Two Republicans are challenging 13-year incumbent Michael Burgess for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing most of Denton County and parts of Tarrant and Dallas counties.
In Tuesday’s Republican primary, Joel Krause is trying for a second time to unseat Burgess, and Micah Beebe of Argyle is also vying for the seat. Whoever wins the primary will face Eric Mauck of Fort Worth, the only Democrat in the race, in the general election in November.
All three Republicans have different priorities: Burgess wants to focus on improving the health care system; Beebe wants to work to fix the economy and create jobs; and Krause thinks that by limiting the influence of lobbyists, problems like the debt and health care would become easier to tackle.
If re-elected, Burgess will try to get the chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Health, a position he isn’t shy about seeking. He hopes the Affordable Care Act will be repealed, then he can help set the stage for what health care policy comes next.
“I would like to be able to craft from a policy standpoint whatever it is that comes next,” he said. “I’d like to be able to give some relief to people who are in the individual market right now trying to buy insurance policies.”
Beebe said he is running partially because he believes Burgess focuses too much on health care and is critical of Burgess’ actions. Instead, Beebe wants to focus on creating more jobs and improving the economy.
“We need someone that knows how to grow a business and the economy, what policies can make that happen and move us forward,” he said. “I have that private-sector experience and know how to grow something like that while keeping on a budget. I also have a background in psychology, so I know how to work with other people.”
He also wants to help grow the Republican Party and get more youth and minorities involved, and if elected, he’d want to reach out to help bring in new faces and perspectives.
Meanwhile, Krause said his biggest focus will be on the people instead of special interests, and getting back to the basics. He wants to make the tax code easier to understand and more fair, and help reduce the national debt.
“There are several issues that are entwined with the influence of lobbyists,” he said. “There’s a group of people called the special interest groups, and they’re the ones who are winning. [Without them], we would see lower debt, better health care, and so many things would work better.”
Burgess is the only candidate in the race to report fundraising to the Federal Election Commission, with $712,400 raised as of Feb. 10.
One of the three will face Mauck in the general election. Mauck said he is looking forward to the next section of the campaign and would like to have debates with the Republican nominee.
The major focus of his campaign has been to restore pride in Congress, while fixing jobs and the economy. Mauck said he believes changing the tax code and changes to economic policy will help strengthen the economy.
“Pretty much economic and health care issues are things I’d really fight for,” he said. “We need tax reform on individuals and corporations. I think that somebody fighting for things that could help the economy grow would give people more faith in the economy.”
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.
Michael C. Burgess
Born in: Rochester, Minnesota
Education: Bachelor of Arts in biology, North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas), 1972; Master of Science in physiology, North Texas State University, 1974; Doctor of Medicine, University of Texas Medical School in Houston, 1977; post graduate residency programs, Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, 1977-1981; Master of Science in medical management, University of Texas at Dallas, 2000
Experience: I have served the constituents of the 26th District since 2003 in the United States House of Representatives. I have lived in Denton County almost my entire life. I raised a family here, and I ran a successful medical practice here for 25 years.
On the Web: www.burgessforcongress.com
Born in: Harrisonville, Missouri
Education: Bachelor of Science in psychology, Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, 2006
Experience: Realtor with Century 21 Mike Bowman Inc. Previous work experience with Commerce Bank.
On the Web: www.beebeforcongress.com
Joel A. Krause
Born in: Lake City, Iowa
Education: Bachelor of Science in engineering, Iowa State University, 1991
Experience: Technical Sales Westinghouse, Honeywell and have owned and managed my own business Webb Electronics for 30-plus years with up to 40-plus employees in the U.S. and 25-plus employees overseas.
On the Web: krauseforhouse.com
Born in: Sherman
Education: Kent Christian College, theology major, 1994-96. Did not graduate.
Experience: District manager and regional manager at Flextronics, 2005-2010. General manager at Verizon Wireless, 2010 to present. Stand-up comedian, Dallas-Fort Worth area, 2009 to present. Host of Mauck Talk Internet Radio show in Arlington, 2010-2012. Co-host of Mauck & Boots Internet Radio, 2013-2015 in Deep Ellum.
On the Web: mauck2016.com