Though the Republican Primary in Texas Congressional District 21, which encompasses parts of Travis County and a good chunk of the Hill Country, began with a jaw-dropping total of 18 candidates, there are now only two: Chip Roy and Matt McCall.
Both candidates have strong conservative credentials.
Roy has a strong record of working in conservative politics, most recently for the Texas Public Policy Foundation as the organization’s Vice President of Strategy. Roy has also served the First Assistant Attorney General under Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and Chief of Staff to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Known for being an aggressive and principled policy warrior, Roy helped lead the fight in Washington to oppose Obamacare, a cause that is personal to him as a cancer survivor. Roy has also helped the fight against amnesty, and to halt infringements on the Second Amendment. He has been endorsed in the race by Cruz, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Right to Life, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R–TX), Club for Growth, talk radio host Mark Levin, and a number of other conservative individuals and organizations.
McCall, meanwhile, is a known local commodity after waging two previous campaigns against Congressman Lamar Smith (R–TX), whose decision to forego a re-election campaign opened up the seat. In both campaigns McCall finished a distant second to Smith, but did crisscross the district speaking to groups, knocking on doors, and campaigning aggressively.
A small businessman, McCall owns and operates a human tissue bank that distributes biological medical products primarily to U.S. military hospitals overseas. McCall has been endorsed by the Fredericksburg Tea Party and, after making the run-off, a number of members of the San Antonio business community including billionaire business magnate Red McCombs.
But to quote the movie Highlander, ”in the end there can be only one,” and such is the case with the Republican nomination. Voters are set to choose between Roy and McCall in the runoff election on May 22nd.
Speaking to a crowd of conservative voters in the Hill Country town of Kerrville, each candidate spoke of their stances on issues including ending illegal immigration, defending the right to life, and shrinking the size of government. Both candidates said they supported building the wall and opposed amnesty for DACA recipients.
First question is for @VoteMattMcCall and concerns immigration. McCall says “Immigration is a broken system because liberalism tells us things don’t matter and I think citizenship matters…I am completely against any path to citizenship and any amnesty.”#TX2018 pic.twitter.com/co8bT7L6GG
— Cary Cheshire (@CaryCheshireTX) April 17, 2018
“Very small amount of people in DC to hold the line,” said @ChipRoyTX on why our immigration problem is still not fixed. Adds, “I don’t disagree with @VoteMattMcCall, nor do I disagree with any winning Republican that has ever campaigned ever. It’s just not getting done.” #TX2018 pic.twitter.com/ncCogkIwCt
— Zachary D. Maxwell (@ZachMaxwell_TX) April 17, 2018
Such was the case on most issues. Indeed, while their resumes are quite different the only real distinction between them that came up was the difference of residency.
Though the lines of Congressional District 21 have changed multiple times over the past couple of years, McCall currently lives in the district and Roy does not.
Addressing that criticism, Roy said, “Squiggly lines made by politicians move, but principles don’t. I work in the district, my kids go to school in the district, I spend my life in the district and I’ll fight for it in Washington.”
Though CD 21 has largely been considered a safe Republican seat, Democrats are making gains in the district and have a runoff of their own to tackle before the November general election.
A full video of the debate can be viewed here courtesy of Fredericksburg Tea Party which live streamed the event on their Facebook page and co-hosted the event with the Kerr County GOP.