The race to replace retiring U.S. Congressman Bill Flores (R–Bryan) got a lot more interesting on Tuesday, with the entrance of rocket scientist George Hindman.

A Pflugerville resident and an aerospace engineer and business owner by trade, Hindman says he believes his background uniquely qualifies him to represent Congressional District 17, a central Texas district that encompasses Waco and the Bryan-College Station area, with a portion dipping down into Travis County and Austin.

“As a committed conservative Republican who wants our nation on the right path, I can’t watch from the sidelines while our liberties and values are under attack,” Hindman said in a release on Tuesday. “It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to fix our national problems. But Washington D.C. is so broken, a rocket scientist might be what we need.”

“Not only am I an aerospace engineer and pilot who has taught astronauts, I’m a successful inventor and entrepreneur. Most importantly, I’m a Christian conservative husband and father who is genuinely concerned with the direction of our nation. Let’s defend our country’s bedrock principles and stand strong for our conservative Republican values,” he added.

Other challengers in the race include former Marine Trent Sutton and former Congressman Pete Sessions of Dallas.

Sessions previously represented a north Texas district until he was unseated by Democrat Collin Allred in 2018. He made his announcement earlier this month in Waco amidst accusations of carpetbagging, a criticism stemming from the fact that his residence is in Florida.

Even Flores weighed in and rebuked his former colleague, saying his constituents “would prefer someone who currently lives, works, and serves in our communities.”

The primary election will take place on March 3, 2020.

A previous version of this article stated there were two announced Republican candidates for the seat. In fact there are three: George Hindman, Pete Sessions, and Trent Sutton.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens