A total of six candidates have now filed to join the Republican Primary race for Texas’ 11th Congressional District, according to Federal Election Commission filing records. The seat became vacant last month after Congressman Mike Conaway (R–Midland) announced his decision to retire and not seek re-election.
Midland City Councilman J. Ross Lacy was the first to file for the position. He was unopposed in the race for only a short time, however; five other candidates officially joined the race since then, and several others are rumored to join the Republican Primary race in the coming weeks.
The race will also be contested in the November 2020 General Election; one Democrat, Jon Hogg, and one Independent, Jeffery Caddy, have filed for the post to date.
Among the Republican contenders, Ross Schumann from Dime Box was among the early filers. Schumann graduated with a Master of Business Administration in 2008 from Syracuse University and served in the Texas Army National Guard as well as in the Corps of Engineers. He is married and has five children.
According to his campaign Facebook page, Schumann works in the oil industry and describes himself as a believer in constitutional conservativism.
Wesley Virdell of Brady, age 39, has also filed as a Republican in the race. Virdell served in the United States Air Force working on intercontinental ballistic missiles. Now a small business owner, Wesley is married and has three children. According to his website, Virdell says he wants to “restore a limited government and spread the message of liberty.” Passing congressional term limits, defending the Second Amendment, and balancing the budget are among some of the issues Virdell is running on.
A fourth-generation cowboy, Wacey Cody of San Angelo brings a true West Texan profession into the race. His campaign website lists extensive positions on a number of issues including agriculture, free markets, government spending, mental health, and gun rights.
“If federal representatives cannot find common ground, it is likely a state or local issue. We are not a nation of micromanagement.” Wacey’s campaign website says.
Midland-Odessa physician Dr. Richard Bartlett, a general practitioner and surgeon, is a graduate of Permian High School in Odessa and obtained his medical degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He is married and has seven children. Bartlett was appointed to the Texas Disparities Health Board by then-Gov. Rick Perry, where he advised state leaders on making improvements to the healthcare industry. Bartlett has traveled to dangerous places all over the world on medical mission trips and served as the medical expert for CBS7 news for many years.
Bartlett’s campaign website says he believes in the limited government values that inspired our nation’s Founding Fathers.
Another San Angelo resident to join the race is August Pfluger. Having served in the United States Air Force for nearly two decades, Pfluger is a decorated combat veteran who has flown missions against ISIS forces. Since then, he has worked on his family’s ranch and served as a national security advisor to President Donald Trump in the White House.
Pfluger holds a master’s degree in International Business and Policy from Georgetown University. In addition to ranching, Pfluger founded an energy investment company. He and his wife have three daughters.
With roughly three months until the filing deadline for the 2020 March primary election, there is still plenty of time for additional candidates to file. Some West Texans are rumored to be quietly testing the waters before officially joining the race.