RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — We are now 49 days until the general election, and CBS4/Local 23 is keeping a close eye on the race for the state senate seat.

Tuesday, weekend anchor Jeremiah Wilcox had a one-on-one interview with challenger Mary Jennings (MJ) Hegar, who is hoping to beat incumbent Senator John Cornyn.

Hegar is a veteran and working mom who felt a calling for change.

“We need to start electing servant leaders who are willing to put their own self-interest on the line. When I sued the department of defense to open hundreds of thousands of jobs for women. I lost my dream job. I wanted to be a combat pilot my whole life. I never wanted to run for office. But I recognized that in order to serve my community better and make the military stronger, I needed to do this and so I did it. Right now, we have a lot of politicians who do the opposite, they sell us out and sell out the best interest of their community for their own ambitions and self-interest and that’s why I’m running,” Hegar said.

Through the remote interview many topics were discussed. Starting with President Trump reported remarks calling fallen soldiers “suckers and losers” and the newly released interview recordings from veteran journalist Bob Woodward.

“I had a very visceral, physical reaction when I heard that, when I read it, and you know as a medevac pilot I medevaced so many wounded and dying and dead patriots that have served this country. I’ve lost friends who had, you know, small kids at home that I served alongside and it’s heart breaking and frankly I don’t care if somebody like John Cornyn doesn’t believe the reporting. It falls in line with a pattern,” Hegar said.

The big issue impacting residents in the Rio Grande Valley is COVID-19. South Texas was one of the hot spots for the dangerous virus.

“Immediately reopening the Affordable Care Act enrollment that by the way John Cornyn has voted 20 times to tear down the Affordable Care Act. Immediately reopening re-enrollment will help the millions of Texans that don’t have health insurance, we need to protect our frontline workers John Cornyn has been focused on shielding negligent corporations from liability instead of fighting for workers,” Hegar said.

Senator Cornyn campaign sent a statement:

“MJ Hegar’s hypocritical and selective outrage is now completely nonsensical. She’s attacking the senator – the proud son of a WWII veteran – for supporting our troops. Meanwhile she stayed silent when Joe Biden told African Americans that they ‘ain’t black’ if they don’t vote for him, and thought nothing wrong when Nancy Pelosi called conservatives ‘enemies of the state.”

Cornyn said on his website, he supported passages of the federal CARES Act and providing PPE to medical personnel and first responders.

His website adds he signed legislation that sends recovery funds to “Mix status families.” For more information, click here.

Hegar has one message for Rio Grande Valley residents.

“This election, they have an opportunity to vote for someone like me who has faced the same challenges that they have faced and any challenges that they’re facing that I haven’t faced because of, for example, discrimination to the Latino community. I am here to collaborate with and get input on solutions instead of telling people that I know best and that I know all the answers. I need the voices of Texans. I need to bring those voices to bring with me to DC,” She said.

Both will meet on the debate stage for the first time Oct. 9.

Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. will host the exclusive, live telecast of the debate on 15 stations.

You can watch the full interview below.