Of the Republicans appearing on the primary ballot, Wesley Hunt and Mark Ramsey have the most name recognition and have raised the most campaign funds, but Hunt’s whopping $1.6 million haul places him amongst the top congressional candidate fundraisers in the state along with Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02) and Morgan Luttrell, a Republican candidate for the 8th Congressional District.
A graduate of West Point and a former Army Apache Helicopter pilot, in 2020 Hunt challenged Democrat Lizzie Fletcher for the 7th Congressional District that includes Houston’s Energy Corridor. Although Hunt lost by 10,000 votes, that year his campaign garnered national attention after his appearance on the Joe Rogan show and he is considered a rising star in the Republican Party.
Ramsey, an oil and gas engineer with a long history of Republican party activism, served on the State Republican Executive Committee for eight years representing Houston’s state Senate District 7. He’s raised just over $100,000 that includes a self-loan, but he has captured endorsements from Texas Right to Life, Texas Home School Coalition, Texas Values Action, and a slew of other grassroots conservative groups.
Elected officials endorsing Ramsey include Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller, Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian, and state representatives in the Texas Freedom Caucus Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville), Steve Toth (R-Spring), Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park), and Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg).
Hunt touts endorsements from multiple Texas and national groups and officials including Texas Alliance for Life, Americans For Prosperity Action, former Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX-02), Ambassador Nikki Haley, Crenshaw, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA-01), Senator Tim Scott (R-NC), and prominent radio talk show host Kenny Webster.
Recently Hunt also received an endorsement from the Houston Chronicle even though he declined to meet with the editorial board.
“I don’t understand why any candidate running in a Republican primary would actively seek the endorsement of the Houston Chronicle. It was not my intention to be endorsed by them, hence the unresponsiveness by my team and me,” Hunt said in a statement to The Texan.
“My focus and attention, from the very beginning of our campaign, has been on the voters of TX-38, and not on seeking endorsements from organizations like the Chronicle, which has been unfair, inequitable, and brutally dishonest about conservatives for as long as I can remember.”
The newspapers’ endorsement drew the ire of Ramsey, who released a video of his interview with them and a statement saying, “I did not receive the liberal Houston Chronicle endorsement because I support the Oil & Gas Industry and I wholly condemn government subsidies given to any industry.”
Ramsey added that the Chronicle had endorsed Hunt due to his acknowledgment of the importance of combating climate change.
In his interview with Rogan in 2020, Hunt expressed opposition to Green New Deal policies and said exploration of renewable energy sources should be left to the private sector and not imposed by the government.
Ramsey also scolded Hunt for not attending candidate forums and accused him of refusing to talk to voters. “There have been two recent candidate forums, and Hunt did not bother to show up for either one,” Ramsey told The Texan.
Other Republicans who have been able to raise funds in the race include finance and strategy consultant Roland Lopez with $19,113, teacher and baseball coach Brett Guillory with $4,078, and Spring First Church Executive Pastor David Hogan with $1,254 in cash on hand.
Other Republicans running include Phil Covarrubias, Alex Cross, Jerry Ford, Damien Mockus, and Richard Welch. Democratic primary candidates are Duncan Klussmann, Diana Martinez Alexander, and Centrell Reed.
Early voting in the Texas primary elections begins February 14, and election day is March 1.
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Holly Hansen is a reporter for The Texan living in Harris County. Her former column, “All In Perspective” ran in The Georgetown Advocate, Jarrell Star Ledger, and The Hill Country News, and she has contributed to a variety of Texas digital media outlets. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida with a degree in History, and in addition to writing about politics and policy, also writes about faith and culture.