Your Vote Counts: Rick Kennedy
Rick Kennedy is a father of three, software engineer and project manager, and he's hoping to take Bill Flores's seat in Congress this year.
It's his second attempt to do so. The last time he ran was 2018.
"Nothing has changed in the last two and a half years. Congress is still gridlocked and divided," said Kennedy.
We met with Kennedy on the campus of Texas A&M University earlier this month as he was making the rounds to several events. In our time together, we asked him about several topics including healthcare.
He said hospital deserts in our rural communities are becoming a crisis and too many families are losing access to quality care. He feels Congress needs to do more to help the number of Texans who are uninsured.
"If you look at Milam County, for instance, their uninsured rate is over 20%. Uncompensated care was a big part of the reason why Milam County hospitals closed at the end of 2018. Uncompensated care is why Robertson County has only one general practitioner. Why Falls County has only two practitioners," said Kennedy.
He's also concerned about infrastructure in smaller cities. His priorities include access to high-speed internet, more reliable utilities, and better roads for all of District 17's communities..
"Most of our small towns have a nicely paved north, south, east, west, main streets but you get one block outside and either the roads aren't paved at all or haven't been paved in decades," said Kennedy.
We asked his thoughts on national security and the construction of the border wall.
"We do very much need to secure our borders. We need to secure all our ports of entry. We need to know who is coming into the country and why and of course we need to be able to interdict illegal activities crossing the border whether it's human trafficking or drug trafficking," he said.
But Kennedy doesn't think a physical wall is a way to accomplish our border security goals and that's one of the reasons he's running again for Congress. He says his experience as an engineer who is always tasked with finding solutions to problems is exactly what the next representative needs.
"I'm looking for effective and achievable solutions to our problems so we can get out of this gridlock we've been in for 20 to 30 years and start making progress and improving the quality of life for central Texas," said Kennedy.
If you'd like to learn more about Kennedy's campaign,
Reminder: Primary Election Day is Tuesday, March 3. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.