The El Paso Democrat says her support of ENDA and marriage equality are among the issues that set her apart from competiton
Maxey Scherr was in the U.S. Senate chamber during the debate on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in November. When the vote began, she said Sen. John Cornyn’s name was called six times. He was in the chamber, but he didn’t respond. When he was called the seventh time, he voted nay.
Scherr said it wasn’t just his no vote that convinced her to run for his seat, but his two thumbs down gesture and the look of disgust on his face when he voted.
“That was pivitol for me,” she said. “Enough is enough.”
A fourth generation Texan, Scherr is a single mom and a plaintiff’s attorney from El Paso. She’s a first-time candidate but has been involved in previous campaigns, working for President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton,
Bill White and others. She worked on the staff of former Rep. Silvestre Reyes, who has endorsed her.
She’s also been endorsed by Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio, Austin, Denton County and Southeast Texas.
She didn’t screen with the Dallas group but hopes to reach out to them.
“This is the first time someone is running statewide as a progressive,” she said.
She said she admired President Lyndon Johnson, who had been a Texas senator and stood strong with his values.
Scherr believes she can win the primary with a strong turnout of women, the LGBT community and African-Americans.
“Women are sick of being voted against,” she said.
As an example, Republican women are joining the boards of Planned Parenthood around the state because they want to protect healthcare for other women, she said.
The increased funding for public education is another issue Scherr supports, and she said Democratic senators from around the country are contacting her.
“Senators are looking at Texas as winnable,” she said. “People are ready for a change.”
Scherr gets “outraged” when she meets people who are still living under the poverty level, so she supports raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour.
“Instead of addressing those problems, we have senators who shut down the government,” Scherr said.
She wants to implement immigration reform and eliminate the extra hurdles current law creates for the LGBT community. Cornyn, she said, uses scare tactics about border security, something that doesn’t play well in her hometown of El Paso. The city was also named the safest large U.S. city for the third year in a row by the annual City Crime Rankings by CQ Press and has been in the top three every year since 1997.
Her stand on marriage equality is unequivocal, and she believes that if she’s in office, it’ll come to Texas sooner rather than later.
“Everyone is ready for it,” she said.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 21, 2014.