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Paul Sadler, the Democratic candidate for the United States Senate, made a stop in Sweetwater on Wednesday morning, September 12 for a "meet and greet" event with the public, hosted by Sweetwater Mayor Greg Wortham.
Following the gathering, Sadler sat down with the Sweetwater Reporter to give voters an insight on why he should come out as the victor in November.
Sadler said that between he and his opponent, Republican Senate candidate Ted Cruz, he is the only one who is qualified and has experience. Between 1991 and 2003, Sadler served in the Texas House of Representatives.
During this time in office, Sadler noted that he passed some of the largest bills in the state. His efforts were done in a bi-partisan manner under a split legislature, a Republican governor and a Democratic speaker of the house.
He also co-authored the state's education code--which also dealt with the school finance bills, and proposed one of the largest tax cuts in the state. While in office, he was honored by Texas Monthly on four occasions on the Ten Best List for his legislative work.
When looking at the two candidates, Sadler said it was "accomplishments versus nothing". He knows that the voters will make the ultimate decision; the decision to go with him will be one of forward progress. A vote for Cruz would be one for a senator with no history of public office experience.
Sadler also pointed out that his opponent has plans to abolish several federal entities, including the departments of Education, Energy, Commerce, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), and the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).
The Department of Education, noted Sadler, would be at risk of losing around $6 billion of funding to the state's public school system, student loan programs and the early childhood development (Head Start) program.
The Department of Commerce, which houses the national weather bureau, would be in jeopardy, while the energy department--which deals with alternative energy technology research--would be gone under what Sadler calls Cruz's "reckless agenda".
Sadler also says he would do his part to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and not abandon senior citizens. During the meet and greet forum, Sadler spoke on the issue of the Affordable Care Act and challenged the plans presented by the Republican presidential ticket, notably from Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan.
One of the biggest factors that Sadler knows will make an impact on local voters is his support of wind energy, one of the largest employers of Nolan County. While he also acknowledges other avenues of energy--like oil and gas, coal and nuclear, Sadler says that there has never been a vote from the area to support the wind industry, which he would give.
Sadler has past experience in this area, as he has served as the leader of the multi-state Wind Coalition and been involved with various companies and the CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zones) transmission project.
The Democratic nominee also touched the national debt in the interview as well as in the open forum, which he says has to be controlled. He pointed out that the deficit has been around since the time Ronald Reagan was in office, but was doubled while under the George W. Bush administration through the two wars and the Bush Tax Cuts.
The deficit, said Sadler, has to be brought in line and can move toward that goal by paying off national debt, which he says he is willing to do. Additional work would also include putting an end to the Afghan war, but all efforts to cut the deficit would help to steady the national credit.
During the "meet and greet", Sadler also discussed immigration, taxes and the middle class and reiterated his party's support on wind energy and the extension of the PTC (Production Tax Credit).