A Better Texas
“We deserve a leader who represents Texas values: strength, courage, independence, putting our families first — because we sure as heck don’t value the weakness, partisanship, and gridlock that’s representing us now. So saddle up, Texas, because we’ve got work to do”
A combat veteran, working mom, and Texan, MJ Hegar doesn’t back down from a fight when it means standing up for what’s right.
As a young girl, MJ’s dreams of becoming a military pilot were dismissed with claims that “the front is no place for a woman.” Unwilling to back down, MJ became a commissioned officer in the Air Force after graduating from the University of Texas. She qualified for a highly selective spot in the Air National Guard’s pilot training program, where she graduated at the top of her class. MJ went on to serve three tours in Afghanistan as a combat search-and-rescue and medevac pilot.
During a rescue mission in Afghanistan, MJ’s helicopter was destroyed by the Taliban, and she was injured by enemy gunfire. MJ received the Purple Heart for her injuries, and she is one of only a few women to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor for her actions saving the lives of her crew and patients.
When her injuries left her unable to fly, she was barred from competing for a ground combat position because she was a woman. MJ knew that the rule was not only unjust, but a detriment to military preparedness — and that changing it was a fight she had to take on. So, she worked across the aisle and successfully led the charge to overturn the outdated policy and open up hundreds of thousands of jobs for women in the military.
During her advocacy, MJ got a firsthand look at how broken Washington is — and it left her with deep concerns about the ever-increasing dysfunction we were leaving for the next generation. So MJ decided to run for Congress in 2018, and once again defied expectations by closing an initial 22-point gap to less than 3 points.
Now MJ is taking on the fight for the Senate, to break the bottleneck that’s blocking any constructive progress in Washington from coming to reality. She’s up against Senator John Cornyn, who has been Mitch McConnell’s right-hand man in the obstruction and partisan dysfunction that’s plagued Washington for years.
MJ lives in Round Rock with her husband, two young boys, and their family dog. Her fierce commitment to Texas families is personal. She pledges to fight for the Texans she represents — not corporate donors and special interests — as Texas’ next senator.
MJ on the Issues
The rising cost of health care is the number one issue I hear from Texans about on the campaign trail. Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation, and our current system is one of sky-high costs and inefficiencies. We must increase access and affordability by creating a Medicare buy-in option for all those who want it. Private insurance companies will need to improve their offerings if they want to have a chance of competing. We must also make the much-needed fixes to the Affordable Care Act, and ensure universal coverage for children.
Texas suffers from one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world. We must support organizations that are providing our communities with sorely needed women’s healthcare services. It’s unacceptable that in 2019 a woman's right to make medical decisions about her own body is under assault. Politicians should not legislate women's most intimate decisions. We must provide support for women and families by increasing access to sex education, affordable over-the-counter contraception, and cost-effective childcare.
For decades, career politicians have refused to fix our broken immigration system, and the consequences of their finger-pointing and inaction directly affect our day-to-day lives in Texas. We need to roll up our sleeves, work together, and bring some common-sense to the issue – starting with immediately ending child separation, ensuring asylum seekers are not treated as criminals and their claims are properly processed, securing the border, and building a path-to-citizenship for undocumented residents that prioritizes our security and reflects our core values as Americans — such as human dignity and our respect for the human right to the pursuit of happiness.
Climate change is the greatest threat facing our country, and for the health of the next generation and security of our country, we can’t wait to take action. We must set aggressive goals for the expansion of clean, renewable energy, invest in clean energy manufacturing, the modernization of our energy grid and sustainable transportation, and reclaim our leadership in the world by rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.
Every child, regardless of where they come from or how much money their family makes, should have access to an affordable and quality education. I will advocate for Texas public schools and teachers, because I believe an investment in strong public schools is an investment in our nation’s future. Far too many Texans struggle from crippling student loan debt. We must put an end to the government profiting off loans by lowering interest rates, while also ensuring all higher education — from vocational training to degree programs — is more affordable.
Growing up, my mom worked three jobs just to pay the bills, and too many Texans face the same struggles today. That’s not the American dream. We need to raise wages to ensure workers can provide for their families, and use tax credits and incentives to support small businesses instead of giving tax breaks to companies that ship their jobs overseas.
I understand what our military and their families go through in a way that most politicians in DC can’t, and I know how difficult the transition back into civilian life can be. As your Senator, I’ll support responsible national security policies and stop any effort to privatize the VA while streamlining services for veterans to get better care when they need it.
I believe that immediate action needs to be taken to stop senseless gun violence, which is why I support legislation to institute universal background checks, close the gun show loophole, pass “Red Flag” laws limiting access to firearms for domestic abusers and those who would commit acts of domestic terrorism, stop the sale of assault weapons, and allow the CDC to reverse the damage of the decades-long ban on gun violence research. I've also called on governors and state legislatures to end the open carry of weapons. Open carry does not help gun owners like me to protect ourselves or our families, and it's an assault on every bystander within range. Read my open letter on gun violence.
Americans are sick and tired of watching DC politicians put special interest donors and political games over the needs of the people. It is time to clean up our broken system and return the power back to people, which is why I am refusing to accept any corporate PAC money and am endorsed by End Citizens United. As your senator, I will make it a priority to pass comprehensive campaign finance and ethics reforms that ensure Washington is accountable to the voters - and no one else.