Colin Allred, Roland Gutierrez vie to take on Ted Cruz in US Senate race

Key issue separating candidates is immigration reform, specifically border security

The highly anticipated Texas primary is less than a month away, and voters can take to the polls as early as next week.

One of the most watched races on the Democratic ballot will determine the nominee to challenge Republican incumbent US Sen. Ted Cruz in November.

The two Democratic front-runners offering different visions are Colin Allred, the U.S. Representative for Texas’ 32nd congressional district, and Roland Gutierrez, a state senator representing San Antonio.

“I feel really strongly that we can’t afford six more years of Ted Cruz,” said Allred, a former voting rights attorney who has garnered bipartisan support in Congress.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez stated, “If I’m the nominee, I’m going to be a different kind of candidate, one that cares when it’s all in with them and one that’s all heart.”

A key issue separating the candidates is immigration reform, specifically border security.

Allred supports the comprehensive, bipartisan “Dignity Act,” which increases funding for enhanced border barriers while expanding paths to citizenship.

The Dignity Act is an extensive proposal that in part not only has various paths to citizenship, asylum reform and visa reform, but also consists of more funding for border security, including requirements for “CBP to construct and deploy enhanced barriers where it is most effective and beneficial to establishing an operational advantage at the border.”

Gutierrez staunchly opposes this plan.

“Not this madness that they’re talking about right now,” Gutierrez said. “Not their so-called Dignity Act, which I call ‘the Indignity Act.’” Gutierrez said has his own plan that helps migrant families and would even fund the DEA.

Allred’s pragmatic approach aims to bring “folks together around this” complex issue. He believes progress requires compromise.

“You have to actually pass legislation that’s going to help folks,” Allred said.

In contrast, Gutierrez seems prepared to champion his ideals despite political headwinds, proudly carrying the progressive mantle.

Voters must decide which vision for the leadership they believe is best suited to compete in an uphill battle against Cruz in November.

Yet, no matter who claims the nomination on March 5, both Democrats affirm they will coalesce party support come November.

About the Authors

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.

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