Meet the man who went from dentist to long-shot Senate hopeful

August 4

Welcome back to Five Questions!

Today, meet David Alameel, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Texas. Alameel is a wealthy dentist and investor who has self-funded his campaign. He faces very long odds against Sen. John Cornyn (R), the Senate's second-ranking Republican/

We sat down with Alameel in July to talk about X-rays, immigration and Cornyn. Below is the video of our Five Questions segment, along with a transcript of our discussion, edited for brevity.

Democratic candidate David Alameel says his opponent, Sen. John Cornyn, "[N]ever misses a photo op with veterans" but votes against them in the Senate. (Jeff Simon/The Washington Post)

1. As a dentist, tell us: How dangerous are those X-rays we get when we go in for check-ups?

You know, I haven't practiced in 25 years. But they're not dangerous.

2. You've accused Cornyn of draft dodging. Do you think he cares about veterans? 

He voted almost 24 times against benefits for veterans — but he never misses a photo-op with veterans to tell them how much he loves them.

3. What should Washington do about the influx of young people from Central America crossing the border?

We need to work with these countries to stop sending people in an organized manner. We need to help them develop their economy. We need to at least put pressure on them — if you want U.S. aid, if you want to do business with the U.S., it's time you do your half. But I certainly believe that it's not all one or the other — it's both. We need to both secure our border and we need immigration reform to take care of people who are already here. And after we do both of these, we can ask people to come through the proper channels to this county.

4. Texas has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1988. What makes you think you're next? 

I'm a better candidate. I have a better message. We need a senator who works for the American people.

5. How soon can Democrats realistically turn Texas blue in federal elections?

It's already blue — it's just Democrats are not voting with the same enthusiasm as Republicans.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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