House District 29 is currently represented by Republican State Rep. Ed Thompson (R-Pearland), who decided not to run for re-election. The district encompasses half of Brazoria County.

In the May 28 runoff election, Jeffrey Barry and Alex Kamkar will compete for the open HD 29 seat.

Jeffrey Barry

Barry is the owner of Barry Insurance Group. He has served in the U.S. Navy and on the Pearland ISD Board of Trustees. He is also currently on the Pearland City Council.

According to Transparency USA, Barry’s campaign has mainly been funded by individuals, although he has received contributions from the Charles Butt Public Education PAC. As of the latest campaign report, Barry has almost $10,000 available.

Barry has received endorsements from the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters, Texas Right to Life, and Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas. He is endorsed by both incumbent State Rep. Ed Thompson and Brazoria County Sheriff Bo Stallman.

Alex Kamkar

Kamkar is a real estate developer and serves on the Pearland City Council.

According to Transparency USA, Kamkar has received most of his campaign contributions from Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC and Gov. Greg Abbott. He currently has about $80,000 cash on hand as of the latest campaign report.

Kamkar was endorsed by Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC.

The Issues

Over the past several weeks, Texas Scorecard asked all state legislative runoff candidates about issues important to voters as they head to the polls.

On the matter of Republicans electing Democrat committee chairs, neither candidate responded to the inquiry.

On border security, Barry said he supports the creation of a “Texas Border Force, securing more funding to hire more DPS officers and Border Patrol Agents, and deporting” illegal aliens. Kamkar said he would like to “Build more obstacle belts that are integrated into the natural ecosystem to deter illegal entry. Deploy troops to Central America for interdiction efforts and regional stabilization efforts. Establish a permanent joint American task force that will train, live, and interdict along the border.”

Barry said that Texas should ban foreign ownership of American land to protect national security. Kamkar did not respond to this inquiry.

Neither candidate responded to our inquiry on gambling expansion.

On the question of school choice, Barry stated that he is for the idea of school choice, but it “needs to include some accountability for private schools in return for our tax dollars.” Kamkar said that he strongly supports school choice and parental empowerment and took a jab at Barry, stating, “My opponent’s largest supporter is the liberal billionaire, Charles Butt, who is anti-school choice. My opponent is a 2x TASB delegate who is decidedly against school choice.”

With ensuring election security, Barry said he opposes mail-in ballots unless an absentee ballot is requested. He also would like to remove provisional ballots. Kamkar did not respond to this inquiry.

Barry stated that he is a strong advocate for Second Amendment rights and supports legislation that makes lawful gun purchases more accessible. Kamkar did not respond to this inquiry.

Regarding house speaker candidates, Barry said he wants a speaker that prioritizes the Republican agenda. Kamkar did not respond to this inquiry.

Election Day

The winner of the Republican runoff on May 28 will compete with Democrat Adrienne Bell in the November general election.

Early voting for the runoff begins Monday, May 20, and runs through Friday, May 24.

Amelia McKenzie

Amelia is a senior at Liberty University in Virginia. She is studying Digital Journalism and is currently a fellow with Texas Scorecard.