Spectrum News is taking a look at the leading candidates in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Twelve candidates are vying for the chance to take on Republican Sen. John Cornyn
HOUSTON -- A former Houston city councilwoman is hoping to snag the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate by continuing to campaign in numerous Texas counties and connect with voters just days left before Super Tuesday on March 3.
Amanda Edwards believes she is the best candidate to win the primary and take on Republican incumbent Sen. John Cornyn in November because her campaign is people focused.
"What I seek to do is bring people together and what I focus on are the things we have in common and the opportunities for growth for everyone," said Edwards.
Edwards represented 2.3 million constituents while serving on Houston City Council. During her time as an at-large member, she says her role was to be a hands-on, results-oriented servant leader focused on empowering people in her community. Now, she wants to take her leadership role to the federal level.
"I know there is a lot of skepticism about my ability to win in Texas for a variety of reasons, not just because the fact it is a big race in general but people will look at my age, my race, my gender and a lot of things. While they may see them as potential obstacles, I see them as strengths and connectors and an ability to build bridges where we need them," she said.
Just like voters, health care is priority for the candidate. At age 10, Edwards' father was diagnosed with cancer. Watching his health spiral before his passing opened her eyes to the health care system and the realities linked to the uncertainties of medical insurance. If elected, she would build upon the Affordable Care Act.
"I think the answer, in order to formulate consensus, is to in fact have a hybrid where you have employer-based coverage as one option for people. Then for whom it does not work or it's not accessible, you have a public option," Edwards said.
Keeping Texans safe is another issue for her. Edwards believes there is pathway to sensible gun laws without infringing on Second Amendment rights.
"We got to make sure we are keeping people safe, making sure that there are sensible policies like red flag policies, background checks, restricting the sales of some of these war weapons on the streets. I do think we start with where there could be consensus and I don't think the starting point for those conversations is where there isn't consensus. It's time now to have leaders who have the courage to lead, rather than just simply do what the NRA is telling them to do," she said.
For now, Edwards is focused on the task at hand which is to win her party's primary. As a self-proclaimed servant leader, millennial and African American woman, she believes those factors will bring non-traditional voters to the polls.
"What if you could have a candidate that not only because of her politics could get folks in the middle back on board, but then can build upon that and get communities of color on board and get people under the age of 35 on board? All of the things that are perceived to be challenges or weaknesses of mine are actually the strengths needed to win this election and then unseat John Cornyn," Edwards said.
To learn more about Amanda Edwards and her platform, visit her website.