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Politics

Nine Republicans Vie To Succeed Retiring Congressman Ted Poe

Poe has represented Texas’ 2nd Congressional District since 2005. He announced his retirement in November.

Allison Shelley
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 14, 2016.

The race to fill retiring Congressman Ted Poe's seat has begun. Nine candidates are jockeying for the Republican nomination in Texas' Second Congressional District. That increases the chances the primary contest will go to a runoff.

The leading contenders include first-term State Representative Kevin Roberts, prolific GOP fundraiser Kathaleen Wall, and healthcare executive David Balat.

"Primary races that are this crowded, a lot of times it's going to come down to candidate fundamentals," says Republican political consultant Joe Brettell. "Do you know your district? Are you raising money? Are you making the phone calls? Can you run an effective campaign that brings your people out to vote?"

Congressional District 2’s boundaries stretch from West University to Memorial Park, then snake north and east to Spring and Humble. It's been a safe Republican seat for years. But University of Saint Thomas political scientist Jon Taylor says that may not hold much longer.

"Somebody wins in 2018, 2020 let's say they can win reelection, and then we go into 2021 and the Legislature's going to meet again, and this district may very well be radically revised due to redistricting," says Taylor.

There are also five Democrats seeking their party's nod in 2018. The front runner is nonprofit executive Todd Litton, who outraised Ted Poe before the congressman announced his retirement.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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