Courtesy of Sean McCaffity
Editor’s note: The Red Ledger does not endorse or condone any political candidate. The Red Ledger is dedicated to covering local news that connects to the school district and strives to be journalistically ethical and unbiased.
Nov. 5, 1968: James M. Collins (R) beats Robert Hughes (D) to represent Texas’ 3rd Congressional District on Capitol Hill, flipping a seat that had been a Democratic stronghold since the Civil War.
Nov 6, 2018: Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) receives 46.5% of the vote in Collin County, the most any Democrat has garnered in the county since 1968. On the same day, in the Texas 3rd Congressional District race, Lorie Burch (D) loses to Taylor (R) with a vote of 54% to 44%. Despite this still being a Republican victory, it is the most competitive House race in the District in a long time.
Nov. 3rd, 2020: Representative Taylor, the Republican incumbent in District 3, will face off against the winner of the Democratic primary in March.
And now Sean McCaffity, district parent and the Garland-raised partner at Sommerman, McCaffity, Quesada & Geisler, LLP, hopes to be the winner of that Democratic primary. McCaffity has lived in Texas all his life and currently resides in the district with three daughters- sixth-grader Addison, freshman Audrey and junior Alex.
McCaffity started ideating his run for Congress at the beginning of 2019 when he began discussing his plans with his family and law partners before getting feedback from those in his close circles. Then the campaign began.
“I wanted to give back and help on a bigger, broader scale than just as a lawyer,” McCaffity said. “You can do a lot of good as a lawyer. I think we do do a lot of good as lawyers, in our firm in particular for individuals and plaintiffs, but I just felt it was really important to do something broader and bigger, and this is obviously a way to do that.”
Simply by choosing to run, McCaffity has already had an impact on some of the members of this community.
“Personally I do not [agree with McCaffity]; I consider myself a conservative Republican, but I do think he offers a fresh perspective as somewhat of an outsider,” junior Tajvir Singh said. “He’s a very intelligent person, being one of the best debaters and lawyers in this country. So, I do think he has a real shot at doing well in this race.”
If elected as District Three’s Representative, McCaffity will represent the District’s shift to blue for the first time in 27 years.
Despite the long Republican history of District 3, Linto Thomas, McCaffity’s campaign manager, believes that the district is primed for the flip.
“I think in terms of the race itself, I think it’s a very winnable District but it’s also one that is kind of a sleeper and also has been overlooked by a lot of folks,” Thomas said. “There are a few different things that kind of make this to me a really good opportunity to flip the seat.”
The strongest reasons to Thomas are the District’s rapid growth, high level of education, and trends from past elections. Since the 2016 presidential election, Democrats have lost by fewer points in the area. Beto O’Rourke lost by a closer margin that Hillary did, and Lorie Burch, Taylor’s 2016 Democratic opposition, lost by an even smaller margin.
Although McCaffity aligns himself with the Democratic agenda, he believes that one of the primary issues in Congress now is a need for increase in oversight over elected officials.
“In my mind, all the other issues are kind of secondary to those issues because you can’t — you won’t — have lasting, sustainable change if you are continually able to sort of buy your politican’s vote by massive amounts of dark money or special interest PACs, those types of things, that come in — corporate PACS that come in and essentially insure that politicians are doing their bidding instead of really their representative District,” McCaffity said.
Other than government reform, one of McCaffity’s major issues is climate change, an issue he has been passionate about since his time doing Policy Debate in high school in the 1990s, and the role of the government in people’s lives.
“I disagree fundamentally with [Taylor] on a whole bunch of issues,” McCaffity said. “He wants to get government out of the lives of people which I don’t disagree with generally. I mean we don’t need an overarching government, but you can make government work for people. And it should be working for people. And our founding fathers wanted it to work for people. I mean the Constitution says to form a more perfect union — to establish our liberties as well as to promote the general welfare. It’s supposed to be helping us.”
The other topics he’s passionate about, as listed on his website, are jobs & the economy, education, women’s rights, gun violence, and immigration. These issues are things that McCaffity thinks Congress could use his perspective on rather than Taylor’s perspective.
If McCaffity and Taylor end up facing off in the general election, they will be approaching the electing with different ideologies on several issues.
On gun control, McCaffity has established himself as a proponent of universal background checks on gun sales.
“We need to make sure every sale goes through a background check to ensure guns stay out of the hands of irresponsible people,” McCaffity wrote.
Rep. Taylor favors expanding second amendment rights and has promised to “fight against the gun-grabbers in Washington,” as he writes on his website. In Feb. 2019, Taylor voted against a House bill to enact universal background checks on firearm sales.
Rep. Taylor has not yet voted on any legislation concerning corruption and government reform, although he does visibly agree with McCaffity’s stance on not accepting corporate Political Action Committee (PAC) money. The Taylor campaign has received about $297,000 from PACs so far this election cycle.
Another break between the two candidates is on the issue of healthcare. In Congress, Rep. Taylor has demonstrated his opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), backing several of President Trump’s efforts to dismantle the policy.
On his campaign website, Taylor wrote, “leaders in Washington must repeal Obamacare and empower the states to create free market-based solutions.”
Conversely, McCaffity wrote that the ACA was “a step in the right direction” on the path to universal healthcare in the United States, which McCaffity believes should be the eventual goal through a slow process.
“I think the first thing you need to do is you need to fix and try as hard as you can any way to fix the Affordable Care Act which was the Obama administration,” McCaffity said. “We need to do things to insure you don’t have surprise medical billing, do things to help stabilize the private insurance markets — the risk pools that were created under the Affordable Care Act to help provide cheaper coverage for people.”
One way to start doing that on the state level is for the state’s representatives in Congress to choose to accept the federal medicaid money which Texas has not. McCaffity would like to change that.
Before McCaffity gets the chance to face Rep. Taylor in the general election, he first has to get through the Democratic primary election on March 3 against Vietnamese immigrant and Iraq War veteran Tanner Do, and Lulu Seikaly, a first-generation American attorney specializing in employment law.
To become involved with McCaffity’s campaign, join the mailing list on his website.