Austin defense lawyer to seek Democratic bid for U.S. House seat – Austin American-Statesman

Austin criminal defense attorney Chris Perri announced Monday he will run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Congress in District 21, where Republican Lamar Smith has held the seat for the past 30 years.

“My wife and I are dismayed by the assaults on our basic rights from the current administration,” Perri said in a statement. “Politicians just aren’t working for the people anymore. Instead, they’re more concerned about getting re-elected and serving their Big Money campaign donors. It’s time to end corruption in politics by electing fresh, progressive candidates who have the passion and energy to make government work for the people.”

The statement’s headline blasts the incumbent as “corporate-backed, climate-change-denying Lamar Smith.” Smith’s term ends in 2018.

A news release issued by his campaign says Perri earned a law degree from University of Texas in 2005 and later earned a master’s degree in economics from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Since 2009, he has practiced criminal defense in Austin.

Perri said his campaign priorities are guaranteeing universal, affordable health coverage for all Americans, protecting the environment, reducing income inequality, immigration reform, criminal justice reform, and investing in education.

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