With many experts predicting that Republicans will retake the House of Representatives and the Senate in the general election next week, Republican challenger Blake Farenthold hopes he can add District 27 to the list of "formerly held" Democratic strongholds.

Farenthold is a Corpus Christi native who obtained his law degree from St. Mary's University and returned to Corpus Christi to practice law.

He did so for nine years, before leaving the legal profession to start his own computer consulting company. He ran that company for 10 years, before eventually selling it and joining the Jim Lago program on the radio.

He was a co-host of the Jim Lago program for 10 years before deciding to come out from behind the microphone and enter the political arena earlier this year.

He and his wife have two children.

For Farenthold, the biggest issue facing the district is the need for more jobs.

"We've got to get our people back to work," Farenthold said. "And my solution to that is lower taxes and less government. Get the government out of our way, and keep taxes low enough that businesses can afford to grow and hire more people."

Farenthold said he is also concerned about the rise in violence along the Mexican border, an issue he said can be alleviated with a better immigration policy.

"What we've got is an immigration system that doesn't take into account the realities of life - that there's a need for entry-level workers and immigrants in this country," Farenthold said. "We need to create a system that makes it easier to get into this country if you're looking to live the American dream, work hard and make a better life for yourself."

Once "economic refugees" have an option to legally obtain work, Farenthold said it will be easier to tighten border security to focus on drug dealers and terrorists who are trying to illegally cross.

On the international front, Farenthold said the United States needs to be smarter about how it prosecutes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - and how it approaches similar conflicts in the future.

"We need to finish up the job. When we've left a war with work undone, almost every time it's come back and bit us," Farenthold said.

"We need to focus on using technology, special forces and the intelligence community to keep a better eye on what's going on in the world so we can stop some of these problems before we reach the point of having to commit ground troops."

Farenthold said the main difference between himself and longtime Democratic Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz is that Ortiz's time in Washington D.C. has left him out of touch with voters at home.

"I'm in this to be a servant-leader. And with Ortiz, we're seeing a pattern of…almost corruption. You can almost go that far," Farenthold said. "The guy doesn't come home to us, he'd rather jet-set around the world. He's completely lost touch with Corpus Christi."

Farenthold has said he believes the job of U.S. Congressman is "temporary and part-time," and has vowed to spend much of his time in the district, instead of in Washington D.C.

Another difference between Ortiz and himself, Farenthold said, is their approach to the role of government.

"Ortiz thinks the government can solve all the problems with stimulus and bail-outs. I don't think that's the government's role," Farenthold said.

"The government needs to get out of the way and let businesses create the jobs and get the economy going."

Given that District 27 runs from Corpus Christi to Brownsville, Farenthold said it is difficult for one person to provide equal representation to all of the district's constituents.

While he hopes the district lines will be re-drawn in the future, Farenthold said he is ready to bring new leadership to District 27.

"On a lot of issues (Brownsville and Corpus Christi) are competing," Farenthold said. "I love Brownsville. They're great people down there. I would be honored to represent them. But it really does require a man of integrity to serve two competing masters. That's going to be a challenge."