The Democratic finalists here – veteran/author Mary Jennings "MJ" Hegar and Dr. Christine Eady Mann – insist that the winds of change are blowing through the historically conservative CD 31 (Williamson and Bell Counties, including a slice of Austin), where GOP incumbent John Carter has been comfortably re-elected since 2003. Both say voters have had enough of his complacency and inaccessibility.
The candidates confess to minor differences on policy. But says Hegar: "We're having a quarterback controversy, but our opponent is OU." Eady Mann emphasizes health care, within which she includes issues ranging from gun law reform to education to anti-militarism. Hegar points to her lengthier roots in the district and her experience fighting for equal rights for women in the military, and calls her advocacy "living the Democratic platform." Mann says her work at "direct voter engagement" – the ground game – will determine the outcome. Both say they're succeeding in happily "outing" previously shy Dem voters ready for substantive change.
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