U.S. Representative Marc Veasey doesn't have a Republican opponent in Congressional District 33, which is made up of gerrymandered swaths of Oak Cliff, Irving and Tarrant County. That doesn't mean he's running unopposed, just that his sole challenger happens to be Jason Reeves, a California-born Libertarian whose most recent political activity was a spoiler run for the Nevada State Assembly in 2012.
The 33rd District is typical for Dallas County. Of the six U.S. House districts that are at least partly contained within the county, District 32 hosted the closest 2012 race. The incumbent, Pete Sessions, won by 19 points. None of the races are going to be competitive this year either, despite Dallas, a county that President Obama won by more than 15 points in 2012, having a 4-2 Republican/Democrat split among its House delegation.
Reeves has no website, no campaign email -- but you can send one to his personal account here, if you so desire -- and no mechanism to raise money, but he's running for federal office, dammit. Keeping that in mind, and the fact that he's done zero media thus far, Unfair Park decided to have a chat with the contender.
Reeves ran under the Constitution Party banner in Nevada, but was dissatisfied with the party's organization in Texas.
"I hooked up with the Libertarians because they were a lot more organized. They had a list of open candidacies, and no one was running in District 33 against Veasey," he says, "so I decided to run for that."
So far, he's enjoyed the freedom that the Libertarian Party affords their candidates. Reeves said they've let him run his campaign however he wants so long as he supports the party platform. The downside of that is his lack of visibility.
"I'm working on [getting a website], that should have been done a couple of months ago," he says, "but things didn't work out with the person I know. I anticipate that being up in the next couple of weeks."
Reeves is excited for the opportunity to take on Veasey one on one because he thinks he'll be able to present himself as an alternative to the Democrat.
"From what I've read, because I've been on his site and I read his voting record every Sunday in the paper, I'm basically the exact opposite of him," he says, "I would consider him just your basic Democrat that goes along with the party line, from what I've read."
Veasey doesn't offer anything new or helpful to the district, Reeves says, which is why he would be able to come in as a "voice of reason."
Because he isn't part of the two-party system, Reeves says he believes he holds a special appeal to voters.
"I've had people call and tell me, 'Well, I want to vote for you just because you aren't a Democrat,'" he says. "I think people are pretty fed up with both major parties."
Reeves says he hopes that Veasey will agree to debates when people hear his message and he builds momentum.
"My whole thing is limited government on everything, because [Veasey's] answer to everything is more government," he says. "I know with that whole healthcare thing, he even went out with Sebelius, if that's her name, before she got fired and he was trying to get people to sign up with Obamacare and I've heard like he was even like trying to expand it somehow and stuff. Our whole district is based on small businesses and stuff and that actually has hurt small businesses and healthcare is like, the government shouldn't be involved in healthcare at all."
Jane Hamilton, Veasey's campaign manager, says that the congressman will consider a debate with Reeves if a date is proposed that won't conflict with Veasey's congressional duties, something that is yet to happen.
Immigration is another priority for Reeves. He supports immigration reform, but only after the border is secured.
"I think getting the National Guard on there, or out there -- I know some of them are out there, because I actually have a friend who's in the National Guard and he's telling they're there but they don't like, tell anybody," he says.
Despite his belief in limited federal power, Reeves supports federal intervention along the border, something he says Veasey opposes.
"He doesn't want the federal government to stop illegal immigration," Reeves says, "my gut instinct is that he thinks he'll get more votes."
Veasey is an original co-sponsor of House Resolution 15, an immigration reform bill that would provide for increased legal immigration and a path to legal status for undocumented persons already in the U.S.. He charges Republicans as being the party with less than humanitarian motivations.
"The only politics involved in addressing border concerns and comprehensive immigration reform is that due to internal Republican bickering, House Republican leadership has refused to bring this bill to the House floor for a vote because they know if and when they do, this bill will without a doubt pass," he says.
Reeves says a few Ron Paul Republicans have contacted him giving him hope that he can get both the GOP's and the Constitution Party's endorsement before the general election.
If he were to win, Reeves tells Unfair Park that he would try to his best from the inside, but he wouldn't caucus with either party -- thereby foregoing any potential committee assignments.
"I think I would be on a subject by subject matter," he says, "depending on what they want to do and stuff."
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.