again, so why do we continue trying it? The war on drugs is a detriment on society because it forces those not able to use legal recourse to turn to violence to solve disputes.

I will support any legislation that legalizes marijuana and any legislation that turns our non-violent drug problem from a criminal one to a medical one.
OTHER COMMENTS
Vanessa Adia Answer:
I am running because I believe it's time for everyday people to represent everyday people. Unlike my opponent, I am not beholden to corporate interests, and I am focused on putting the people of District 12 first. Many in District 12 are frustrated with the current political system and are tired of the divide of "us vs them" in our politics. This election, we have the opportunity to vote into office people who are willing to represent our values and change the way Congress does business. I am committed to working with all representatives to do what is best for the people of our district, and I am committed to holding town halls to face the hard questions and put in the work for my constituents.
RECENT NEWS ARTICLES"River agency knew for years about the need for an economic analysis of its project — and fought it.” (Texas Monitor, October 18, 2018)
https://texasmonitor.org/river-agency-knew-for-years-about-the-need-for-an-economic-analysis-of-its-project-and-fought-it/?fbclid=IwAR1WeA2UdyU82920hkhXhMydWLyQ4LhsKmyXWTAWRN0OuQZJW9JeRU1PdsA

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http://amp.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/election/article220105280.html?fbclid=IwAR36cQazphcHuvyFmCJPKS0wB7xB8oinfeUwqL7xlzmHc7IHt87rViuHukA

“Questions about missing analysis now loom large for Fort Worth river project,” Texas Monitor (Oct 12, 2018)
https://texasmonitor.org/questions-about-missing-analysis-now-loom-large-for-fort-worth-river-project/?fbclid=IwAR2kJbyzfzALngnhqVz6atimkDEvGguwnV8KqExXGwtgItOyqcEV_a9MMxY

“Deemed low priority, Panther Island is now in long queue for federal funding,” McClatchy (Oct 5, 2018)
https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/congress/article219551535.html

Fort Worth’s $1B Panther Island project quietly cut from 2018 federal budget,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Oct 2, 2018)
https://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article219100860.html

“Kay Granger Talked Immigraion, Russia, and McCain’s Death, But Only to a Select Few,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (August 29, 2018)
https://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article217524060.html

“Here are All the Republicans Jockeying for Committee Leadership Positions (So Far),” Roll Call (August 29, 2018)
https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/republicans-committee-leadership

“Trump Administration Implements MEF Plan to Sideline UNRWA,” Middle East Forum (August 31, 2018)
https://www.meforum.org/articles/2018/trump-administration-implements-mef-plan-to-disman

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https://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/politex-blog/article206861464.html

“U.S. Rep Kay Granger: There Needs to be a Better Way to Secure Our Borders,” Fort Worth Star Telegram (June 19, 2018)
https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article213454969.html

“Opinion: New Tax Law is Not Working for Texas,” Fort Worth Star Telegram (June 21, 2018)
https://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/other-voices/article213590904.html

“Fort Worth Congresswoman Kay Granger in Moscow Meeting with Russian Officials,” Fort Worth Star Telegram (July 3, 2018)
https://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article214305359.html

“Parker County Residents Question State of Public School Issues,” Weatherford Democrat (July 25, 2018)
http://www.weatherforddemocrat.com/news/local_news/parker-county-residents-question-state-of-public-school-issues/article_74df5f71-f4c5-5805-8b18-ecb7c84248d9.html

“Democrats Drill Money from Conservative Stronghold Fort Worth,” McClatchy (July 27, 2018)
https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article215657965.html

“Russia trip infuriates Granger critics: 'We never know where she is,'” Fort Worth Star- Telegram (July 6, 2018)
https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article214426599.html

“Opinion: New tax law is not working for Texas” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (June 21, 2018)
https://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/other-voices/article213590904.html

“U.S. Rep. Kay Granger: 'There needs to be a better way to secure our borders',” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (June 19, 2018)
https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article213454969.html

“Teachers to Trump: #ArmMeWith books, school funding - not guns,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Feb 23, 2018)
https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article201739184.html