Candidates find common ground in Texas House District 13 race

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GRIMES COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX) - Texas House District 13 is a mostly rural area, covering parts of Texas from Navasota down to around Shiner.

One of the biggest issues that voters in the area are worried about is the proposed high speed rail from Dallas to Houston, and the candidates for House District 13 have strong opinions about the project.

"Obviously it's going to cut their property in two. It's going to reduce the value of their property and they're going to have a lot of difficulty, not only those farmers and ranchers whose land is going to be divided, but citizens just going from one side of the county to the next are going to be adversely affected," said Cecil Webster.

Webster is on the ballot as a democrat. His opponent, incumbent Ben Leman, shares his concerns about a bullet train running through the county.

"Eminent domain is an issue, but also the financial feasibility. They want to use taxpayer dollars to fund this project, so taxpayers would be on the hook if this project failed to meet it's financial obligations," said Leman.

Texas Central, the company building the bullet train, has previously refuted statements similar to both candidates' positions at meetings held in Grimes County.

Leman took over the House District 13 seat in a special election earlier this year. He previously served as Grimes County judge and as chairman of Texans Against High Speed Rail. This would be Webster's first elected position.

There's been a new focus on border security under President Trump. Texas shares the largest border with Mexico of any state, but Webster thinks we need to focus more on helping those coming into the country.

"I hate that we're turning our backs on them, 'no don't come here we don't want you.' And the fact that you look at those that are already here, looking at DACA in particular, there are efforts to try and get rid of them as well. I think that's the wrong policy we're taking," said Webster.

"I would just like to continue to see a robust border security effort to where we are working with our federal partners to help facilitate and enforce our laws so we don't have illegal immigration," said Leman.