HOUSTON (FOX 26) - On the heavily-Hispanic, heavily-industrial historic east side of Houston, you'll be hard-pressed to find many who can recall exactly who was fighting their fight in Congress before Gene Green. Constituents have returned him twelve times to Capitol Hill.
"I think in the Hispanic, Mexican-American community, you earn that trust and I am proud that over the past 22 years, I have earned that trust," said Rep. Green.
"Enough," says former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, who contends life in the 29th District has become worse, not better, for folks with Green on the Hill. "91 percent of the district does not have a college education, 50 percent of the kids in the district are dropping out of school, 54 percent of the people do not own their own home."
But with ties in the district both deep and loyal, Green will be difficult to dislodge. As ranking member of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, his seniority brings with it an ability to deliver.
And Green is also willing to counterpunch, citing Garcia's controversial record running the troubled Harris County jail.
"When people die on your watch, somebody needs to be held accountable," said Rep. Green.
Garcia was quick to defend his record.
"I brought inmate deaths down below the national average -- that happened under me," said the former Sheriff.
Garcia claims Green is an ally of the National Rifle Association and as such, must accept some responsibility for 60 gun deaths in the district. The Congressman says that's flat wrong.
"I haven't been endorsed by the NRA in a long time, but I do believe people have a right to defend themselves," said Rep. Green.
Mark Jones, political science department chairman at Rice University, calls this race an "uphill battle for Garcia." Green has both money for the fight and the support of many Hispanic officeholders.
Garcia believes he can trump those advantages with deep roots in the community where he grew up.