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From the West Texas city of Midland, congressional candidate J. Ross Lacy has a professional and political background reflective of the iconic Republican stronghold energy epicenter he calls home.

Lacy is one of 10 candidates vying for the Republican Party nomination to succeed retiring Congressman Mike Conaway (R–Midland), who surprised citizens when he announced last year that he would not be seeking re-election.

The district is comprised either entirely or in part of 29 counties, sprawling hundreds of miles across Texas from the New Mexico border of Andrews County on the western side, Hood County on the northeastern edge, and Llano on the south. The four largest cities in the district include Odessa, Midland, San Angelo, and Granbury.

Lacy comes into the race with a professional background in oil and gas. An energy industry entrepreneur, he currently works as the president of Lacy Oil Corp, and is the proprietor of CATI Well Service. Lacy outlined the importance of having someone from the oil and gas industry representing the district, and how his professional experience in the energy sector sets him apart from the other candidates.

“I am the only candidate with real oil and gas experience,” Lacy stated.

Lacy obtained a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and has a long record of both public service and civic engagement.

Some of Lacy’s lengthy volunteer civic record begins with his involvement in the Texas Young Republicans Federation, and also served as a precinct chair in the local Republican Party and as an election judge. In particular, Lacy is planning on attending his fifth Republican Party of Texas State Convention as a delegate, a place where activists across the district have come to recognize him from presiding as caucus chair on numerous occasions.

“I am proud of my civic involvement as a true grassroots activist.”

In addition to his political involvement, Lacy also has a record of public service, having been elected to the Midland City Council twice.

Texas Scorecard asked Lacy what some of his top priorities would be if he is elected to Congress.

“First, I want to make the Trump tax cuts permanent, for starters,” Lacy responded, pointing out that the 2017 tax cuts were only put in place for five years.

Lacy expanded further, saying, “My priority would be to serve as a true conservative voice for District 11, and to fight for freedom and liberty.”

“Also, we need someone who will actually stand shoulder to shoulder with President Trump and not be another one of these Republicans who pretends to support the president but who are actually stabbing him in the back behind the scenes.”

Six key issues are listed on Lacy’s campaign website, including the promotion of American energy independence (something President Trump has strongly advocated for), securing the border against drugs and crime, defending the Second Amendment, and a strong pro-life stance.

“I will do everything in my power to fight for those most [in need] of protection because every life is a blessing from God.”

Lacy is one of the candidates currently running who plans on joining the House Freedom Caucus if elected, and he is the only candidate running who boasts a major endorsement from a Freedom Caucus member, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert.

In addition to the congressional endorsement, Lacy carries support from three state senators, including State Sens. Donna Campbell (R–New Braunfels), Brandon Creighton (R–Conroe) and Dr. Dawn Buckingham (R–Lakeway).

Lacy also stated his campaign was pleased to announce the support of former State Rep. Tryon Lewis of Odessa and said they would soon be releasing a list of support from business and grassroots leaders across the district.

Lacy’s closing message to voters was, “I am a genuine conservative outsider. I won’t be beholden to D.C. leadership like some of the other candidates in the race—and I humbly ask for your support to serve.”

Monday was the last day to register to vote in the March 3 Primary Election. Early voting begins on February 18.