From Staff Reports
Democratic nominee for the 4th Congressional District State of Texas, Catherine Krantz sees her campaign as a fight for economic opportunity in Northeast Texas.
“It’s time to put people over politics and invest in our communities,” she says. “I am running for Congress because I think we can do better.”
Last week Krantz, a resident of the small town of Emory in Rains County, shared her vision with Jefferson Jimplecute and outlined what she will do to improve the plight of a district she describes as “defined by poverty.”
“I am running for Congress because I think we can focus on small towns and make a difference in our community.”
Expressing a strong belief that people live in small towns because they want to, she says there is no need for economic development, infrastructure, and education plans to be based on turning small towns into suburbs. Rather, there is a need to support small towns and rural communities. Tourism in small towns is one industry she wants to capitalize on, as well as, a direct investment infrastructure that will create jobs, small business opportunities, and a more diversified economic plan.
With two decades of experience in economic development, mostly in small towns, she has a comprehensive vision for Northeast Texas.
Krantz’s opponent is the second-term Republican incumbent, John Ratcliffe who has been ranked the most conservative Texas legislator in Congress. She says she will win because she knows “how frustrated we all are with low-paying jobs, the high cost of health care, lack of prosperity and opportunity in our communities.”
While many women have been inspired to run for office in a backlash against President Trump, this is not what prompted Krantz.
“I decided to run before we even knew that he was President.” Rather, it was because there hasn’t been a Democrat on the ballot in the last two cycles.
“So, when I went to vote against my congressman (Ratcliffe), because I wasn’t happy with the job that he was doing, I didn’t have a Democrat to vote for. And I made a decision at the ballot that it wouldn’t happen again. That if I couldn’t find someone to run, that I would run myself.”
Passionate about the need for economic reform, she said the main reason she decided to run was “because of the lack of economic opportunities in Northeast Texas,” pointing out that in reality:
- over 50 percent of the population is considered low income
- over 13 percent are living below the poverty level
- 50 percent of children have subsidized lunches because of their economic situation
Additionally, average (“not good”) jobs in the district pay between $8 and $8.50 an hour, without benefits. When she returned to Northeast Texas five years ago, she couldn’t find a job that paid more than $10 an hour.
Krantz voiced concern also for immigrants. She sees them as “hardworking members of society” who should be offered a “path of citizenship.”
“We need to have a have a plan that allows people to come and work in our country. A plan that acknowledges the very real challenges facing employers and employees and we need to work these into the program.”
She identifies “two Americas,” one that is “world class” and the other “barely first world,” and says where she lives is largely the latter, with extreme wealth inequality.
“We are hard-working, low-income people, by and large, in Northeast Texas, and we are getting the short end of the stick where over and over again it is skewed towards the wealthy, and the powerful, and the people that already have the advantages.”
So will it be a Democratic year?
Catherine Krantz thinks it will be because there seems to be “a real wave of enthusiasm” and Democrats will definitely benefit from this.
“I think that amazing things are going on in America right now, and more than anything I think it is a year that people will stand up and get energized.”
Please see next week’s Jimplecute for Part 2 of our interview with Krantz.
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