Meet the Primary Candidates: U.S. Rep. — District 26

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On March 3, voters will go to the polls to select their nominees for political office at the county, state and federal levels.

The winners of the Republican and Democratic primaries become their respective party’s nominees for the Nov. 3, 2020 general election.

Early voting for the March 3 primary elections runs from Tuesday, Feb. 18 to Friday, Feb. 28.

Should results require, a Primary Runoff Election will be held on May 26, with early voting from May 18 to May 22.

Find more voter information on the Denton County Elections Administration website at www.votedenton.com or Secretary of State website at www.votetexas.gov.

The Cross Timbers Gazette emailed questionnaires to candidates in selected contested Primary Elections. Returned questionnaires are listed by office in alphabetical order, unless there’s an incumbent (*) up for re-election.

U.S. Representative, District 26

REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES

U.S. Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26)

Michael Burgess*

Age: 69

Community of Residence: Pilot Point

Education Background: Valedictorian, The Selwyn School in Denton, 1968; Bachelor   of Arts in Biology, North Texas State University (UNT) in Denton, 1972; Master of Science in Physiology, North Texas State University (UNT) in Denton, 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

Previous Public Service: Second-generation Denton County doctor delivering more than 3,000 local babies before serving our community in Congress. In 2019, was rated one of the most effective Republican members of Congress; serve as one of President Trump’s Republican lieutenants in the U.S. House. Consistently endorsed by the NRA and National Right to Life. Ranked one of the most conservative members of Congress by Heritage Action.

Why are you the best candidate for this elected position? President Trump and constituents asked me to run for re-election. As the most senior doctor serving in the U.S. House, President Trump has tapped me to lead efforts to protect patient care, repeal    Obamacare, lower prescription drug and healthcare costs for younger families as well as those on Medicare, and to reform/improve healthcare delivery for our veterans. Under my leadership, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health achieved one of the most successful records of any committee in Congress. I was proud to lead the Subcommittee’s efforts to send 12 bills to President Trump’s desk to become the law of the land. I’m one of only four Republicans that serve on the powerful House Rules Committee, nicknamed the “traffic cop of Congress.”

What do you see as the biggest issue and your solution if elected? I am working closely with President Trump to improve our national highways, secure our borders (including construction of a border wall), to lower taxes on working families, protect gun-owner rights, and to strengthen our economy and national defense. My work in Congress has also taken me to visit with our troops in Iraq as well as numerous visits with our border patrol agents on the Texas-Mexico border. Under President Trump we are making our country strong again. We have cut taxes, trimmed the bureaucracy, strengthened our economy and repealed the overreaching individual mandate. Every day in Congress I ask myself how each issue will affect our local families, Texas and our great Country.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime? No

Candidate Website: www.burgessforcongress.org

Candidate Facebook: facebook.com/michaelcburgess

Michael Armstrong

Michael Armstrong

Age: 45

Community of Residence: Flower Mound

Current Occupation: Self-employed

Education Background: Texas A&M, 1996

Previous Public Service: Started and served in several churches in north Texas.

Why are you the best candidate for this elected position? I have lived in north Texas   for 25-years doing ministry. I know the area. I love the people and I have been doing my       best to serve the people of this area my entire adult life. If I’m elected, I will do my best to serve them in DC.

What do you see as the biggest issue and your solution if elected? I think we are losing our country from the inside out. The rate of the moral and cultural decline of our country has increased rapidly in the past few years. Every conservative/traditional value that we hold dear is under daily and constant attack from the media, the radical Left, and (in large part) our colleges and universities. The current Democrat party is openly socialist…and they are gaining ground. Our district is one of the most conservative- leaning in the US. Shouldn’t we have one of the leading conservative voices in Congress? Shouldn’t our representative be leading the charge? I see a handful of people in Congress who are standing up and pushing back…our representative is not one of them. Let’s send reinforcements.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime? No

Candidate Website: www.michaelarmstrong2020.com 

Candidate Facebook: facebook.com/yourarmstrong

Jason Mrochek

Jason Mrochek

Age: 45

Community of Residence: Little Elm

Current Occupation: Business Analyst

Education Background: B.S. Systems Engineering, U S. Military Academy at West Point

Previous Public Service: Infantry Officer, United States Army; Founder & Executive Director, Patriot Coalition

Why are you the best candidate for this elected position? I am the only candidate in this race who has any experience fighting “in the trenches” with We the People for our values and principles. For the last 15-years, I have led the non-profit organization I co-founded– the Patriot Coalition—which seeks to restore Constitutional governance to the United States of America and preserve it for our descendants. I am the only candidate who has military experience and has demonstrated that I have continued honoring my oath without pay and prior to running for office. Public service is an honor and a privilege and serving as a U.S. Representative would be simply the next evolution of my public service.

What do you see as the biggest issue and your solution if elected? The illegal alien invasion.
1) Fund the wall at the southern border; 2) Add funding to investigate and prosecute all employers of illegal aliens,–big and small, urban and rural; 3) Add funding to track down visa overstays; 4) Provide oversight to ensure that 8 USC 1324 is being used to prosecute those aiding and abetting illegal alien; 5) Pass laws requiring local and state jurisdictions to include data points on a) nationality, and b) legal status of those arrested, charged, or convicted for crimes;  6) Re-write asylum laws centering around the principle that asylum seekers may only apply for asylum through one of our embassies or consulates in a foreign country.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime? No

Candidate Website: www.Jason4Texas.com

Candidate Facebook: www.facebook.com/JasonForTX

Jack Wyman

Jack Wyman

Age: 66

Community of Residence: Highland Village

Current Occupation: Retired

Education Background: BA in history and an MA in political science from the University of Maine.

Previous Public Service: I served two terms in the Maine House of Representatives (1977-1981) and three years on the local school board in East Haddam, Connecticut (1996-1999)

Why are you the best candidate for this elected position? I am the only challenger in this race with legislative experience, in addition to my work in nonprofit organizations, pastoral ministry, and as a professor of American government. I am the only candidate on the ballot who supports term limits. I will loudly and clearly oppose the radical socialist agenda. Our current representative was the only Republican in Congress to vote with Speaker Pelosi, AOC, and the Squad to lower the national voting age to 16. I support the Second Amendment. He has co-sponsored a red-flag gun control bill (H.R. 838) that would authorize a domestic surveillance state.

What do you see as the biggest issue and your solution if elected? The biggest overarching issue is restoring the people’s respect for Congress, and its credibility and public approval. My solution is to model integrity and decency; listen to my constituents; and show courage and boldness in advancing the conservative values that have made Texas and America great.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime? No

Candidate Website: jackwymanforcongress.com

Candidate Facebook: www.facebook.com/JackWymanforCongress

DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES

Neil Durrance — No response

Carol Iannuzzi

Carol Iannuzzi

Age: 59

Community of Residence: Lewisville

Current Occupation: Caregiver for mom, retired Sr. Contracts Negotiator

Education Background: B.S. Accounting-Rutgers University

Previous Public Service: Elections clerk, Democratic Precinct Chair, volunteer for local, state and federal candidates, volunteer at food bank, volunteer for Keep Lewisville Beautiful day

Why are you the best candidate for this elected position? As someone that had a professional career across several industries working on project teams drafting commercial contracts, I will be able to work in Congress in a diplomatic manner. As humans, most of us have the same concerns/issues in our lives. I am passionate about Human Rights which are connected to every major issue. I will be a representative in Congress that will bring positive legislative action for North Texans. I very much want to bring empathy, honesty, and integrity as your representative/legislator in Congress.

What do you see as the biggest issue and your solution if elected? Unfortunately, there are many big issues. The Affordable Care Act provides a framework that we can build on by protecting and expanding our healthcare markets. I will support expansion of healthcare markets through an option that allows Americans to buy in to Medicare. This would lower costs by allowing competition with the private insurers. Those that want to keep existing employer health insurance plans can do so. I will support legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to lower prescription drug prices and, therefore, lower the prescription costs for Americans. Additionally, I will support legislation to protect and expand Medicaid.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime? No

Candidate Website:  Carol2020.com

Candidate Facebook: Facebook.com/caroltx26 

Mat Pruneda

Mat Pruneda

Age: 48

Community of Residence: Denton

Current Occupation: Controller

Education Background: UNT RTVF

Previous Public Service: Commissioner – Planning and Zoning – City of Denton; Moderator – 2019 City of Denton City Council Forum; Former Co-Chair Denton County Democratic Party Diversity Committee; Former Democratic Party Precinct Chair; Delegate 2008 Democratic Party State Convention

Why are you the best candidate for this elected position? I am the only candidate, in this race, who has had to guts to face Burgess in public. I have history of activism and standing for the people of my community. I understand how to apply federal regulations and legislation to everyday experience. I have managed nationwide teams and ensured compliance with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidelines.
I’ve served my community as a commissioner on Planning and Zoning and as a leader in the Denton County Democratic Party. I’ve helped organize against SB4 and the separation of families. I’ve stood for protecting our environment and for common sense    gun reform. When people need help, I’m there because I care. I encourage everyone to compare candidate policies and make an informed decision.

What do you see as the biggest issue and your solution if elected? Where to start, clean air and water, Internet Security, maintaining our status in the global marketplace. The most pressing would have to be healthcare. Americans are dying from preventable causes due to skyrocketing out of pocket expenses. I would start by protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions by simply reapplying the individual mandate into the tax code (complete with all necessary exemptions to protect those without means).We enable the Dept. of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices. I would    advocate for a national marketplace for prescription drugs that would have the power to   negotiate in bulk for all Americans, using the buying power of 400 million citizens.These actions are the start of moving toward M4A.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime? No

Candidate Website: www.MatForTexas.com

Candidate Facebook: www.facebook.com/MatForTexas

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