TYLER, Texas (KETK) — With more than two months away from election day, two candidates from different parts of East Texas are vying to replace long-time congressman Louie Gohmert.

The race is on and both Democratic candidate Jrmar Jefferson and Republican candidate Nathaniel Moran are working hard for their votes.

UT Tyler political science professor Mark Owens believes the Texas governor’s race will increase voter turnout, which is good for all other races on the ballot. 

“Voters in East Texas should understand that their vote’s gonna matter in the governor’s race but it’s also really going to matter in selecting who their new congressman will be,” said Owens.

Owens believes the redistricting process will also impact this race since Lufkin and Nacogdoches are no longer in District One, but Texarkana is.

 “For the district, most of the population lives in the Tyler to Longview area just as it did before and so that will make it difficult for Democrats but maybe as you can really see on a margin, there is opportunity to beat expectations,” explained Owens.

This week, Republican candidate, Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran, visited the Texas-Mexico border, alongside other Republican congressional candidates.

“I want to know exactly what’s happening first-hand, I want to take in that knowledge and I want to turn that into good policy and good action come January 3,” said Moran.

Meanwhile, His Democratic opponent, Jrmar Jefferson, said he’s getting to ready to visit even more East Texans.

“100 cities, 100 events we’re setting up because I want to be with the people,” said Jefferson.

Both candidates hold very different views on many heated issues, including the border crisis.

“What’s happening at the border does not affect us as much as the poverty, the jobs leaving the country, the lack of infrastructure, the bailouts. I mean, we need to focus on helping the people here, that’s it, that’s the job,” said Jefferson.

Moran also shared his take on the topic:

“We’re seeing such a rise in the fentanyl transportation across the border. This last year alone over 10-thousand pounds of fentanyl were seized and when you think about the fact that two pounds of fentanyl can kill half a million people, that has a direct effect on East Texans,” said Moran.

They also share opposing views on abortion.

“Here in East Texas, we understand the value of life and we stand on the side of life always and you’re gonna hear that from me. I am 100% pro-life,” said Moran.

Jefferson also shared his opinion on abortion:

“We cannot take people’s choice away just like I wouldn’t choose to take anyone’s second amendment right away,” added Jefferson.

Jefferson and Moran each hope the results will be in their favor on election night.

With so many Texans focusing on the governor’s race, Owens says both Moran and Jefferson will be putting their efforts toward going door-to-door and hosting events instead of spending on TV ads.