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Republican North Texas Congressional Race Gaining National Attention

NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - Republican Congressman Pete Sessions of Dallas is in a primary fight with local Tea Party leader Katrina Pierson that's made national headlines.

Friday Sessions said, "I deeply believe in what quote the Tea Party stands for and has stood for and that is reducing the size and scope of government."

But the GOP incumbent, whose chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee and one of House Speaker John Boehner's top lieutenants, finds himself on the defensive against Pierson who questions his conservative credentials.

The 37-year-old Pierson said, "My opponent on the other hand who may have started out conservative over the last five years, has voted very much in favor of progressives and even Democrats."

Sessions responded, "The alternative has been in Washington, vote "no". I'm in the majority party, we vote "yes."  We're achieving things."

Sessions points to the Republican-backed sequester as being a key reason federal spending actually dropped to levels not seen since 2008.

Pierson blames Sessions last March for not fighting hard enough to defund President Obama's healthcare law. "When it came down to the continuing resolution, and there was a push to amend it, to strip out Obamacare funding, he used his authority as rules committee chairman to improve a closed rule and blocked the conservatives from defunding in March."

Sessions insists he's deeply committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act.  "We need some help and the help comes in the form of winning the U.S. Senate, it cannot all be done in the House."

Of the congressman's actions Pierson said, "They didn't take the fight to the American people, the leadership has failed."

Analysts believe Sessions will win, saying he has far out-raised Pierson. But she is hoping support from Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, and the Tea Party will shake things up come Tuesday.

Follow Jack on Twitter:  @cbs11jack

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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