Despite a crowded field of six, Wesley Hunt handily won the Republican primary race for Texas’ 7th Congressional District with more than 61 percent of the vote on Tuesday.
Hunt, a graduate of West Point Military Academy and former Apache helicopter pilot who served in Iraq, had earned the endorsement of President Trump and dominated in fundraising with nearly $2 million raised.
Hunt also enjoyed strong endorsements from Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and locally popular radio show host Michael Berry, who played a role in catapulting Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02) to a runoff victory in 2018.
In his decisive win, Hunt defeated former Bellaire Mayor Cindy Siegel, who took second place with 27 percent, and activist and founder of The Remembrance Project Maria Espinoza, who came in third with less than 6 percent.
In a statement Tuesday night, Hunt attributed his strong showing to traditional campaign activities and personal contact with voters.
“We have incredible grassroots energy. We’ve held 55 meet and greets. We’ve knocked on over 100,000 doors and made 100,000 phone calls. That is how a political outsider who started the race completely unknown ended up with over 50 percent in a six-way race, and that is how we are going to beat Lizzie Fletcher in November.”
In the general election, Hunt will take on freshman Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-07), who has sought to strike a politically moderate tone in representing a district that includes Houston’s Energy Corridor.
Unopposed in the Democratic primary, Fletcher has raised more than $2.5 million and has been holding frequent community events.
The Hunt campaign disputes Fletcher’s moderate image and says that, “a vote for Lizzie is a vote for Bernie and the Pelosi agenda.”
“Lizzie Fletcher ran promising to provide independent leadership. She’s broken her promise. Instead, Fletcher voted to make Pelosi speaker, voted with Pelosi nearly 100 percent of the time, and she even voted for impeachment.”
Although a historically Republican district, Cook Political Report rates Texas’ 7th District as “leans Democrat” in 2020.
Rep. Fletcher defeated longtime Republican incumbent John Culberson in 2018 by a healthy five-point margin and is the first Democrat in 50 years to represent the district.
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Holly Hansen is a freelance writer 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.