Know your candidates: The other names on the ballot

U.S. Senator

Richard J. (Rick) Noriega (DEM)Health care: His plan focuses on improving coverage for children, addressing the uninsured problem, granting tax breaks for small businesses, protecting seniors, making it more affordable and making the system more transparent.Immigration: Three-pronged proposal: 1) Secure the border with state of the art electronic surveillance, establish real border security (through the authorization of Operation Jump Start II), empower local leaders who really know what is going on. 2) crack down on employers and enforce tougher penalties for employers who repeatedly hire undocumented labor. 3) Turn illegal immigrants into tax payers. Deportation is not the answer. Iraq: War was poorly planned and it is time to bring our troops home safely in a responsible and careful way by way of a steady reduction of troops.

Yvonne Adams Schick (LIB) Health care: No constitutional authorization for a mandate of healthcare insurance exists, and so it should be a deregulated industry that allows for a free market. FDA should be replaced with a more responsive free market system and the system should give users more control. Immigration: People without criminal backgrounds or intentions to cause harm should be allowed to immigrate legally, because they will add to the productivity of our economy. Iraq: As long as we occupy Iraq, the danger to our troops will exist and so it is time to pull out in the safest way possible.

John Cornyn (REP)Current U.S. Senator for TexasHealth care: Government mandates are not the way to go. He believes that people need to be presented with more options. He plans to put the cost and quality of health care online, so patients can easily compare prices and services. Immigration: Increase border patrols Iraq: The prospect of an Arab democracy is not only doable, but completely within reach.

U.S. State Representative, District 23

Ciro. D. Rodriguez (DEM)Health care: Fought against Washington gridlock to help expand CHIP. Has fought against big drug companies to simplify Medicare Part D and provide affordable prescriptions for seniors. Oil: Has called for investigations to expose price gouging at the pump and is fighting to put an end to tax breaks and subsidies for big oil companies.

Lani Connolly (LIB)Healthcare: Wants to increase the quality, affordability and portability of health care. Believes in free-market solutions to the challenges Texas faces and that quality can be improved by increasing competition. Immigration: Peaceful immigrants should be allowed to enter the U.S. at specific Customs and Immigration stations, subject to only brief vetting to ensure they are not terrorists or criminals.

Lyle Larson (REP)Immigration: Bring responsibility back home to the border states and not Washington. Create a Border Guard that would provide legislative guidance to the Congress and also involve the Mexican government with the plans. Plans to expand Operation Streamline. Does not support amnesty for anyone who has entered the U.S. illegally. Oil: Believes that off-shore drilling is necessary if America is to reduce its dependence on foreign oil.