In the battle to succeed Congressman Ted Poe (TX-2) and represent Kingwood and much of Houston's north side, Republican Dan Crenshaw and Democrat Todd Litton clashed on gun violence and the high cost of college graduation.
"I support the 2nd Amendment, I don't want to take anybody's guns away, but I also support universal background checks and guess what? So do 94 percent of Texans, so do 97 percent of Americans. It makes no sense that we haven't got those kind of common sense gun safety rules passed to protect our kids," said Litton.
Crenshaw, a retired Navy SEAL, said hardening schools and better mental health care are more effective options.
"If you go to a gun show, there are lots of licensed dealers and they still do background checks. Everyone knows this. They call it a 'gun show loophole' because people who own guns go and they meet each other, but they can also meet each other on the internet and they can meet each other because they are neighbors, so again, does it do good or does it feel good," said Crenshaw.
The issue of lowering the expense of higher education was raised by students attending UH-Downtown.
"I'd like to figure out how to get one or two years of college service for young people for one or two years of college pay," said Litton who praised the AmeriCorps model.
"I don't think it's responsible for me as somebody going into government to tell everybody we are going to pay for all your college, then I'm going to have to say, how I'm going to pay for it?" said Crenshaw who says grant and loan programs should be opened to technical trades.
Also on the UH-Downtown debate stage were those seeking to win retiring Congressman Gene Green's (TX-29) seat representing our city's east side. Underdog Republican Phillip Aronoff attacked early and often claiming Democrat Sylvia Garcia would roll back GOP tax cuts and abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"My opponent has called for the elimination of ICE and to not have them and I want to know - what other police departments does she want to get rid of too?" said Aronoff.
"Yes he's right, I'm about repealing and replacing ICE. I think it's time to stop some of the things that they are doing. The inhumane policies they have, tearing children away from their families," said Garcia.
Aronoff believes GOP tax cuts and continued deregulation provide the best path to higher employment.
Garcia says those breaks mostly benefit the rich and shouldn't replace investment in better schools and job training.