The race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is continuing to build, as two prominent Republicans from Lubbock said they will be running on Tuesday.
Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson and Former Texas Tech Vice Chancellor Jodey Arrington both said on Tuesday that they intend to run for the seat that will be vacated at the end of Rep. Randy Neugebauer’s term November 2016.
Both candidates set the dates of when they will have a formal announcement event.
Arrington said he will announce his candidacy at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture. Robertson said he will file his paperwork and host a campaign kick-off on Monday, Oct. 26.
Arrington previously served as an advisor to George W. Bush during both his time as the governor of Texas and as U.S. president. After that he was the Texas Tech System’s chief of staff and then became the vice chancellor for research and commercialization.
He said in a news release that his solid background shows that he’s both an innovative leader and a job creator.
“His West Texas work ethic and his commitment to family and conservative principles will be the focus of his campaign to limit the size and scope of federal government, ensure stronger border and national security measures, and to enact policies that empower families and small businesses,” it states.
Robertson was first elected to a two-year term as Lubbock’s mayor in May 2012, defeating two-term Mayor Tom Martin. He was then re-elected in 2014. He also sat on the Cooper and Southland ISD school boards, the Garza County Tax Appraisal Board, the Ransom Canyon City Council and Lubbock’s Zoning Board of Adjustments.
He said his experience gives him a unique level of expertise and experience.
Robertson’s main priorities are “food, fiber and fuel,” which he said are the keys to West Texas.
“We need to talk about our crop producers, our livestock producers and energy, and I mean oil, gas, wind, solar that we have out here in West Texas,” he said. “I think what’s critical is to elect someone that will remember it’s their job to represent District 19.”
Arrington and Robertson became the seventh and eighth hopeful to come forward to announce their candidacy.
Lubbock banker and Realtor Greg Garrett entered the race Friday, saying he’s a Bible-believing true conservative who wanted to announce early.
Col. Michael Bob Starr, commander of the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base near Abilene, announced last week his retirement and plans to run for the seat.
Donald May, who has run for the seat as recently as 2014 and was the first place delegate for the Texas 19th Congressional District to both the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota and the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, told A-J Media he intends to run again.
Former Lubbock television weather anchor Kelly Plasker and Ezekiel Barron of Hart both announced on Facebook they plan to run for the seat. Barron is the only Democrat thus far.
Mitch Hickman, a business owner in Snyder, also informed A-J Media he’s gearing up for a campaign.
The 19th Congressional District includes 29 counties and the cities of Lubbock, Abilene and Big Spring. The first day for candidates to file for a spot on the primary ballot is November 14.
Neugebauer announced in mid-September that he will not seek an eighth term.
“This was a difficult decision, but I feel this is a good time to end this season of my life and move to another,” Neugebauer said.
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