21st Congressional District is the Heart of Texas – Here Are My Top Five Candidates!
by Sonja Harris on January 9, 2018 at 11:38 AM
Congressional District 21 sits in the middle of Texas with a population of over 800,000. It is also an area of Texas that enjoys city life, country and small town living and the beautiful Hill Country. The 21st Congressional District includes parts of Bexar, Comal, Hays and Travis counties and all of Kendall, Blanco, Gillespie, Kerr, Bandera, and Real. The people are as diverse as the rest of Texas.
Congressman Lamar Smith has held this seat since 1987 and will be retiring in 2018. There are 18 Republican hopefuls vying to take Smith’s seat but none will ever be able to truly replace him. They each believe that they can make a difference. Congressional District 21 constituents are going to have to do some critical thinking soon, because only one will prevail in the General Election. He or she must reflect our conservative values and be able to voice our concerns in Congress.
Each of the five contenders that I interviewed face to face would like to reduce the size of government, grow the economy, and get government out of education and healthcare. And of course, all claim to be prolife and stand for traditional marriage. Some of the answers were rote as expected, such as we should expect a primary run-off. I urge everyone voting in CD21 to take time to comb through the information provided here and take a look at their websites. Look at their voting records and attend at least two or more CD21 candidate forums. Listen carefully to what they have to say and ask questions.
CD21 is a seriously RED district and it is critical that we remain RED for the sake of Texas for the sake of our country. We definitely need to find someone who will listen, understand the issues that face our district, Texas and our country. Without proper representation our voices will be muted. It is so important that you vote intelligently.
Understand that I am NOT endorsing any candidate, but merely introducing a few who have proven themselves in the past by representing constituents, by volunteering their time and treasure in some capacity in their community or having a work background in Republican groups. Quico Canseco, Jason Isaac, Susan Navariz, Chip Roy, and Robert Stovall each have a history that should be known and scrutinized.
Significant traits that we should look for are integrity, patience, openness, and the ability to communicate and connect with the diverse population. Look for strong social and family values and a temperament suitable to articulate to the constituency and to congress. Most importantly look for someone that can get results.
I will be writing another article, Part II, listing the other candidates. Again I want to emphasize that I am not endorsing, merely providing information to help you decide who receives your vote in the March 6 Primary Election. All of the candidates that I interviewed were presented with the same questions and then each was asked customized questions to fit their particular circumstance. They are listed below in alphabetical order.
FRANCISCO ‘QUICO’ CANSECO
My Interview with Quico Canseco was in Bulverde at the Antler Café. He and his wife reside in San Antonio, at the edge of district 21. He is a polished politician and a businessman and has represented Congressional District 23 in the past. He supports President Trump 100%. “What he says, no. What he does, yes.” Canseco is an advocate for School Choice and is strong on immigration. He belongs to St Matthews Catholic church and is a solid social conservative. Canseco beat Democrat Ciro Rodriguez in 2010, lost to Pete Gallego in 2012 and in 2014 he lost the primary to Will Hurd, the current rep.
I asked him, Why didn’t you run for CD23? His answer was, “because it became very apparent that I was too conservative for that district. That’s why I lost to Will Hurd in 2014. It’s a district that titter totters. It is a district that wants open borders. It is a district that sort of likes some of the things that Obama was doing. And it is very difficult to dance around those things so I did not dance around those issues.
I also questioned him as to his preference of the 21st Congressional District.
Why did you say you were going to run against Joaquin Castro in CD20 and then change your mind?
It wasn’t a question of changing my mind it was a question that I was exploring 20. I realized that there are as many as 40% Republicans that are crying out for someone to champion them. But the rest is impossible so I was not going to beat my head over a brick wall. And Lamar comes out and says he is not running, so I say I can still do good for the people of 20 and 21.
He believes that as the representative he should be the servant of the people and vote the values of the district and plans to meet with the people of the district.
I also asked him about his vote in the bailout while he was representing District 23.
How do you answer your critics on fiscal responsibility when you voted for the bailout, The Budget Control Act of 2011?
It’s a very simple thing, it was one of those deals where we had three votes and I was NO for the first two. For each one of those I had between 6,000, 11,000 to 12,000 people on the phone a conference call and we discussed this. On the last vote the pressure was this:
The Constitution says we Congress has to pay the debts of the nation, it’s a Constitutional thing.
If we have to raise the debt ceiling make sure that we get for every dollar that we raise it we cut $1.10. At the same time that we get the vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment so Tim Scott and I and several others went to the speaker (John Boehner) and we got that and that is why I voted for it.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 brought a conclusion to the United States debt-ceiling crisis of 2011, which was widely believed, would have led the United States into sovereign default on or around August 3, 2011.
Because Canseco has served as a representative for CD23, there is a record of his votes that you should review. Some of the bills he has co-sponsored include Repealing the Health Care Bill, Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution and the DC Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Some of his Ratings were excellent:
2012 National Association of Manufacturers - Positions of 112th Congress 95%
2011 -2012 National Right to Life Committee 100%
2011 -2012 Concerned Women for America – Positions 93%
My interview with Texas Representative District 45, Jason Isaac took place in New Braunfels at Krause’s Café. House District 45 has a population of about 167,000 and sits in Hays and Blanco Counties. He resides with his wife and family just outside CD21 in Dripping Springs and is a member of Westover Hills Church of Christ in Austin. He is a social conservative. He supports President Trump without hesitation and thinks his Tweets are weapons of mass distraction. He definitely has a sense of humor.
Isaac has co-sponsored several bills which include, Requires Additional Reporting for Abortions Performed on Minors, Prohibits Vaccination of New Foster Children, Authorizes Open Carry of Handguns and Authorizes Medical Use of Cannabis (Senate). Because he is presently the Representative of district 45 his voting records and ratings can be seen at https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/116946/jason-isaac#.WlEMIP1y6Ul
I did question him on his Marijuana stance since he has a 100% rating on Marijuana. My question was, “You co-sponsored two Texas Bills HB2107 and HB81 regarding Marijuana have you thought of safe guards in regards of misusing marijuana?
Yes, HB2107 was an expansion of the Texas Compassionate use program or Texas Compassionate Use Act that was passed by Representative Klick in 2015 and it’s an expansion of the Compassionate Use act which is called for in our Republican Party platform, it’s one of the items in Party Platform.
I have called for an expansion for kids that have autism to allow veterans who have PTSD to use the oil absolutely not smoking it, absolutely not growing their own. I in no way support legalization of marijuana whatsoever for smoking or for growing their own. I do not support recreational marijuana. So this HB2107 just expanded the use of the Texas Compassionate Use Act.
HB81 has been proposed over a couple of legislative cycles now and in 2015 I was asked to joint author the bill. It was a decimalization bill meaning if you were caught with a small amount of marijuana you would be branded as a criminal in the state of Texas.
I was asked in 2015 to sign on to this bill and I wouldn’t do it because I hadn’t talked to my constituents about it. So for two years I went around the district that I serve and brought this up intentionally to find out where my constituents were on it. I talked to law enforcement they would say privately that they absolutely would support it because they have people clogging up our criminal justice system making a stupid mistake of carrying a little bit of marijuana and yes it should be illegal and they should be fined $250.00 to $500.00 but they should not be branded a criminal. It should be a misdemeanor that is on their record and you will be able to see that, but keeping them from getting a job hurts Texas it hurts Texans especially the people we have subsidized for all their public education. We have spent so much money on in the state almost half of our budget. So HB81, again after visiting with my constituents that I serve overwhelming supported our efforts and our law enforcement telling me privately that they support efforts to reduce the penalties not legalize it. I absolutely do not support legalization of marijuana recreational drugs.
If you are elected to congress will you co-sponsor a similar bill?
I will work for efforts to make our government more efficient SO IF there is a measure that changes the classification from a medical standpoint because right now our federal laws will not even allow agencies or institutions of higher education to research any sort of medical benefits of marijuana so the studies are coming out of Israel and overseas. Shouldn’t we at least be able to study because I will not admit that God made a mistake by putting that plant on this earth?
Yes, but God also put tobacco and barley that is used for beer here on earth too.
True and we chemically changed it. I will look for ways to relieve burdens on our criminal justice system so we can actually go after true criminals, violent criminals that are hurting Americans and hurting Texans. if there is a way to change the classification of this type of drug so that parents that are treating their children that have autism or epilepsy with oil should not be punished and have their kids taken away from them.
I met with Susan Narvaiz in New Braunfels at Casa Garcia’s. As usual, she was smiling and did not complain about the cold weather, a reflection of her positive disposition. She is married and lives in New Braunfels in CD21. She served as the mayor of San Marcos from June 2004 to November 2010. She and her husband attend Hill Country Church where she is a frequent volunteer. She is a strong social conservative. She has run tirelessly working to defeat progressive Lloyd Doggett in 2012, 2014, and 2016, each time being the Republican nominee. As the nominee she was endorsed by Texas Right to Life, Texas Alliance for Life and Maggie’s List just to name a few. She not only supports President Trump but she spoke at a Trump campaign rally in Austin on August 23rd, 2016. She runs her own business Core Strategies, Inc.
I did have some questions for her.
If you are the nominee, how do you plan on raising the money to compete with the Democratic Party?
Well I will work very hard with my donors, my past supporters and everyone that I can reach in CD21 and just tell them that our cause is to keep a conservative voice for District 21 in order to represent us. And we know that that will not be someone from the Democrat Party. Working hard, putting my own money matching that with donors. I have done that in the past. I raised money to try and unseat Lloyd Doggett and that was a tough job, so if I can do it there I believe that I will be able to do it here.
Also how important do you think CD21 is to all of Texas?
Well it’s huge, if you think about the military strength in this district, the wealth of businesses in this district, the educational facilities in this district all of that makes a state stronger and makes a nation stronger. And you know Texas is the best state in the Nation. Susan loves Texas!!
My interview with Chip Roy took place at Starbucks in Bulverde. I was extremely curious about him as I didn’t really know who he was other than he had been in Senator Ted Cruz’s office. He and his family reside in Dripping Springs in Hays County and do not live in district 21. He has a long list of previous employers which include the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Texas. He has worked as Senior Adviser for both Senator John Cornyn and Governor Rick Perry. He is also credited in helping to author Perry’s book ‘Fed Up’. He was Senator Cruz’ Chief of Staff when Senator Cruz was first elected in 2013 and left after he felt he had accomplished what he had gone to do. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hired Roy to be his first assistant in January, 2015. Roy resigned that position March 6, 2016 after only 14 months to run Cruz’ SuperPac. After this he went to work for TPPF, Texas Public Policy Foundation, as the 10th Amendment Director in September, 2016. He has no voting record so we must pay attention to his contributions to his employers.
He and his family attend High Park Baptist in Hays County and is a social conservative. Roy is a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and tells me he has a new sense of purpose after being found cancer free after only about 55 days of treatment. He also mentioned that Congress needs support to create a nucleus of power.
I asked Roy what he thought about CD21 and his answer was, “Congressional District 21 is the Heart of the state of Texas and representative, I think, as a whole in that it is both rural and urban it is big city and small town has every size city and in between. I grew up on a farm. I grew up in a small town world. CD21 is Texas in a box.”
Why did you leave Ted Cruz office?
Sure, I‘d been there for two years and I’d been traveling back and forth. My family was in Texas and I did not want to move them back to DC.
Senator Cruz was gearing up at that point looking ahead to possibly run for president. That wasn’t where the Lord was calling me at that point to go and be a part of the presidential. I done I think what I was called to do which was to help him set up and get operating in DC. Fight the right fights that needed to be fought.
So I decided to come to back to Texas. But then I wasn’t finished. Because after a year and a half in the attorney general’s office helping Ken Paxton to defend Texas in the courts and sue federal government against the president’s illegal immigration amnesty as well as defending the abortion laws of Texas women’s health bill.
I left AG’s office to go help Senator Cruz with his SUPERPAC
Almost Two years ago this spring he (Cruz) only lasted a few months before obviously he felt short in May 2016
I jumped on board to work at the public policy foundation. I loved working for Senator Cruz. I’m proud to have his endorsement now.
When did you work for Ken Paxton and why did you leave?
I was helping him (Paxton) in his campaign behind the scenes on my free time while I was working for Senator Cruz to help get him get elected. So I was talking to him about helping him how to staff up so we had a good conversation and I left to go work for him.
I worked for him about 15 to 16 months before I left to work for the Cruz SUPERPAC to try to pull those together in the eve of the presidential.
I have known him (Paxton) a long time. He was my state representative while I was a prosecutor in McKinney.
Are you getting an endorsement from Ken Paxton?
I don’t know. A lot of the Texas statewides don’t necessarily get involved in the federal races.
I don’t know if he will get involved in this one or not. He is a friend. I have known him for a long time. I am proud to have Senator Cruz’ endorsement...and there might be another endorsement coming out soon but I can’t say what that looks like right now.
Will you be getting money out of state?
I will be looking to get money from Conservatives across Texas and around the country who want to see the country go in the right direction. I have already got a lot of contributions in Texas and out, more in Texas than out so far. But I believe in getting contributions from good solid conservatives who want to see a good conservative in Congress.
Federal dollars are capped as you know to raise not more than $2,700 per person so you got to cast far and wide to raise the dollars to run in a crowded field like this one.
Getting a lot of Texas support right now.
The last interview was with Robert Stovall the former Bexar County Republican Party Chairman. We met at Antler Café in Bulverde. I learned during the interview that he is a disciplined person. He gets up every morning and goes to the gym. He believes in the Rule of Law and would like to be involved in the Judiciary if elected. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and resides in CD21. He is the owner of a wholesale florist shop, Janal, and has customers throughout the district in the Hill Country.
He is a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church and is definitely a social conservative. He not only contributes time and treasure to different groups but sits on the Alexandra House board and South San Education foundation. He is an advocate for School Choice. He is a strong President Trump supporter and was an alternate to the National Convention in 2015. He believes that President Trump is, “Absolutely the best thing since Ronald Reagan.”
It was an interesting discussion with Stovall since he has come under scrutiny in Bexar County in handling a meeting. Considering that CD21 is such a serious race, I thought it wise to let him explain his side.
The meeting that was held to sanction the Speaker of the House did you follow the Rules of the Republican Party/Roberts Rules of Order?
Absolutely, if I would have allowed that, we would have broken our By-Laws. There were By-Laws set in place. The option was that we either, we break the rules and do the deal. As Chairman of the Republican Party I was not going to allow that.
You didn’t show any favoritism? You stood your ground?
I do not show favoritism. I am there for all of our elected officials. All the candidates and that is my job as chairman. So to break the rules of our Bexar County Republican Party or our By-Laws I will not allow that I won’t do it. So there was a process for the people that wanted to do this (censure) was allowed and they did not follow it. They did not follow through. They were warned the day before, they were called the day before by our secretary to reformat the censure and we would have presented it at the meeting. But they refused to do it. Therefore when they came to the meeting, I couldn’t allow it to be brought up otherwise I would have broken the By-Laws. That is as simple as it is.
I also told them that they could redo it in January at the next CBC meeting. All they had to do was resubmit it to the Resolutions Committee and in January they could bring them up. But they just did not want to. They wanted me to break the By-Laws in order to have their censure vote period. That’s it!
Do you believe that you did your best to unite the Republican Party in Bexar County?
I do, I did. We grew the party at the Republican Headquarters over and over. I realize we have active people and they may not have liked that but I continually reached out and worked to grow the party. You saw that, after 2014 where we had a great victory year. And then when we had the primary of 2016 we doubled the amount. We usually have 76,000 to 77,000 primary voters turn out. We had 132,000. The fact that the Republican Party needs to grow to elect more officials’ county wide was my job. And I thought that our Hispanic outreach, our Southside on the rise, speaking Spanish on the TVs and radio stations and trying to grow the party was what we needed to grow and unite the party. And I think that’s the message and that was my job as chairman. That’s what I was asked to do.
As past party chairman of Bexar County what did you see as the biggest obstacle in having more Republicans elected to office?
Well you know it’s hard to find candidates and qualified candidates. I mean the biggest thing on growing the party is finding good qualified candidates and the ones that came in were very good. But we still had a lot of open spots that I wish we could have found some good people. But I think when I look back on it, and it’s unfortunate, that so much of my time was spent raising money for the party and keeping the doors open, so that we could be a resource for all those candidates. Remember the more candidates we elect and we did under my term. We had more Republicans in the court house than ever, Sonja, ever, ok. When you have more candidates, you need more resources, you need more people. So my thing was I wish I had not have had to spent so much time sitting there planning event after event and encouraging people to come and having to go out and get donations from people, because I would rather be out there promoting the party doing the PR on it and all that kind of stuff. I think we did a very good job. I think I left the party in great shape. I want to make a point about that.
When I walked in there under the previous administration, we had $2,000 in the bank. We had two employees that were owed back pay for several months. So we were in the negative. When I left we grew the headquarters to over three times what it was and I left $43,000 in the bank. So I get stuff done. I know how to do it. I focus on it, and this is what I really believe what I can do for the CD21.
I have worked diligently to bring the voters of Congressional District 21 a peek into the minds of five hopeful candidates. It is up to you to be an informed voter to ask these candidates questions when attending the candidate forums. Don’t go blindly into the ballot box.
VOTE SMART! VOTE PROLIFE!
THE RED REPORT®
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