Area congressional races attract long lists of candidates

A flood of candidates filed for Central Texas congressional races ahead of the deadline. (MGN/file)
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(KWTX) The decisions of U.S. Reps. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, and Mike Conaway, R-Midland, who represent portions of Central Texas, not to run again opened the gates to a flood of candidate filings before the Monday deadline, but three incumbent U.S. House members are also facing challenges.

Conaway announced in July that he wouldn’t seek re-election after defeating Democrat Jennie Lou Leeder and Libertarian Rhett Smith in November 2018.

Flores stunned Central Texas Republican leaders when he announced in September that he wasn’t seeking another term.

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, who defeated Democrat challenger MJ Hegar by 3 percentage points in November 2018, and U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady are all seeking re-election, but they all face challengers.

Dist. 8

Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, whose district includes Leon, Grimes, Harris, Houston, Madison, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Trinity and Walker counties faces Republican challengers Army veteran Melissa Esparza-Mathis and Kirk Osborn in March.

Democrats Elizabeth Hernandez, an accounts payable associate, and Laura Jones, a Coldspring realtor, are seeking the Democratic nomination.

Dist. 11

Eleven Republicans are hoping to succeed Mike Conaway, whose district includes Mills, San Saba and more than two-dozen other West Texas counties including business developer Brandon Batch; bank investor and educator Cynthia Breyman of Andrews; company president J. Ross Lacy of Midland; U.S. Air Force reservist and rancher August Pfluger of San Angelo; Robert Tucker of Comanche; Brady entrepreneur Wesley W. Virdell; Ned Luscombe; James Berryhill; Gene Barber, and Casey Gray.

Democrat John Mark Hogg, a San Angelo lawyer, is unopposed.

Dist. 17

The district Bill Flores represents, which includes McLennan, Falls, Freestone, Leon, Limestone, Milam, Robertson, Bastrop, Brazos and Travis counties, was drawn to be Republican friendly, and a dozen Republicans are running to succeed the veteran lawmaker 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; Trent Sutton; Waco real estate agent Kristen Alamo Rowin; Robinson real estate agent Laurie Godfrey McReynolds; David Saucedo of Waco; Elianor Vessali; Jeff Oppenheim, and Brazos Eye Surgery co-owner Renee Swan of Waco.

William Foster III of Hearne, a retired business owner; former veteran source representative David Anthony Jaramillo of Waco, and Richard Kennedy of Pflugerville, a project manager, are seeking the Democratic nomination.

Travis county insurance adjustor Ted Brown plans to run as a Libertarian.

The district, which was drawn during a contentious remap following the 2000 census, stretches between Waco and Bryan-College station, and was at one time the most heavily Republican district in the country represented by a Democrat.

U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, turned back challengers in the district in 2004, 2006 and 2008 before losing to Flores in 2010.

Dist. 25

Incumbent Republican Roger Williams, whose district includes Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Hamilton, Hill, Lampasas, Burnet, Erath, Hays, Johnson, Somervell, Tarrant and Travis counties, faces a primary challenge from Keith Neuendorff, a West Lake Hills software engineer.

Austin attorney Julie Oliver and Austin farmer Heidi Sloan are seeking the Democratic nomination.

Dist. 31

Longtime Republican incumbent John Carter has three primary opponents including Mike Williams of Georgetown; Christopher Wall, a police officer from Hutton, and Garapati Abhiram.

Michael Edward Grimes, a Round Rock attorney; Eric Hanke of Leander, a field representative; Austin computer engineer Donna Imam; agency owner Dan Janjigian; Liberty Hill physician Christine Eady Mann, and Round Rock City Councilmember Tammy Young are seeking the Democratic nomination.