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Longtime congressman from SA not taking election for granted

GOP Incumbent Lamar Smith facing challengers from Green, Libertarian parties

SAN ANTONIO – U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith of San Antonio has been representing District 21 since 1987 and is an entrenched Republican in the conservative district.

But Smith is not taking his seat for granted just because he has no Democratic opponent and is facing only candidates from the Libertarian and Green parties, which historically have not been successful.

Smith said he is campaigning throughout his district.

Ask about the bombing of ISIL targets in the Middle East, Smith showed his clear difference from this opponents.

"We all want to defeat the Islamic State but nobody wants war," Smith said.

Smith is in favor of targeting the rebels but wants to hear more from President Barack Obama.

"I want to hear from the president what his goal is, how he's going to accomplish the goal," Smith said. "Are we in there to defeat the Islamic State or not? And what is the end game?" 

The Libertarian and Green party candidates have decidedly different views when it comes to ISIL. For perhaps different reasons, neither wants the U.S. to get involved.

Libertarian candidate Ryan Shields said the U.S. has been bombing Iraq for 25 years with nothing to show for it.

"Leave the Middle East alone," Shields said. "We don't need to bomb a country just because we don't like what they're doing. Let them have their civil war."

Green Party candidate Antonio Diaz said violence is not the answer in any conflict.

"The Green Party is for peace," Diaz said. "Warfare is very profitable for some but not for all human beings, because the loss of life is tremendous at this point."

As for the war on drugs, both Shields and Diaz favor legalizing marijuana, something Lamar Smith does not advocate.