Chip Roy, former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, said Wednesday that he will run for Congress to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio. Roy also has served as a first assistant Texas attorney general, senior adviser to former Gov. Rick Perry and special assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Texas.
“We can win this,” he said in a tweet Wednesday. “Now is the time to send reinforcements to Washington to unite the country through federalism.”
Roy is entering a crowded field. At least six other Republicans are running in the primary: state Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs; Eric Burkhart, a retired CIA operations officer; former U.S. Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco, R-Laredo; former San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz; attorney Ivan Andarza; and Robert Stovall, Bexar County Republican Party chairman.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, who isn’t running for re-election; and state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, ruled out runs for the seat. Jeff Judson, who challenged Straus in the 2016 Republican primary, weighed a run but decided against it.
On the Democratic side, Joseph Kopser, an Austin tech executive and Army veteran; Derrick Crowe, a former congressional staffer; Elliott McFadden, former Travis County Democratic Party executive director; and mathematician and minister Mary Wilson are running for Congressional District 21.
Smith announced early last month that he would retire from Congress after 30 years of representing the district, which includes parts of Travis and Hays counties, and stretches to San Antonio and into the Hill Country.