(KWTX) The field of Republican candidates hoping to succeed Central Texas Congressman Bill Flores shrank by one Friday.
West Point graduate and Army veteran Jeff Oppenheim ended his campaign Friday.
“I will continue to be a ‘man in the arena’ promoting and supporting conservative values and policies, but will seek different battlefields and other ways to serve our nation and the great state of Texas,” he said in a press release.
“I remain open to answering the call of public service in the future.”
Eleven Republicans remain in the race including former Dallas area Congressman Pete Sessions, a Waco native; Waco homebuilder Scott Bland; George W. Hindman of Round Rock, who works in research and development; Ahmad Adnan, an Austin financial advisor; Todd Kent Bryan, who works in higher education; Marine Corps veteran Trent Sutton; Waco real estate agent Kristen Alamo Rowin; Robinson real estate agent Laurie Godfrey McReynolds; civic activist David Saucedo of Waco; College Station businesswoman and City Councilmember Elianor Vessali; and Brazos Eye Surgery co-owner Renee Swan of Waco.
Three Democrats, William Foster III of Hearne, a retired business owner and Richard Kennedy of Pflugerville, a project manager, and David Anthony Jaramillo of Waco are also seeking Flores’ seat.
Flores decision not to seek a sixth term triggered the largest flood of candidate filings in the 16-year history of the 17th Congressional District, which was drawn during a contentious remap following the 2000 census and stretches between Waco and Bryan-College Station.
The remaining 11 Republicans and two of the Democrats, Foster and Kennedy, will participate in back-to-back forums on Jan. 25 on the Texas A&M University campus featuring all 12 of the Republicans and two of the three Democrats running for the seat hosted by KWTX and KBTX in Bryan.
The Democratic forum will be broadcast live simultaneously on KBTX and KWTX and streamed on the stations’ websites and social media pages from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 25, followed immediately by the Republican forum from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.