U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke visited the Hopkins County Courthouse on Wednesday, January 3rd. O’Rourke serves as the representative for the 16th District of Texas and is running for the Senate seat currently held by Senator Ted Cruz.
Texas Senate Candidate, and SSHS graduate, Kendall Scudder introduced O’Rourke to the crowd. O’Rourke shared some details of his campaign and how he is not taking any money from PACs or big organizations. He hopes to travel county to county to meet real Texans and answer their questions about government. He voiced a desire to match the values and interests of those who he would serve, giving Texans a chance to take back control from corporations in their democracy.
O’Rourke then asked the crowd to share any questions they had for him. He was asked about CHIP, social security, pensions and other issues affecting people in Hopkins County and across the state of Texas. He responded with a focus on the need for taking care of those 400,000 Texas children who cannot take care of themselves through a continuation of the bipartisan CHIP program. He also focused on protecting people who have worked hard their entire adult lives and deserve the pensions and social security they paid in to over the years and supporting them through his membership in the Alliance for Retired Americans. Retired teachers and young people in the crowd also asked about public education. O’Rourke responded that he too sends his children to public Texas schools and that he feels passionately about mistakes being made with how we are currently treating our teachers, both active and retired, and what those mistakes will mean for the future of public education if we don’t fix them. He said that those considering a career in teaching will look at how we treat those who dedicated their lives to this career when making their decision so we must fix teacher retirement and make benefits match the current needs and changes in inflation.
O’Rourke commited to return to Sulphur Springs after the primaries and stayed to take photographs with the crowd and individuals before continuing on to Emory, Mineola and Tyler for other meet and greets with potential voters.