Retired police chief takes aim at Paul's seat in Congress

Gabe Semenza

Oct. 4, 2010 at 5:04 a.m.

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul

Robert Pruett said he can unseat Ron Paul because he's more in tune than the incumbent is with needs in District 14.

Paul said his work every day is evidence enough he fights for what counts to his constituents.

Pruett, a Democrat from Brazoria, is challenging Paul, the incumbent and Lake Jackson Republican, for the U.S. congressional District 14 seat.

The district stretches from Victoria to south of Houston.

Pruett's law enforcement career stretched for decades. The 55-year-old is a retired police chief, military veteran and self-professed moderate Democrat.

"I'm just a retired policeman who wants to do right by people," Pruett said. "I think I can relate better to the working man and woman of District 14 because I'm on the ground. I think Ron Paul thinks he has a gauge on what our district wants, but it's mainly rhetoric."

Pruett's goals, if elected, include decreasing unemployment and returning federal tax dollars to the district. He said federal stimulus spending, however, didn't work.

"I belive in fiscal responsibility," he said. "Any politician who gets up there and says I'm going to lower your federal taxes is lying. All I can hope to do is curtail spending and hold the line on taxes."

Pruett said he believes Paul too often turns his focus outside the district.

"You can't be an effective congressman if you're always running for president," Pruett said. "My goal is to work for District 14. Hopefully, the people will wake up and understand Ron Paul is a national cult figure. He's a good man, he's just not effective for our district. You have to be able to work with your fellow congressmen to get things done. They call him 'Dr. No.'"

Paul, a retired physician and veteran, believes his dissenting voice sets him apart. His popularity grew nationwide during the last presidential election, of which Paul was a candidate. He became an iconic figure, especially among a strong base of younger Americans.

Paul ran for U.S. president first in 1988 - as the Libertarian Party's nominee - and again in 2008 as a candidate for the Republican nomination.

Paul notes he has never voted to raise taxes, for an unbalanced budget or to increase congressional pay. He fought federal restrictions on gun ownership, proposed Internet regulations and opposed the Iraq war.

"I believe in individual liberty, limited government, a balanced budget and sound money," Paul said. "I am strongly right to life, a firm believer in private property rights and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment. I am proud to have stood up and never wavered from convictions."

Paul even returns a portion each year of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. Treasury, he says.

"I have worked hard to protect our Texas values and I hope have earned the privilege to represent you again," he said. "I try to earn the votes of my neighbors every day by standing up for what is important: Liberty, self reliance and the Constitution. I am running to keep up our fight and hope to receive your vote on Nov. 2."



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