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Will Name Recognition Give Former Dallas TV Investigative Reporter Edge In Congressional Race?

GARLAND (CBS11) - After exposing corruption and fraud as an investigative reporter in Dallas for 22 years, Brett Shipp says he now wants to do the same in Congress.

During his announcement in Garland, he told family, friends and other supporters, "We're going to shine a light on wasteful spending, we're going to expose the broken system, we're going to call out bad policy that benefits the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the rest of us."

Shipp says ever since President Donald Trump took office, he has become increasingly disgusted in the direction and leadership of the country, and could no longer sit on the sidelines.

Brett Shipp
Brett Shipp (CBS11)

He wants to represent the 32nd District, one of three Congressional seats in Texas held by Republicans in which Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump last year.

Shipp is now the 6th Democrat running in the primary.

The former investigative reporter joins Civil Rights Attorney and former NFL player Collin Allred, Ed Meier, who served as Senior Advisor in the Obama State Department, Lillian Salerno, who served in the Obama administration as the Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development, retired Aerospace Engineer Ron Marshall, and Attorney George Rodriguez.

Shipp acknowledges he will have to sprint to the finish line, the March primary, which is 12 weeks away.

"You know what this is not all about money. I've got to raise a lot of money, yeah I'm behind and the others have worked very hard to establish themselves and I've got to work very hard."

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson says Shipp is the focus of this race this week. "Visibility helps him. It gets him a look initially."

But Jillson says he doesn't think Shipp is favored to win just because he has good name recognition.

"No, I don't because he's a first-time candidate. He has a persona on television, an aggressive investigative reporter, but we don't know what he looks and feels like as a candidate."

Whichever Democrat wins the primary will likely face veteran Republican Pete Sessions, who now has a primary challenger, Paul Brown, a military intelligence analyst.

Jillson says Sessions will win the primary, and will be tough to beat during the general election. "I know that Pete Sessions is alert. He knows he's going to have to run hard. He's going to have all the money in the world, so I expect him to fight for his seat."

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