In a crowded GOP primary race in Houston, two Republicans have emerged as the most serious congressional contenders trying to unseat Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, the incumbent Democrat, in the fall.
The leading candidates, veteran Wesley Hunt and Cindy Siegel, a former Bellaire Mayor, have raised the most money and netted a number of endorsements that could translate to a sizable turnout by election night on March 3.
Of the two, Hunt appears to be leading in the money race, having raised$1.8 million dollars. He has bought TV ads throughout the district and establishment Republicans have lined up to support him, including endorsements from Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.
Hunt has the backing of the Washington D.C.- based National Republican Congressional Committee.
The more conservative Siegel seems poised for a strong performance in the race. Before resigning as a leader of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County to run for Congress, she served six years on the Bellaire City Council and then as the city’s mayor between 2004 and 2012. Her close proximity to local politics has earned her a number of endorsements from Houston area Republican officials.
On border security, Siegel and Hunt support President Trump’s border wall.
Siegel has slammed Hunt for his self-confessed 2008 vote in the Democratic primary– a vote Hunt claims was part of a campaign to enlist Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton in that year’s primary in order to prolong the contest.
On Monday, Siegel came out with a new digital ad attacking Hunt for his employment at Perry Homes, a major Texas homebuilder. The ad accuses Perry Homes of accelerating flooding in the Houston area because of its development work in the region. “With Perry Homes pulling Wesley Hunt’s strings you too will be ignored,” the ad says. “We need a representative that will fight for Houston —not developers and not Perry Homes.”
There’s no public polling in the primary race, but given the number of candidates, there’s a strong possibility it will head to a runoff between the top two Republican vote getters.
Photo: Cindy Siegel Campaign Website
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com