Congressman Marc Veasey has spent the last five years serving as the United States Representative for Texas’ Congressional District 33.
He is up for re-election on Nov. 6 against Republican Willie Billups and Libertarian Jason Reeves.
Veasey has worked on the issues closest to him, which include education, health care reform and fighting for the rights of women, minorities, veterans and laborers. He is focusing on these issues as he campaigns in his district, which includes parts of Fort Worth, Grand Prairie and Dallas, and has been endorsed by both the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News.
However, before his success in politics and before becoming a husband and father, Veasey was a mass communication major at Texas Wesleyan, an experience that prepared him for the future.
His family has been in Fort Worth since around the 1940s he said, and he was born and raised here.
“I graduated from Arlington Heights High School and eventually went to Texas Wesleyan, which I really liked because it gave me a foundation in a small setting which I thought I would need to be successful in college,” Veasey said. “I would consider myself as well rooted in the community as anyone that is an elected official in Fort Worth for sure.”
Veasey developed an interest in politics and broadcast news from his uncle, who worked for Jim Wright, the Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1987 to 1989.
Veasey said that when he was in middle school he enjoyed watching the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.
“I asked my uncle, ‘How did that person get that job that’s answering those questions?’ and he said, ‘Well they are a spokesperson for the White House or the State Department. Their job is to answer questions for the president without making him look bad,’” Veasey said.
It was then that Veasey knew he wanted to go into news, covering politics and would major in journalism, just like his uncle.
Veasey recalled one summer in high school when his friends asked him to come outside to play tennis and he had to turn them down because he was busy watching the Iran-Contra hearings.
“I was just enamored with politics,” he said.
After graduating from high school, Veasey took classes at Tarrant County College before transferring to Wesleyan. Veasey said he knew he had to choose a school that was local because he could not afford to go to a school far from home.
He said he chose Wesleyan after exploring other local universities.
“I found Texas Wesleyan, and it was just right for me. The average class had about 25, 20 people in it,” Veasey said. “I was just like, ‘I think this is home for me.’”
Veasey said he was commuter student who worked two jobs at certain points.
“I worked the whole time. I was a working student,” he said. “Texas Wesleyan was the type of campus where you could work and do those things.”
After graduating from Wesleyan, but before jumping into politics, Veasey worked many different jobs from substituting to retail. He eventually got a job working for the Star-Telegram and then got a job as a congressional staffer, getting his foot in the door in politics.
Today, Veasey serves on Texas Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees and represents Wesleyan in Congress, which falls in his district.
Wesleyan President Frederick Slabach wrote in an email that since Veasey graduated in 1995, he has made his neighbors proud by serving for eight years in the Texas House of Representatives and then the United States Congress for the last six years. Veasey serves on several committees such as the House Armed Services Committee and is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“Throughout that time, he has been a proud member of the Texas Wesleyan community, now serving on the Board of Trustees. We could not be more excited for him to continue his work both here at home in Fort Worth and in Washington, D.C.” Slabach wrote.
Daniel Castro, a staffer for Veasey’s congressional district, said he believes in Veasey because he cares about his community.
“He would much rather get invited to a cookout rather than a reception where he is getting an award,” Castro said. “He really loves talking to people.”
If he had not worked hard in school, Veasey said, he knows he would not be where he is today.
“Education to me is the most important issue that I can think of because it is the difference between what type of life you are going to have and your work ethic to go along with that,” he said.
Veasey said if people work hard and are competent and diligent, they will be fine.
“You have to be willing to do that and you have to have an education to really be able to fit in from that stand point at a very basic level,” he said.
In a recent interview, Veasey seemed confident that he would win in November. He intends to focus primarily on education.
“I want to continue to focus on what I can to help young people and help the constituency that I represent be able to have a good education and participate in our economy,” he said. “That is going to be my number one goal.”