Recap: TX-26 Linsey Fagan & Will Fisher Debate

After months of work in their respective campaigns, both Democratic congressional candidates Linsey Fagan of Keller and Will Fisher of Flower Mound, brought a crowd to the UNT Union for a productive debate Saturday afternoon.

 Photo courtesy of Linsey Fagan campaign

Photo courtesy of Linsey Fagan campaign

The two are matched against each other in the Democratic primary for Texas’ 26th district in the U.S. House of Representatives in hopes of unseating the Republican incumbent Michael Burgess.

WFAA Reporter Jason Whitley moderated the debate and said the questions came from local organizations. The event was hosted by UNT College Democrats and the Denton County Democratic Party.

Denton County Democratic Party's Communication Director Ira Bershad kicked off the event by clarifying although people were there to decide who they wanted to give their vote to, he also asked people not forget the mission, a seemingly recurring theme throughout the debate.

“There’s a lot more that unites us than divides us,” Bershad said.

In their opening statements, Fisher said there is seat in Washington for the people of the district being occupied, poking at Burgess’ tenure. Fagan pointed out her distrust in all representatives and she is “done waiting” for a good representative.

Both platforms didn’t budge on liberal values but the two didn’t always agree on the steps to them. Fisher volleyed critiques to Fagan’s answers.

While Fagan said single payer healthcare was “inevitable” and there was a need to communicate it properly to Republicans, Fisher said single payer is not inevitable and there shouldn’t be compromise on such a topic.

 Photo courtesy of Linsey Fagan campaign

Photo courtesy of Linsey Fagan campaign

When asked about being a role model, Fagan noted her time as a young, single mother working around 80 hours a week while “clawing” her way to the American Dream. Fisher’s response to the same question rested upon his choice to constantly check his privilege.

Answering a question about what the Democratic party needs to do, Fisher said the party needs to be fighting so the American Dream works for everyone.

Fagan said people are just looking for representatives who care and how many times she's been told that she is not someone who should run for office.

“Maybe we just need regular American people representing regular American people,” Fagan said.

In the past, tension between both campaigns and their supporters has shown conflict. When told to ask each other a question Fagan humorously asked Fisher what he liked most about her.

The candidates differed most in their approaches to similar ideals. While Fisher was concise and unmoved on progressive stances, Fagan reiterated her plan to have a message that doesn’t “steamroll” opposite views.

The candidates amplified their boots-on -ground approach that they believe outworks Burgess’ approach to handling constituents’ issues. Both block walk and hold town hall meetings regularly.

While they didn't completely see eye to eye on pathways to some policies, both constantly agreed Burgess’ time was up – the people of the district needed to be given back their voices.

Both Fagan and Fisher agreed to support whoever makes it to the general election.

The primary election is March 6 with early voting beginning February 21.

The Dentonite's Synopsis:

Where Fisher is stronger in organization and clarity, Fagan makes up for in modesty and genuine emotion. Both were generally knowledgeable of the topics given. This was the kind of night where members of the packed room would be able to make a decision on who they would support for the Democratic primary. Whoever the victor is, it won't be an easy task taking on Micheal Burgess who has regularly aligned himself with President Trump.

Those who missed the debated can watch a livestream of the debate on Fisher’s Facebook campaign page:

Header image courtesy of Linsey Fagan for Texas
Header image layout designed by Cristopher Rodgers