District 17 sees old, new faces in congressional primaries

In Texas’ District 17 primary congressional elections, to be held Tuesday, incumbent Bill Flores is running for his fourth term against Groesbeck businessman Kaleb Sims and Waco businessman Ralph Patterson. The Democratic nominee, William Matta, is running unopposed.

Flores, a graduate of Texas A&M University and Houston Baptist University, was elected to Congress in 2010. Since then, Flores has served on the Committee on Energy and Commerce and was elected to the Chairmanship of the House Republican Study Committee in 2014.

official_bill_flores_photo_hi-res FTW.jpg
Bill Flores

Flores believes in increasing border security, repealing the Affordable Care Act, protecting the unborn and defining marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.

“Waco is the center of my universe. In order for Waco and McLennan County to be healthy, we need to have a healthy America,” Flores told the Waco Tribune-Herald in January.

Regarding the issue of healthcare, Flores believes the Affordable Care Act has done more harm than good.

“I will actively work to stop the devastating effects of Obamacare and enact policies to increase the affordability and availability of care for all Texans,” Flores states on his website.

Kaleb Sims is also a graduate of Texas A&M University and has since lived and worked in Groesbeck. Sims said he is running for Congress on three main principals: establishing national security, reclaiming constitutionality and instituting a smaller, more responsible government. Sims said he believes the current Congress is mostly corrupt, and he is fearful that it is destroying our nation.

TX17.02-Kaleb-Sims-200x300 FTW.jpg
Kaleb Sims

“I am running because I am dissatisfied with Congress, and I am dissatisfied with my congressman,” Sims said. “I am not a politician. I am running because we need responsible people representing the people, not representing lobbyists.”

Sims believes life begins at conception and life is included in the “unalienable rights” to which the Declaration of Independence refers. He also supports increased border security and lowering the federal debt.

“America is the best nation in the world,” Sims said. “But it is not above destroying itself, and that is where we’re headed if we don’t make a change.”

Ralph Patterson is the former chairman of the McLennan County Republican Party and describes himself as “an avid Second Amendment supporter, a pro-life champion and believes strongly in a secure border.”

Ralph Patterson FTW.jpg
Ralph Patterson

Patterson lists his issues as veterans affairs, Texas border security, Syrian refugees, Obamacare, Second Amendment rights, presidential abuse of power and national debt.

“As most Americans agree, Obamacare highlights the Federal Government’s violation of the 10th Amendment,” Patterson’s website states. “I will file a bill to repeal all federal laws that violate the 10th Amendment.”

Patterson opposes allowing Syrian refugees into the United States until public safety can be guaranteed and thinks all Executive Actions and Orders should be thrown out if Congress does not approve them within one year.

Polls will be open to voters from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, and voters must bring one form of acceptable identification.