AUSTIN (KXAN) - The large field of contenders vying for their parties nomination for Texas' 21st Congressional District has been whittled down.
The race for the Republican nomination will go to a runoff. Early returns show Republicans Chip Roy leading the field with 26 percent of the votes and Matt McCall at 16 percent.
Democrats vying for the seat will also go to a runoff; Joseph Kopser will take on Mary Street Wilson.
The seat is a hot one since it hasn't seen a change in leadership in nearly 40 years. When Rep. Lamar Smith announced he was retiring, 22 candidates pounced on the idea of serving the area that covers parts of Austin and San Antonio.
Money and powerful friends were key
The district is changing so fast and the race is a historic opportunity for a new person to go to D.C. But so far, the same old factor of money has been the key determiner. The leaders Tuesday night have raised the most money out of the 22 candidates. For the Republicans, Roy and Negley.
Former Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz in the past have hired Roy as a top-level staffer. Those statewide leaders endorsed him in this race along with other limited government groups. The Republicans had 18 people run so they need endorsements to get their names out there voters do know Cruz and Perry and their support helped Roy.
"Getting those large numbers of endorsements, what that tells you is I'm my own guy but that large number of folks are supporting me because they know they can work side by side with them in the trenches," said Roy.
A former CIA agent, Negley and his supporters pumped a lot of money into the race at the end and he's number two out of 18 now.
For the Democrats, Kopser raised the most money and gathered the most endorsements. He raised the most money by far, with more than half a million dollars.
He's leading Mary Wilson, Derick Crowe and Elliot McFadden. Those other three teamed up on Kopser for not being liberal enough in his outreach to voters. Kopser says his way is the only way to win in November.
"Trying to think that we can include independents and Republicans in what we're trying to do but I believe that being inclusive in not only ideology but in terms of party is how we move forward as a party," said Kopser.
The outlier in the group is Mary Wilson. She raised the least amount of money for the Democrats.
This district will likely go Republican in the fall but Kopser and other local Democrats are encouraged by the Democratic turnout so far.
Republican CandidatesAl M. Poteet III
Poteet is a 5th generation Texan and decorated combat helicopter pilot for his service in Vietnam. He is a former top executive with the Department of Veterans Affairs and CEO of Humana Veterans Healthcare Services. Poteet's campaign advocates for strong defense, affordable and accessible healthcare, border security, veterans and Second Amendment rights.Autry J. Pruitt
Pruitt is a former broadcaster and frequent media commentator who was named a Trump Campaign Surrogate for the 2016 election. He is the author of Planes, Steak & Water: Defending Donald J. Trump and a member of the Board of Directors of Americans for Fair Taxation. Pruitt aims to reach nontraditional Conservatives and is known for challenging major media outlets and personalities such as CNN and Stephen Colbert.Chip Roy
Roy was a former staffer to top Texas Republicans including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and Gov. Rick Perry. He is a former federal prosecutor who served as the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in Texas's Eastern District.
He used to work for Nations Banc Capital Markets and the Texas Public Policy Foundation as the Vice President of Strategy.Eric Burkhart
Burkhart worked under four administrations in Washington, D.C. and focused his efforts on immigration and terrorism. He is a former Operations Officer for the CIA who worked first-hand to combat terrorism in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He is a graduate of the Department of Justice Immigration Academy and has experience with the Port of Entries between Mexico and the U.S.Francisco "Quico" Canseco
Francisco "Quico" Canseco served as the U.S. Representative for Texas's 23rd congressional district in 2010.
In Congress, he focused his efforts on eliminating Obamacare, stopping new spending bills and fighting for tax cuts for small businesses and families.
Canseco wants to stop government expansion and rebuild the economy by balancing budgets, meeting payrolls and creating jobs.Ivan Andarza
Andarza believes in higher education and was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Board of the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation. He was appointed to the Board of Regents of the Texas State Technical College System in 2013.
Andarza practices law in Austin and has experience in bankruptcy law, federal criminal law, and immigration.Jason Isaac
Isaac won his first congressional term in 2010 and recently represented District 45 in the Texas House of Representatives in 2013. During his four terms in state office, Isaac focused on taxes, education and Second Amendment rights.
Isaac currently serves on the Texas Natural Gas Foundation Board and advocates for Texas' abundant local energy resources.Jenifer Sarver
Sarver is a small business owner from Austin who advocates for a free market economy, strong national defense and civic engagement. She worked on the senior staff for U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and served as the Executive Director of the Archer Center, a program started by former U.S. Congressman Bill Archer. Sarver was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce by the George W. Bush Administration where she worked with Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.Matt McCall
McCall is a Texan business owner who is pro-life and believes in ending illegal immigration and protecting 2nd Amendment rights. After traveling to 45 countries around the world including Russia, he realized the free markets have to improve lives. In 2004, McCall started a business which supplied surgical products to the United States Military hospitals in Europe and Asia.Mauro Garza
Garza has been a District 21 resident for 27 years and began his entrepreneurial professions by founding his own businesses. He accepted a position with the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Austin in 1991 to better serve Texans. Previously, Garza served as the Director of Grants and Contracts Management position for what is known as the Texas Biomedical Research Institute now and taught classes at the Alamo Colleges District.Peggy Wardlaw
Wardlaw is a wife, mother and small business owner who says she is running to represent regular people. She wants the government to prioritize economic opportunity, quality education, national security and affordable and quality and healthcare. If elected, Wardlaw wants to help constituents on problems with governmental agencies including the VA, IRS, USDA and Social Security Administration.Robert Stovall
Stovall began his political career running for Bexar County Tax Assessor Collector and won his primary election in 2012. He became the Vice Chair of the Republican Party of Bexar County and was elected three times as chairman until he resigned in 2017 to run for Congress. Stovall is a 7th generation Texan and business man who is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Janal Wholesale Floral Company, his family business.Ryan Krause
Krause is a Conservative who advocates for less government involvement in healthcare, protecting U.S. borders, and supporting the military. He wants to reduce the tax burden on all Americans and create social programs which empower the veteran community. Krause believes in transformational leadership which he says is changing people's intent rather than governing their actions.Samuel Temple
Temple is a native Texan who graduated from Texas Tech University with his Bachelor's degree and later completed his Master's at A&M. His area of expertise is in quantitative mathematics and his practice with statistics in multiple fields resulted in scholarly publications. Temple is currently a business professional at AT&T and he believes that his professional experience will allow him to bring a data-driven approach to politics.Susan Narvaiz
Narvaiz is the former mayor of San Marcos where she was re-elected to her third term in 2008 and previously elected to the City Council in 2002. She has served on various city-related and civic organization boards including Capital Area Council of Governments, National League of Cities and Texas Transportation Commission to name a few. Narvaiz received numerous honors such as the City of San Marcos Pioneer Award for her work as mayor, the 2016 Rogers Family Tourism Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Champion of Literacy Award by the Texas Literacy Coalition and more.William Negley
William Negley is a 7th generation Texan who joined the Central Intelligence Agency as an undercover intelligence officer and served the U.S. for seven years. While he was serving in Afghanistan, William founded a nonprofit veteran service organization, Sound Off, to connect veterans with counselors and peers. Negley considers himself a life-long Republican and he believes in limiting the power of the federal government to interfere with citizen's lives.Not included: Anthony J. White, Foster Hagen
Democratic CandidatesDerrick Crowe
Crowe has worked to fight government corruption and advocate for the working class, once gaining notoriety for willing to face arrest in a GOP protest. His past work experience includes being a former senior staffer to top Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and a small business owner before entering the nonprofit sector as a communications director for Stop Abuse for Everyone. Crowe has advocated for low and moderate-income Texans at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, served as a senior staffer for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics and led the Rethink Afghanistan project at Brave New Foundation.Elliot McFadden
McFadden wants to make an impact on improving people's lives in Central Texas with affordable housing, access to healthcare and transportation choices. He worked as the Executive Director of the Travis County Democratic Party and managed efforts to create the Travis County Healthcare District. McFadden tackled traffic congestion by founding the first car sharing service in Texas and serving as CEO of Austin B-cycle.Joseph Kopser
Kopser graduated from West Point and had a 20-year career with the Army where he was deployed to Iraq multiple times. He got his Master's in Public Administration from Harvard and now teaches ROTC cadets at the University of Texas at Austin and West Point. For his work on an app called RideScout, Kopser won the Department of Transportation's Data and Innovation Award in 2013 and named a White House Champion of Change by former President Obama.Mary Street Wilson
Wilson's goal is to help people with their problems and she does this as a math teacher and as a minister. She believes listening to one another will help the government find solutions to the needs of our district and country. Wilson's key issues are maternal mortality, healthcare for all, the public education system, racism and gun deaths.
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