Several Republican candidates seeking to represent Texas’ 11th Congressional District revealed Monday that they failed to participate in the 2018 General Election, which included a hotly contested U.S. Senate race and several statewide offices.
A total of nine candidates running for CD 11 participated in a forum hosted by the Ector County Republican Party in Odessa, where the candidates were asked what seemed to be an easy question to answer: “Did you vote in the 2018 [midterm] General Election?”
One by one, the candidates spoke up, revealing that three—August Pfluger, Brandon Batch, and Jamie Berryhill—did not vote in that election. In Texas, a person’s voting history is public record, although you cannot see how someone voted.
Pfluger, who served as a combat fighter pilot in the Air Force, outright stated he did not vote, saying his efforts to remain “nonpartisan” in his military service required him to abstain from voting:
“As a member of the military who has served under four presidents … I thought it was my duty to be sent into harm’s way by either party, either president, either administration. And after serving for four administrations, I took it very seriously to remain nonpartisan, which is why I did not vote.”
Pfluger is one of four military veterans running in the Republican primary.
Casey Gray, a former Special Operations Forces veteran from Odessa who served in both the Navy and Army, firmly announced that he did vote in the 2018 election. Gray added that he voted by absentee ballot throughout his combat deployments.
Air Force veteran Wesley Virdell from Brady also firmly and succinctly stated, “Absolutely, I did,” confirming he had exercised his right to vote in the 2018 election.
Robert Tucker, a military veteran from Comanche, stated, “Yes. I’ve voted every time since I have been able to vote, and I believe it is a citizen’s duty—not only their right—to do so.”
Jamie Berryhill and Brandon Batch are the other two candidates who failed to vote in the 2018 election.
Berryhill said he has voted in every election except for that one because he was in the process of moving his homestead.
Batch said he lived in Washington D.C. at that time, working for a member of Congress, and couldn’t vote as he was traveling abroad to meet with foreign dignitaries. It is unclear if he would have been unable to vote absentee while on the official trip, but Batch also said Washington D.C. is “one of the most liberal places on planet Earth,” implying there were no desirable candidates to vote for.
Ned Luscombe, J. Ross Lacy, and J.D. Faircloth also confirmed they voted in the November 2018 election and touted consistent voting records.