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As congressional campaigns continue to heat up across Texas, a major contest is forming in what is considered by many to be the most conservative district in the nation.

Beginning in the Texas Panhandle and running southeast along the Red River to the border of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Congressional District 13 voted 79.9 percent for Donald Trump in 2016—the most heavily GOP vote of any district in the country.

Despite that, the district’s representative in Congress hasn’t exactly been the most conservative. Congressman Mac Thornberry has routinely been a lackluster-to-low performer on conservative indices such as Club for Growth, Conservative Review, and FreedomWorks.

Thornberry, however, has announced he will not seek re-election, leaving citizens with a wide option of candidates to replace him.

Perhaps the most active candidate so far is Chris Ekstrom, a businessman and activist known in the Lone Star State for championing conservative issues and icons, specifically protecting historical monuments and supporting liberty-minded candidates for political office.

Since announcing his campaign in late October, Ekstrom has already released the race’s first ad in which he highlights his support for President Donald Trump and his America First agenda.

“It’s critical that our next congressman be a relentless ally of President Trump, who won’t stop fighting to Keep America Great,” said Ekstrom. “As a conservative businessman and political outsider, I’ve had enough of Washington D.C. politicians who aren’t getting the job done.”

He’s also announced his first major endorsement, conservative Congressman and House Freedom Caucus member Mo Brooks of Alabama, who said Ekstrom is “100 percent reliable.”

“Texans, I endorse Chris Ekstrom for U.S. Congress in District 13. My friend, Chris Ekstrom, is prepared to fight for the Trump Agenda and against the socialist Democrats,” said Brooks. “We need reinforcements in Washington D.C. Fresh conservatives to fight the sham impeachment of our president. Chris Ekstrom is 100 percent reliable and will be an effective citizen servant for your convictions and values. We need Chris; send him as your conservative pro-President Trump voice. Chris Ekstrom is the right choice for Texas and District 13.”

The other Republicans currently vying for the seat are Amarillo City Councilwoman Elaine Hays, BNSF railroad conductor Vance Snider, Monique Worthy, Texas Cattle Feeders Association industry affairs director Josh Winegarner, and nonprofit worker Kevin McInturff. Each of them is expected to run a serious campaign.

Rumors also persist that Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, Trump’s White House physician, could enter the race. Sources say he is courting establishment donors and organizations in Washington to support him in a potential bid, but thus far, those rumors have yet to bear any firm, public evidence.

Texans for Fiscal Responsibility has made no endorsement in the race at this time. Candidates seeking an endorsement and citizens interested in a list of our current endorsements can find that information here.

As mentioned previously, Texas’ 13th Congressional District is a solidly Republican district, encompassing most of the Texas Panhandle and areas east along the Red River. The district includes Archer, Armstrong, Baylor, Briscoe, Carson, Childress, Clay, Collingsworth, Cooke, Cottle, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Dickens, Donley, Foard, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hardeman, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Jack, King, Knox, Lipscomb, Montague, Moore, Motley, Ochiltree, Oldham, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, Wheeler, Wichita, and Wilbarger counties. Parts of Floyd and Wise counties also are included in the district.