Hullihan Debate Performance Demonstrates Why He Should be Considered a Top-Tier Candidate

Commentary: Reagan Reed

Although not as well funded or politically well-connected as his two main rivals in the race for Texas’ 8th Congressional District, attorney and retired Navy JAG Jonathan Hullihan has nonetheless emerged as a serious contender to replace retiring Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX). At a recent debate between the top three candidates (Hullihan, retired Navy SEAL Morgan Luttrell, and political operative Christian Collins), Hullihan demonstrated why he should be considered a top tier candidate.

Hullihan’s campaign released a statement after the debate with the headline, “Jonathan Hullihan Declares Victory At Congressional Debate.” Of course a campaign is going to say their candidate won the debate, and I’ll leave it to readers to watch the debate and decide for themselves. But I think it is fair to say that Hullihan had a good night.

Throughout the course of the debate, Hullihan demonstrated an impressive command of policy minutiae, giving specific policy answers to questions posed by moderator Lara Logan.

“While Jonathan’s opponents piggybacked on his answers he provided moderator Lara Logan, he gave his own independent conservative thoughts on the key issues facing our country,” said Hullihan’s campaign in a statement. “As candidates across the stage threw insults at one another Hullihan came out unscathed. He has proven his qualifications, he has done things the right way his entire life, and is the most principled candidate in this race.”

In the debate, Hullihan benefited from the conventional wisdom that Collins and Luttrell are the top two candidates. While his two opponents traded jabs at one another, Hullihan refrained from weighing in and instead focused on policy.

“The voters in that room know the same thing voters across this district know, whoever wins this primary will hold this seat for as long as they want it,” said Hullihan. “That is why it is important to elect someone who knows what they are doing, can step in on the first day, do the job, and will always work to promote the conservative ideals the people of the 8th district share. I am the only candidate in this race that checks all of those boxes and I proved it last night.”

Hullihan is a Navy veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. In the Navy Judge Advocate Corps, Hullihan was a legal advisor to the Navy SEAL Teams, U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and has directly worked on some of the most complex matters of national security law and policy in the nation’s recent history.

He may not have a big name or a lot of money, but Hullihan is a viable candidate with a chance at making the runoff. He articulated a persuasive message on the debate stage Monday night- now he just has to make sure enough primary voters hear it before Election Day.

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Published by Reagan Reed

Reagan is a journalist and educator from East Texas. He has been involved in numerous campaigns, worked at the Texas Legislature, and covered Texas politics for years as a journalist.

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