With the surprise retirement of U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R–Midland), Midland City Councilman J. Ross Lacy has told a reporter he is considering a run for the open congressional seat, despite having already filed for re-election to the office he presently holds.

Lacy filed to run for re-election on July 23, saying on his campaign Facebook page, “We still have plenty to finish.”

However, Lacy now appears willing to leave much of his work unfinished rather than stay in his current campaign, where he faces opponent Kimberly Crisp. Crisp has challenged Lacy’s record on city council on numerous issues, including his continued support for a failed “spaceport” initiative. The City of Midland spent roughly $20 million in taxpayer funds trying to foster a private space program located at the Midland Airport, with the original company that planned on providing aerospace services filing for bankruptcy.

Crisp has cited a lack of transparency and fiscal responsibility among council members as some of the key issues facing her campaign. When asked about the possibility of her opponent leaving the race for a congressional bid, Crisp stated, “It wouldn’t surprise me if he did,” and added she plans to stick around Midland.

Texas Scorecard previously reported on Lacy’s intent to propose the largest bond in Midland history two years ago. He is also a supporter of the “Priority Midland” initiative, which has paid roughly $2 million in taxpayer dollars to a consulting firm headed by retired Gen. Stanley McCrystal. McCrystal has made national news headlines for his strong anti-Trump rhetoric and gun-control advocacy.

While numerous other candidates are rumored to be eyeing Conaway’s seat, the only candidate besides Lacy to publicly express interest is Aubrey Mayberry of Odessa.

In an interview on KWEL radio early Friday morning, Mayberry commented on Lacy: “Maybe I am not qualified to run for Congress because I don’t have a record of mismanaging city funds so badly; I had to pass a $100 million bond to fix some roads.”

Mayberry, a Republican Party precinct chair in Odessa, said he is still considering the idea of running for Congress.

Lacy told a reporter this week that he is exploring his options and will make a decision on the congressional run in the next couple of days.

Matt Stringer

Matthew Stringer is from Odessa, TX and serves as a West Texas Correspondent for Texas Scorecard.