Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, is no stranger to Washington, D.C., having worked for President George W. Bush. He is now trying to get back to the capital as a congressman.
Arrington is one of two candidates vying for the District 19 congressional seat in the May 24 runoff election. If elected, he hopes his previous experience in Washington will give him an advantage in his new position.
“It’s knowledge and experience of the process; it’s relationships, but here’s the other thing,” Arrington said in a phone interview. “I have a track record of working in that environment and achieving legislative and policy outcomes that have strengthened our region, this country and Texas Tech.”
The former vice chancellor of research and commercialization at Texas Tech University is a Red Raider through and through. Arrington has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from the university. Arrington most recently served as the president of healthcare innovation company Scott Laboratories.
If elected, Arrington would like to pursue conservative values and policies on a national level, while still improving District 19.
Arrington would like to focus on agriculture, an issue important to both the people and the economy of West Texas, in hopes of becoming the next chairman of the U.S. House agricultural committee. Arrington said this could also benefit Texas Tech, one of the largest agricultural schools in the nation.
With over 17,000 healthcare employees in the region, Arrington also says it is important to reform and improve the healthcare industry.
On the national level, Arrington said national security is at the top of his list, including fighting terrorism and securing the U.S. borders. However, he sees another issue as a bigger threat.
“National security is the number one job of the federal government,” Arrington said. “But the biggest risk to our longterm success as a country and to your generation and my generation and my children is the national debt at $19 trillion and climbing.”
Arrington cited the ancient Greeks and Romans as examples of where the U.S. could be headed, torn apart by greediness and mismanagement. He hopes to help the country by limiting the federal government and increasing economic growth by creating jobs and limiting foreign imports. Arrington supports individual liberties, such as the right to bear arms, and is also pro-life and a traditional marriage advocate.
Arrington is concerned about issues facing college students, particularly rising tuition costs and student loan debt. He believes tuition costs are rising because of the accessibility of loans. The amount of loan debt will only get worse if not stopped, Arrington said.
“I would reform federal financial aid, and this is how I’d do it,” Arrington said. “I would make sure it was focused on the neediest students. I would make sure students who receive Pell grants have work requirements and that we have student performance requirements.”
At only 44, Arrington thinks students can identify with him and his campaign, which has been helped by numerous Texas Tech students, including Amber Yanez.
Yanez, a senior marketing major, said she chose to support Arrington because of his commitment to the West Texas community.
“I know that if we send him to D.C., he has the skills, the relationships, and the experience to be the strongest and best advocate for this region in terms of agriculture, border security, repealing Obamacare, helping in the fight against terrorism, and many more issues,” Yanez wrote in an email.
If elected, Arrington promises to represent the Texas Tech community and make the university proud.
“Our country is in a disarray, our nation’s capital is dysfunctional, our leaders are not leading our country forward,” Arrington said. “We have got to have a new generation of leaders who will actually put their country’s interests first and solve the problem of the 21st century.”