They seek to succeed David Simpson, who is vacating the seat representing Upshur and Gregg counties, to run for the Texas Senate. More than 50 persons heard them speak and answer questions at the Disabled American Veterans post Oct. 12.
Asked the main difference between them at the end of an hour-and-15-minute long joint presentation, Watts said he was the only one who had discussed “the need to aggressively restrain government.” Dean, a past Longview mayor and onetime city councilman, noted that unlike Watts (who has never held elective office), “I have a record. I dealt with federal and state mandate(s) and we fought it back every time as mayor.”
Watts reiterated his campaign theme of “less government and more liberty” while Dean said “I’m going to rely heavily on the district to help me make the decisions.”
Dean said the state must do more to stem illegal immigration since the federal government has “been very weak” on the issue. He also called himself a “social conservative” who is pro-life and who as mayor refused to sign a proclamation for lesbian, gay and transgendered “pride.”
Dean also said he strongly supported the Second Amendment, arguing the crime rate drops when less gun control exists.
Watts, an East Mountain area resident, urged pushing back “against the abomination of abortion” and, arguing for less government, cited the case of a Longview woman who had to receive a city permit to replace windows and the front door in her home.
He further complained that the state’s property tax system is “corrupt” and that the position of chief appraiser of a county appraisal district should be an elective office. The two candidates will debate Jan. 23.