Beal is running against incumbent Louie Gohmert. He faces Shirley McKellar in the Democratic primary, while Gohmert has two Republican opponents in that primary. Asked why he was running as a Democrat, the UT-Tyler business professor from Nacogdoches said, “If it comes down to deciding between what’s best for workers, entrepreneurs, or local small businesses, and what’s best for big corporations, I’m going to take the side of the former. That’s what being a Democrat means to me.”
Beal said the most important thing is that voters elect a representative that represents everyone’s interest in East Texas. That is not the case now, he said, pointing out Gohmert has stopped holding town meetings and is practically invisible in the district.
“We need to get past the partisanship and focus on the hard work of making sure our children have to opportunity to make lives for themselves here in East Texas,” Beal said.
Beal is a harsh critic of President Trump’s immigration policies, which Gohmert strongly supports.
“You don’t grow a community by shrinking it,” he said. “You aren’t going to improve the economy in East Texas by deporting people. Every person that is deported, every dreamer denied citizenship, is one less consumer, on less person in our communities that is buying groceries, buying a car, eating at local restaurants, paying taxes and making a life for themselves here.”
Beal will continue visiting with voters throughout the district until the March 6 primary. “I met so many wonderful people during our 50-city tour to get on the ballot, and I want to continue that momentum,” he said.
Early voting for both party primaries begins Feb. 20 and runs through March 2.