With less than a week before early voting begins in the March 3 Republican primary, the race to succeed Mike Conaway in Texas’ 11th Congressional District is drawing nationwide attention and multiple endorsements from national figures.
The first such endorsement to roll out this month came from several members of the Freedom Caucus and the “Freedom Fund,” a political action committee that serves as the official endorsement and support arm of the entire caucus.
U.S. Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordon joined the Freedom Fund in endorsing candidate Jamie Berryhill of Odessa—while Freedom Caucus member U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) personally issued an endorsement for another candidate, J. Ross Lacy of Midland.
Meadows and Jordan are staunch allies of President Trump and led his defense in the House against Democrat impeachment efforts.
In the video endorsement, Gohmert praises Lacy and his family, detailing how he wants to work with Lacy in Congress.
“I see so many people … run for the right reasons. They’re good people. Then they get here to Washington, and they hear from the Republican leaders that say, ‘Look, we are going to get around to what you promised [your constituents], but you’ve got to be a team player,'” Gohmert said. “Then they go off and work on goals that were not what our team promised our voters. J. Ross is not going to do that.”
Berryhill, meanwhile, touted the support from the Freedom Caucus.
“I am eager to join champion conservatives like Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan in the fight of our lives for your constitutional liberties,” he said.
President Donald Trump unexpectedly interjected Tuesday afternoon, following the Freedom Caucus endorsements. However, he chose another candidate: August Pfluger of San Angelo. Trump’s move sets up an unusual conflict between seemingly strong Washington allies, which has garnered attention among political spectators across the state.
Pfluger remarked on the endorsement to Texas Scorecard:
“I am humbled by the president’s endorsement, and I am glad the president sees someone who will be a fighter. And I will be a fighter for our conservative values and for the people of this district.”
Pfluger, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve, also has the support of U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX).
With an extensive field of candidates, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility has not issued an endorsement in the race.
Early voting in the March 3 primary election begins Tuesday of next week.