TYLER, Texas — Eight candidates, five colleges and 13 hours on the road. Filing hasn’t even opened yet, but Democratic candidates vying for votes of East Texans in two critical U.S. races are already making their case.

The Build East Texas Campus Tour wrapped up at the University of Texas at Tyler on Thursday night. With candidates limiting their stump speeches to answer questions one on one, the Democrats looking to replace Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert were direct about why they believe East Texas needs new leadership in Washington.

Former congressman and gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell launched the opening salvo.

You can read more about this story from our news partners at the Tyler Morning Telegraph.