Houston Chronicle Endorses Lizzie Pannill Fletcher in Texas’ Seventh Congressional District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2018

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Houston Chronicle Endorses Lizzie Pannill Fletcher in Texas’ Seventh Congressional District

“Rarely do we meet a first-time candidate so well prepared, so knowledgeable about the job, so right for the district.”

Houston, Texas - Today the Houston Chronicle endorsed Lizzie Pannill Fletcher for Texas’ Seventh Congressional District. The Chronicle highlighted Fletcher’s independence and dedication to the district stating: “Rarely do we meet a first-time candidate so well prepared, so knowledgeable about the job, so right for the district.”

The Chronicle praised Fletcher’s common-sense proposals on health care, immigration, and community safety. The editorial concluded by stating: “Houston is changing. Voters need a representative who can keep up. We thank [John] Culberson for his service in the weeks after Harvey, but now it is time for someone new—Lizzie Pannill Fletcher.”

“This campaign isand has always beenabout putting people of Houston above politics and getting us the representation we deserve,” Fletcher said. “I am honored and proud to earn the endorsement of the Houston Chronicle, and it is a recognition that this campaignpowered by the people of this districtis poised to make a real difference.”

Read the full article below or click here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/recommendations/article/Texas-7th-Congress-Lizzie-Pannill-Fletcher-endorse-13286826.php

For the 7th Congressional District: Lizzie Pannill Fletcher | Houston Chronicle

By The Editorial Board Oct. 6, 2018

Houstonians can take it as a point of pride that the 7th Congressional District once was represented by none other than former Congressman George H.W. Bush. This year, voters have the opportunity cast their ballots for a candidate who reflects the values once embodied by that long-ago politician — someone who understands the district, is pro-business and represents the moderate wing of their party. That someone is Lizzie Pannill Fletcher.

Rarely do we meet a first-time candidate so well prepared, so knowledgeable about the job, so right for the district.

Fletcher, 43, has run an impressive campaign and garnered national attention for turning a solidly red district into a swing seat, and she did it by extolling the virtues of hard work, advocacy and cooperation.

Fletcher clearly understands the heart of this wealthy, educated district — which includes West University, the Galleria area, Meyerland, the Energy Corridor and parts of the Jersey Village and Cypress area. As an attorney she represented clients across the political spectrum and blazed a trail that shattered a glass ceiling as the first woman to make partner at the elite AZA law firm.

At a time when plenty of Democrats and Republicans sprint for the partisan hinterlands, Fletcher has reclaimed the center. She opposes single-payer health care and backs offshore drilling. Her immigration policy models the bipartisan 2013 comprehensive bill that passed the Senate but didn’t get a vote in the House.

More than longtime Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. John Culberson, or even her opponents from the heated Democratic primary, Fletcher understands this diverse, changing district and has demonstrated a passion for putting its residents ahead of rank partisanship.

No doubt, Culberson did his job after Hurricane Harvey. He used his position on the House Appropriations Committee to help transform an insultingly sparse White House recovery bill into an adequate funding package. As we said at the time, we don’t want to imagine what would have happened after Harvey without Culberson in Congress. But Culberson’s tenure in Washington didn’t begin when the rain started to fall, nor did his responsibilities end after the floodwaters receded.

Culberson was first elected to public office in 1986 and has rarely faced a serious challenger outside a Republican primary. It shows. His career has been spent promoting his own pet projects rather than serving the local needs of his home district. That’s why it took the greatest natural disaster in Houston history to compel him to act with necessary passion.

It’s not that Culberson doesn’t care about water. He does. But most of the time, he seems to care a bit more about the water on Europa, an icy moon orbiting Jupiter, than he does the water in the Addicks and Barker dams. Or in our bayous. Or in our homes. Culberson has expended untold political capital trying to force NASA to send probes to Europa in search of alien life. That’s an admirable scientific mission, even if some planetary researchers think the limited resources could be better spent.

Here on Earth, Houstonians can rest assured that Fletcher will prioritize human life over the extraterrestrial. That includes life-saving flooding policies that emphasize prevention over costly recovery.

It also includes policies on guns and immigration fitting for the constituents of this district. By a margin of 60 percent to 35 percent, likely voters in the 7th support a federal ban on the sale of assault-style guns and high-capacity magazines, according to polling by The New York Times. By 55 percent to 39 percent, the district opposes an immigration bill that would cut down on legal immigration and fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Not only does Culberson fail to reflect these preferences in Washington, he doesn’t even try to craft consensus.

On immigration, Culberson has long supported a zero-tolerance deportation plan — the sort of policy that inevitably splits mothers and kids. When he met with the editorial board, we tried to tease out some situation where Culberson might support discretion allowing local law enforcement agencies to prioritize the truly dangerous. Instead, Culberson argued that each immigrant — undocumented parents with citizen children, Dreamer schoolteachers, Harvey heroes without proper papers — should be rounded up by federal immigration if convicted of any crime, no matter how minor. Local police chiefs and others who don’t comply should have their funding cut off.

No surprise that Culberson was one of the few Congress members reported to have a friendly relationship with former White House Chief Strategist and alt-right leader Steve Bannon.

Houstonians deserve a representative who considers health care and education more important than blood and soil.

On firearms, Culberson is unwilling to consider reasonable regulations to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. During their meeting with the editorial board, Fletcher said she believed that federal agencies like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs should share information with the gun background check list to ensure that people deemed mentally incapable cannot purchase deadly weapons.

“Two times in the past three years I have woken up to hear there’s a gunman in our congressional district who had mental illness issues randomly shooting people,” Fletcher said.

Culberson grew visibly agitated at the idea and argued that the only circumstance when someone should be prohibited from buying a gun is by a judicial order.

When it comes to health care, only Fletcher has an articulable vision for bringing costs under control. She wants a public option to create a baseline safety net for all Americans and to allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices to bring down the cost of pharmaceuticals.

When it comes to health care, only Fletcher has an articulable vision for bringing costs under control. She wants a public option to create a baseline safety net for all Americans and to allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices to bring down the cost of pharmaceuticals.

Culberson, on the other hand, still doesn’t have much beyond repealing Obamacare.

Today, Texas’ 7th Congressional District is represented by a lifelong politician. That means seniority on key committees. It also means stagnancy, stubbornness and stilted policies.

Houston is changing. Voters need a representative who can keep up. We thank Culberson for his service in the weeks after Harvey, but now it is time for someone new — Lizzie Pannill Fletcher.

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