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A testament to the American dream, few candidates in the race to succeed retiring West Texas Congressman Mike Conaway can inspire and motivate like Midland native Brandon Batch.

The youngest contender in the 10-way Republican primary, the 30-year-old energetic candidate’s platform message and personal history resonate with voters across the district, with polls placing the candidate in the top tier of the pack.

Born in Odessa and raised in Midland, Batch’s story is not only one of humble beginnings but is proof that with self-determination and a strong community, we can all achieve great accomplishments.

After graduating from Texas Tech with his bachelor’s degree, Batch hit the road to the nation’s capital with a full car and only $500 to his name, setting out to find out how Congress actually worked.

In Washington, Batch began working as a legislative staffer for U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), rising in ranks over nearly six years to become the congressman’s senior policy advisor.

“I was involved in helping advise the congressman on issues pertaining to energy, homeland security, trade, foreign policy, and defense,” Batch said. “I would draft the legislation the congressman would introduce and work tirelessly behind the scenes to move his legislative priorities through the process.”

As part of his foreign policy advisory capacity, Batch would also travel the world on the congressman’s behalf in order to advance U.S. policy interests.

“I have seen firsthand how Congress works on an intimate level and have also seen why Congress is no longer operating on behalf of the American people today,” Batch said.

After leaving D.C., Batch returned to Texas, where he helped start a successful, award-winning Austin restaurant called “Bird Bird Biscuit.” He eventually returned home to Midland, where he now works in business management for an oil and gas company.

“When I was growing up, West Texas rallied around my family in our time of need,” Batch said, speaking on what motivated him to run for office. “I decided to run in order to show people what their investment in me has meant—even if it is just being a name on the ballot—and give back. Further, I hope to be an example to others and to show people how alive the American dream is in this country if you are willing to work for it.”

Batch told Texas Scorecard how his generation’s infatuation with socialism is unacceptable. Should he be elected, his first priorities in office will be to work against the radical and destructive agenda and to ensure the American ideals and values that have made the nation great are protected for generations to come.

Asked about his top issues, Batch said there is no shortage of topics important to him and the people of the district, but he began by highlighting education.

“I will work to restore the power to the states and parents to make the best educational choices for their children and get the federal government out of the education business, where it has obviously failed,” he said. “We must also hold our universities and colleges accountable and remove political bias from the curriculum.”

Batch said he also wants to stop regulations coming from unelected bureaucrats, pointing to the “One In, Two Out” legislation he drafted as one way to help rein in bureaucracies. Batch added he wants to see the border secured, and says we are long overdue for a conversation on immigration reform.

Speaking on energy, Batch said we need to protect the vital oil and gas industry here in the Permian Basin. Lastly, Batch pointed to the $23 trillion national debt, saying we need to restore fiscal accountability in the federal government, protect Second Amendment rights, defend the unborn, and defend “the rights guaranteed to all of us by the Constitution of the United States.”

While he doesn’t object to joining the House Freedom Caucus, Batch says that since the group has decided to endorse someone else in the race, joining the group isn’t his current priority.

In his closing message to voters, he said we need to elect a “reformer” to Congress—someone who will think outside the box and deliver real, conservative results to the people of the district.

“We need someone who can inspire generations to come to put an end to the socialist agenda. We need someone with a philosophical mindset that is capable of breaking the toxic logjam in Congress to help unify this nation and get things working again. We need someone who understands how to build a consensus through relationships in order to advance policy initiatives.”

“I was not born with a silver spoon, and I understand the values we all hold dear that have made America the shining example to the world: hard work, our faith, persistence, and competition,” Batch concluded. “Democrats are not pulling any punches, and we can no longer afford to just sit back against the ropes and play defense.”

“This nation is in critical need of true leadership and stewardship. Someone who is not a politician, but a true statesman and public servant.”