State Rep. Jason Isaac announces congressional run

  • Johnathan Silver
  • American-Statesman Staff
6:20 p.m Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 Local
State Rep. Jason Isaac speaks during a press conference at the Capitol on a bill related to Electro Purification. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, announced in an email to supporters Thursday that he’s running for retiring U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith’s seat in Congress.

“During my four terms in the Texas Legislature, I’ve had the honor and privilege of participating firsthand in helping make Texas the freest state in the nation — and it’s time to take those values and experience to Washington,” Isaac said in the message. “A new administration promises new hope for constraining the growth of the federal government, but it can’t be done without principled conservative leadership in Congress.”

Retiring Lamar Smith ‘confident’ another Republican will fill his seat

Another Republican, Eric Burkhart, a retired CIA operations officer has announced that he’s running for the nomination, according to the Hill Country Community Journal in Kerrville. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, and state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, ruled out runs for the seat. Jeff Judson, who challenged Straus in the 2016 Republican primary, said he’s weighing a run.

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.

Isaac doesn’t live in the district but he told the American-Statesman that his House district overlaps with the congressional district.

Smith, a San Antonio Republican, announced last week that he would retire from Congress after 30 years of representing District 21, which includes parts of Travis and Hays counties, and stretches to San Antonio and into the Hill Country.