By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor
Kent Lester is running against long-time Republican incumbent John Carter for the Texas 31st Congressional District seat for the United States House of Representatives. With Carter holding the seat for the past 16 years, Lester faces an uphill battle. However, he is confident that his experience and genuine care for the community will persuade voters to put a fresh face in office.
This is his first time running for office. With over 20 years in the military (during which he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel) and his ten years spent teaching Social Studies in Belton, he feels that Texas is ready for a change.
“I am running because I am tired of the lack of representation our district has,” said Lester. “John Carter simply does not care about us, and it is time for us to change that. After retiring from the military, I felt a calling to come back to central Texas and educate our children, so this area is very special to me. My students also came to me one day and convinced me to run. My platform is simple; no one left behind. I practiced it in the military, and I believe it is exactly what we need in this district.”
Many of Lester’s nights are spent going to meet-and-greet events and making hours of fundraising phone calls, along with visiting churches and community groups. Lester has a more hands-on approach when it comes to gaining the communities’ trust.
“What sets me apart from John Carter is the simple fact that I care about this district and its people,” Lester stated. “He has stopped listening. I have lived in Bell County; I was stationed at Fort Hood, I taught children in Belton, I understand the needs of areas like Belton. Unlike John Carter, I would never forget the needs of the people of Bell County.”
In his seven months on the campaign trail, he’s raised more than $200,000 and scored multiple endorsements.
“Fourth quarter fundraising reports are not due until January 31st, but my campaign has decided to release our total early,” said Lester. “I am excited to tell you that we have raised over $200,000. We’ve had over 150 unique donors make contributions. I am grateful for the support we have, and we will use this money to ensure that Texas 31 gets proper representation.”
Equal rights is a passion of his and having worked with NATO forces; he sees the need for change with the mistreatment of women and minorities.
“Over the course of my time working with these people, I would do my best to help them come around to my view of thinking in that everyone should be treated equally,” said Lester.
When asked where he sees himself a year from now, he said he hopes to overcome years of poor representation and to clean up the mess in Washington. He also hopes to provide more access to affordable healthcare for all Americans, a strong support for our public schools, and a healthy environment for our children to live in while ensuring that tax dollars are spent wisely.
Voter registration closes on February 5 for the 2018 Primary Election. For more information on Lester, please visit https://www.kentlesterforcongress.com/.