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HPPR Government & Politics

Texas Panhandle Rep. John Smithee To Face Democratic Opponent For First Time In Ten Years

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In Texas, more Democrats are running for public office than at any time in the last couple of decades—and Amarillo is no different from the rest of the state.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, for the first time in ten years state Rep. John Smithee will not run unopposed. Mike Purcell, a retired educator, will run against Smithee for his seat, which covers southern Amarillo and Canyon, and most of the western portion of the Panhandle.

Purcell said his reasons for challenging Smithee include rising health care costs, voter ID laws and a low minimum wage. Purcell added that he doesn’t believe Republican policies are meant to give everyone equal treatment. Public school funding is another important issue for Purcell; the Democrat believes the State isn’t paying its fair share when it comes to education.

The election will be held next November.