This editorial is part of the Dallas Morning News editorial board’s slate of recommendations for the 2022 primary. Find the full project here.
The winner of the Republican nomination for U.S. House District 30 will face a daunting task this fall: convincing a solidly Democratic district to consider Republican policies. If any of the six primary candidates has a shot, we think it’s James Rodgers.
Rodgers’ ideas on criminal justice may resonate with some Democratic voters. He calls for more police accountability and diversionary measures to keep police out of situations where they have to provide services such as mental health screening or marriage counseling.
“You can’t expect people to … be functioning members of society if you don’t give them the skills to survive,” he said.
Rodgers champions the Second Step Act, a follow-up to the First Step Act, which passed with bipartisan support during the Trump administration. The bill relaxed some mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, includes grants to hire more police, and increases reporting of use-of-force incidents.
Rodgers, 38, is a recruiter for a network of private schools. His background in education gives him insight into a public school system he calls “busted,” and his conservative ideas draw him to seek market-based solutions. Rodgers said school funding should not be tied to attendance and testing.
District 30 has been on the losing end of steep wealth disparities in Dallas County. Rodgers favors opportunity zones to “create jobs, generate tax revenue and produce wealth for communities facing generational poverty,” his website reads.
Rodgers faces five opponents.
Dakinya Jefferson, 42, is a security guard and self-employed caregiver. She speaks passionately about bipartisanship, but she lacks the experience and support to be a serious candidate.
Immigration paralegal Lizbeth Diaz, 34, also grew up in the district. Her approach to complex policy issues seemed incomplete to us.
Kelvin Goodwin Castillo, 35, is an Army veteran and CEO of a private investigation firm. If elected, he said he would maneuver to bring articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden for “incompetence.”
Also running are James Harris, 71, a retiree with no online presence who isn’t participating in our Voter Guide, and Angeigh Roc’ellerpitts, who also lacks a campaign website and whose listed address links to someone with a similar name.
Rodgers is the serious candidate here and the only one prepared for a serious campaign in November.