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      The race is on for District 40 candidates

      Candidate Terry Canales

      Dozens of candidates and their supporters lined Closner Boulevard in Edinburg on Wednesday in hopes of catching the attention of early voters.

      Among the campaign signs and people waving frantically are the candidates for District 40---a seat that has been occupied by Representative Aaron Pea for 10 years.

      Pea decided to step down and now four men are hoping to land that seat and represent a district, they claim, has been neglected for years.

      "Our district is treated unfairly, Terry Canales said. That's one of the biggest problems that we have.

      "Our children get less than the state average per year for their schooling," Agustin ~Gus TM Hernandez told Action 4 News.

      "This area is being targeted and with all the cuts is the most immediately affected," T.C. Betancourt said.

      "We've had to cut special education programs and we've had to cut career and technology programs, Robert Pea started, These are all programs that will enhance the education of our students."

      Education, healthcare, and job creation are at the top of each candidates list. "That will be my primary concern--is getting the funding back in our district, Canales said. Last year the legislature cut $5.4 billion from our education system and that is absolutely unacceptable."

      "We're a large population of Medicaid, we're a large population of underserved individuals and the cuts that were made hit the Valley the hardest," Betancourt told Action 4 News.

      "We have a strong Maquila network that still requires suppliers and we should continue pursuing those supplies as well, Pea said. We can't do that unless we build infrastructure and that requires education."

      "We need to turn our voter turnout up and then we can be heard, Hernandez started. The state government can start giving us equal funding in health care and give us the infrastructure that we deserve.

      Each candidate told Action 4 news that District 40 is made up of a diverse group of people and they deserve a voice in Austin.