Students at UT are understandably tired of the words “runoff election.” But there is one more runoff vote whose outcome will dictate our federal representation. Joseph Kopser and Mary Street Wilson are in a runoff election for the Democratic nomination of U.S. House District 21. While both candidates check the typical boxes of following Democratic ideals, Kopser is better poised to respond to today’s challenges. Issues such as healthcare and women’s empowerment will directly affect the lives of current college students within a few years. Kopser explains stronger action that proves he’s a more adept politician.
Transparency is necessary for representing a congressional district, and Kopser better exhibits this quality. For current students ready to enter the working world, Kopser inspires confidence in a politician that has well thought-out plans to secure all aspects of our future health.
Both Kopser and Wilson are supporters of a single payer Medicaid system similar to HR 676, the Democratically supported Medicaid for All Act. Kopser has worked hard to share solutions that would apply to multiple tiers of administration, rather than a single statement supporting one piece of legislation. He proposes plans to enact short-term solutions while working to implement long-term solutions congressionally. Kopser goes on to further divide his views on healthcare into multiple issues encompassing everything from universal coverage to mental health. It is unclear whether Wilson shares these views about healthcare because these messages are not clearly expressed on her website or through interfacing with the media.
Although Wilson is a distinguished educator and pastor, her campaign appears to be less demonstrative of her specific solutions to the issues.
As a highly educated woman, active member of her community and the only woman running to represent the district, Wilson has the potential to be a strong symbol for women’s political empowerment at the congressional level. But a symbol doesn’t necessarily enact actionable policy.
Women’s rights are especially pressing given that they protect equal employment opportunity and wages for rising graduates in the district. Unfortunately, Wilson hasn’t expressed a clearly articulated agenda for championing women’s rights. On her website — and in fewer than 60 words — Wilson simply reiterates the Democratic platform for women’s rights.
Instead, Kopser’s ideas are more formulated. On his website, Kopser offers a methodology to uphold this agenda through funding programs such as WIC and SNAP. He explains that these vital social welfare programs are not a standalone solution. They must be achieved in tandem with equal, open hiring opportunities and a higher minimum wage to truly empower women on a level playing field. Comparing the two candidates is admittedly delicate, but voters are ultimately concerned with policy — and the policies speak for themselves.
Wilson forced the surprising runoff by winning over a 1,000 more votes with only $40,000 in funding in comparison to Kopser’s $750,000. In anticipation of the May 22 runoff election, Kopser’s campaign has maintained well-constructed strategies. He states that his policy will be based on two things: scientific facts and public opinion.
In the blue wave that Texan Democrats hope will sweep the incumbent senatorial and gubernatorial elections, vote for Kopser’s moderate Democratic view to better bridge the political climate and help secure a economically robust and prosperous future for Texans.
Batlanki is a Neuroscience sophomore from Flower Mound. Follow him on Twitter @rohanbatlanki.