Get to know the candidates: Texas’ 27th Congressional District

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — From Nueces County in the south to Bastrop County in the north, Texas’s 27th Congressional District represents almost 740,000 residents. Amid sexual harassment allegations, incumbent GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold announced he would not be running for re-election and as a result, the seat remains vacant. Vying for Farenthold’s seat are five Democratic and six Republican candidates.Raul (Roy) Barrera (D)

In 2016 Barrera sought election to the U.S. House to represent the 27 Congressional District of Texas and lost to incumbent Blake Farenthold. While he has never held a publically elected position, Barrera raised $22,558 during his 2016 election. Barrera is a former Nueces County constable who graduated from Robstown High School outside Corpus Christi.Vanessa Edwards Foster (D)

Is the co-founder and president of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition and is originally from Corpus Christi. Foster is the first transgender person to be elected president of a National Women’s Political Caucus for Harris County. As a delegate of two Democratic national conventions, Foster served under John Kerry and Barack Obama in 2004 and 2008 respectively.Eric Holguin (D)

Holguin describes himself as a progressive who comes from a working-class Tejano family. Holguin graduated from Texas A&M – Corpus Christi and worked for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. Holguin ran for a Corpus Christi city council position but has never vied for a congressional seat.Ronnie McDonald (D)

Many know McDonald from his time as Bastrop County judge during the 2011 Bastrop Complex Wildfire. He was elected to the position at the age of 27. After college, McDonald interned under Congressman Greg Laughlin, who at that time represented what is now most of District 27. McDonald ran in 2012 to represent Texas U.S. House District 27 but was defeated by Rose Harrison.Bech Bruun (R)

Bruun is a conservative and a former chairman of the Texas Water Development Board who served during the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Bruun, originally from Corpus Christi, worked under Gov. Greg Abbott and former-Gov. Rick Perry. In January, Perry backed Bruun’s campaign for Congressional District 27. This is Bruun’s first time running for a congressional seat and so far, he leads the race in fundraising.Michael Cloud (R)

Cloud is currently a member of the State Republican Executive Committee and was endorsed by former US Rep. Ron Paul. Cloud served as County Chair of the Victoria County Republican Party for seven years, where he managed grassroots growth. After announcing his bid in October 2017, Cloud has fundraised $67,335.John Grunwald (R)

Grunwald ran for U.S. House District 27 in 2012 and lost with an outcome of 7.84 percent. Grunwald, who describes himself as a conservative republican, fundraised over $6,000 during his 2012 election. While Grunwald is a qualified IRS Enrolled agent, he is currently retired.Jerry Hall (R)

Hall is a businessman who once employed over 2,700 employees and specialized in educational conflict. While Hall has never run for a congressional seat, he has already signed and pledged to a term limit resolution. On his website, Hall describes himself as a Christian who is not driven by lobbyists.Chris Mapp (R)

Mapp is a candidate who sought election to the U.S. Senate in 2014 and was defeated by incumbent John Cornyn by 1.77 percent. Mapp, the owner of a boat and motor shop in Port O’Connor, Texas is originally from Houston and does not have a website set up yet. Mapp does not have financial data for his 2018 race, but in 2014 he raised $53,877 for his Senate seat.Eddie Gassman (R)

Gassman has been a businessman for more than 20 years. In a Facebook post, Gassman describes himself as someone who has seen families struggle. Gassman has never run for any congressional seat. Visit his Facebook page for more information.Texas primary election is March 6 and early voting is from Feb. 20 to March 2.

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