September 6, 2018 500 AM
ALPINE – Three thousand votes is all that separated U.S. Rep. Will Hurd and challenger Pete Gallego in 2016, explained Gina Ortiz Jones, with her back against the window at Plaine Coffee in Alpine, “and we are going to visit all of the 29 counties to see what their needs are.”
Jones is running as a Democrat in Texas’s 23rd congressional district – a district that covers 58,000 square miles and stretches from San Antonio to El Paso. On Saturday, September 1, Jones spoke to a crowd of about 20 at the Hotel Ritchey where she spoke on matters concerning immigration, healthcare, and criminal justice reform.
Jones discussed her own life trajectory as a first-generation American, growing up in San Antonio, and eventually enlisting in the Air Force as an intelligence officer, where according to her, she conducted missions in Africa and Latin America. According to Open Secrets, The Serve America Victory Fund, a PAC created to support military veterans running for congress has donated $128,071 to Jones’s campaign from February 2018 to June 2018.
According to Jones, the number one issue that is raised at the political events she attends is healthcare.
Mark Grimes, an Alpine resident, asked Jones if she supported a single-payer system. She responded by stating that the Affordable Care Act should be expanded but did not explicitly state that she was in favor of a universal healthcare system. This is the same sentiment that is shared on her website, where she expresses the need for accessible affordable healthcare.
“There are many ways to spend that money that would be just as effective, and one is to set it on fire, responded Jones when asked if she supports the proposed wall along the U.S.–Mexico border. “We need to have a compassionate immigration program that reflects our values.”
The midterm election is on Tuesday, November 6, Jones intends to travel the district and discuss the issues that matter between now and then.