HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The east side neighborhoods of the U.S. 29th District are sick, poor, polluted, undereducated and racked by gun violence, according to Congressional candidate Adrian Garcia.
"This is a district that's ranking last in major categories across the country," said Garcia.
They are ongoing problems that the former Harris County Sheriff says Congressman Gene Green had 23 years to fix, but simply hasn't.
"I challenge Gene Green to a debate and see if he can try to defend his horrible voting record," said Garcia on Monday. Garcia has drawn the support of respected civil rights leader Reverend Bill Lawson, who says it's time for change.
"We do not have a Congressman anywhere near Houston, Harris County, and at the same time can speak the language of the Hispanic community" said Rev. Lawson.
"I honor Reverend Lawson, but he is not our constituent," responded U.S. Rep. Green.
Touring a Houston engineering firm with the head of the Export-Import bank, Congressman Green paused to defend his record, citing 257 pro-environment votes which he claims is nearly double the number of votes during his career some considered counter to clean air and water.
"I want them to produce it as clean and safe as possible, but also want to make sure we have those jobs," said Rep. Green.
Accused of being the gun lobby's favorite Democrat, Green was quick to note the recent finding of independent Politifact Texas which labeled Garcia's assault on the Congressman's gun record as "mostly false."
In response, Garcia says Green can't deny the "A" rating received from the National Rifle Association for much of his career.
With just three weeks until the Democratic Congressional primary, the incumbent Congressman remains reluctant to counter-attack.
"I haven't attacked him for some of the problems he had while he was sheriff, but that is still out there," said Green. "I'm running on my record."