It’s not a surprise that Todd Litton is running for Texas Congressional District 2.
“I became interested in politics as a kid,” says the Democratic candidate running for retiring Congressman Ted Poe’s seat.
Litton recalls how heated it got around the dinner table every four years.
“Mom is a Democrat. Dad is a common-sense Republican,” he said, “but we grew up understanding that political differences didn’t mean you couldn’t respect or even love another person.”
- ‘I’ll work in a ‘I’ll work in a non-partisan way’ -
Litton earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Duke University, his law degree from the University of Texas, and his MBA from Rice University. After practicing law and working in investments, it was a fellowship at the Aspen Institute that opened his eyes to his present career.
“That fellowship made me realize that I could make a bigger impact helping nonprofits break out of their silos and work with other nonprofits to bring about bigger changes,” he said.
Litton describes what he does for a living as “building bridges between the business community, the education system, and the nonprofit community.”
And now he’s ready to take his bridge-building skills to Washington D.C.
“I see a way we can work together to find solutions to get things done,” he said. “That’s what we do in Houston. It’s not about scoring cheap political points or stoking fears, or yelling partisan talking points at one another.”
Litton said he'll work urgently for funding Lake Houston needs to get anti-flooding projects started and finished quickly and on budget. He’ll work in a non-partisan way, partnering with Democrats, Republicans and Independents to find the solutions needed.
Litton’s “infrastructure and flooding” plan is outlined in detail on his website. He promises to work transparently and hold quarterly meetings, so residents can see and understand “…where we are on our progress and raise any questions, concerns or opportunities.”
In addition to repairing from Harvey and preparing for future floods, Litton identifies three top priorities: health care, the economy and jobs, and “broken” Washington, D.C.
“I support protecting the ability for those with pre-existing medical conditions to get health insurance. I will fight to get the cost of prescription drugs down,” he said. “Also, with increased automation and continued outsourcing, we need to build a pipeline of lifelong learning, so people can find careers to provide for themselves, their families, our community and our country, and I will work across the aisle in a non-partisan way to build on opportunities based on common sense.”
Litton says many District 2 constituents mistakenly believe he wants to take their guns away.
“I don’t,” he said. “I do want universal background checks to buy a gun, however.”
Todd Litton’s parents are his role models, in their marriage, their faith and how they’ve served their community. He is celebrating 20 years of marriage to Jennifer, a breast cancer doctor and researcher at Duke University when they met. They have twin daughters and a son and have lived in the district for almost 20 years.
His political career really took hold in 2016 when Litton saw Vice-President Joe Biden in Houston discussing the cancer moonshot.
“Biden spent most of his time praising President George H.W. Bush,” Litton said, “noting that they often disagreed strongly but always respected one another and never questioned their patriotism or desire to do what’s best for America.”
Litton wants to bring that Houston-style common sense and bipartisan civility to Washington, D.C.
“Jennifer and I have big concerns for the future, for our kids and for our country,” he said. “I’m running to represent everyone in the district and to take our Houston way of doing things up to D.C.”
To learn more about the Todd Litton campaign, visit toddlitton.com.
The Tribune asked Litton about five controversial topics. His unedited responses are:
NAFTA: Our state’s biggest trading partner is Mexico, and our third biggest is Canada. Since the passage of NAFTA in 1994, our community has grown significantly and many people and businesses depend on free trade with Mexico and Canada to provide for their families. The president’s playing fast and loose with a treaty as important to our state and our region as NAFTA is very troubling. I would work to check and balance any actions by this president, or any president, that threaten to unravel this vital free-trade agreement for our region.
Funding a wall: We need to secure our borders but building a wall won’t work, and it will be a massive waste of time (to access the land) and money. We can secure the border with a lot less money by using technology and hiring more CBP agents. If we’re going to build any walls, let’s look at building a coastal spine to protect our coast and our port from flooding.
#MeToo movement: Every woman, every person, should be able to live their lives without fear of sexual harassment or assault. Period. The gross mistreatment of women in the workplace and in colleges and schools must stop. Shining a light on the perpetrators of such crimes will be the quickest way to start to create change. The women must be heard.
Medicare for all: Health care is among the top three issues facing residents and businesses of our district. I support everyone having access to affordable health care, but I don’t see how we can afford to expand “Medicare for All” when our overall health-care costs are so high. We spend way too much on health care in the U.S.; about 17 percent of our GDP on health care versus eight to 10 percent for other developed countries. We have to drive health-care costs lower for people and for businesses. I will work to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.
The bullet train to Dallas: The proposed terminal for the bullet train in the Houston area will be in our district. Obviously, some of the train's route will come through the district. We need more transportation options in our state, and as this train is privately funded I'm supportive of it proceeding. I believe we have to ensure landowner rights, too, and fairness in how any compensation and remediation occurs in a transparent and fair manner.