The Quest for Congressional District 21 Part 2 – the Other 13 candidates
by Sonja Harris on January 17, 2018 at 9:49 AM
Of the thirteen remaining Republicans vying for Congressional District 21 – How many are really serious and understand the complexities of the office? In a previous article ‘21st Congressional District is the Heart of Texas – Here are my top five candidates!’, I listed the most obvious contenders, Quico Canseco, Jason Isaac, Susan Narvaiz, Chip Roy and Robert Stovall. Each one of my top five bring their experience and knowledge to a serious and conservative district. CD21 has a population of over 800,000 and is a bastion of strong family values which include traditional marriage and prolife. It is also a fast growing area that will require attention to the economy, taxation, jobs and immigration and the situation at our Texas/Mexico border.
The requirements for becoming a congressman are found in Article 1 Section 2 of our Constitution: Must be 25 years of age, must be a citizen of the US for at least seven years and a resident of the state they wish to represent. Thus, they do not have to live in the district. There are no limitations or test to run for office as we live in a free society. After listening to many of the listed candidates, I do wonder if perhaps they meant to run for state representative and not for the US Congress. Most repeated over and over again their mundane vision for CD21: Change, they will fight for us and our core values.
Because there are 18 running for this seat, it is possible that there might be someone from the following that will emerge as a viable candidate. Being knowledgeable of the issues facing our district, supporting the Republican president and the ability to raise funds needed to run a campaign to win in the general election is essential. We have enough division in DC and the winner of the Republican Primary will be our Republican nominee in the General Election. Taken from a San Antonio Express article written by Jasper Scherer, according to Matt Mackowiak, a GOP consultant, each candidate should report at least $100,000 to be credible. Whoever is our nominee should bring unity to the party in DC and not be divisive. That is not to say that each representative shouldn’t bring his/her own ideas to the party because they should.
I have had an opportunity to listen to or speak to most of these candidates in person at three candidates’ forums: Comal County’s River Chase, New Braunfels at Seekatz Opera House and one in San Antonio sponsored by the SA Republican Women. None of these candidates have a voting record and none have name identity other than in their circle of friends. Attendance at candidates’ forums is a must since the Primary Election is on March 6 and Early Voting begins in late February.
The remaining 13 are in alphabetical order.
I did meet with Ivan Andarza and he is an extremely knowledgeable immigration attorney. He graduated from Baylor Law School. He resides in Austin with his family and is a member of St. Austin. He says he is prolife and believes in traditional marriage but also thinks that same-sex partners should be able to adopt children because there are not enough couples that adopt.
Ivan Andarza did not hold the hand microphone close enough so his entire speech is not audible. Andarza at the San Antonio Candidates’ forum: I have lived in the district for over 16 years. I was born in Brownsville, Texas on the border. I went to college at UT and Baylor for law. The people of this district will always come first, not necessarily the Speaker of the House or the President.
Eric Burkhart claims to have trained and worked as a case officer (spy) with the Central Intelligence Agency serving in Iraq, the Balkans, Africa, and elsewhere. He was medically retired (1998-2010). Unfortunately, he began his campaign with a negative slant. I have heard him speak at least twice and have had a discussion with him in November 2017. Here is part of our discussion. I am the only candidate who has graduated from the Immigration Academy and worked in the border. I’m the only candidate with ANY foreign policy experience. I’m a trained counter terrorism officer with a specialization on domestic sleeper cells. I’m the only candidate who has worked in DC, with Congress. I know why it’s broken and what needs to be done to fix it. I’ve written a memoir about my sacrifice for my country, which I would gladly do again. So excuse me if I disagree that folks who have spent their lives working on local issues have more experience than me for a federal position
This statement is taken from Eric Burkhart’s Facebook page dated December 29, 2017:
In recent weeks, I’ve really focused on raising funds for my campaign, and I want to thank everyone who responded to my message. It was my hope to raise enough to support our grass-roots effort to win this election. The odds are not in our favor. My opponents regularly receive donations of thousands of dollars, from lists of contributors they have compiled over years of political activity.
I did not enter this race in July 2017 to become a rich man, or to fulfill some obsession with authority. I chose to get involved because Congress was doing nothing to support the Trump agenda and because after 31 years I felt it was more than time for my Congressman to release his grip on District 21. (Speaking of Congressman Lamar Smith)
I did speak to Mauro Garza personally and he volunteered in informing me that he belongs to the LGBT community and has an adopted child. He does not know where he stands on same-sex marriage but strongly believes that same-sex couples should be able to adopt if they have the money. He belongs to the Jewish religion.
Garza spoke at the San Antonio Candidates’ forum. He did not speak into the hand microphone so my digital recorder did not pick up most of the audio. I am always here to talk to you. For the last 15 years I have had two businesses one is a little bit of a commercial and the other more retail. Prior to that I have a Master of Science in Neurophysiology and worked in Austin for the Texas Commission of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. I worked at the Texas Research institute and was very involved in bringing about $48M to the San Antonio area in an effort with scientists budgetary not audible
FOSTER HAGEN has been a NO SHOW at the three candidates’ forums I have attended.
Ryan Krause lives in Comal County and I have heard him three times and his message is basically the same that he has strong moral values. He has yet to identify what his moral values are. He has no voting record or name identity.
KRAUSE: We need change in Washington and I am that change. I want to be that change for you. Again I want to thank you for being here to educate yourself as to who we are and what we stand for and what we believe. I have a very strong faith life; I was a business owner here in San Antonio. I moved to the valley in 2007 to be an executive pastor of a large church there. We grew from 50 on Sunday to 6,000 on Sunday morning. So I do know how to grow organizations and cultures. I also want to introduce values to our nation again. Values made this country great and values are what are going to make this country great again. So I want to raise the moral standard of our country. I am tired of watching TV and seeing that ticker tape telling us about sexual misconduct going on TV. I think we need the sanctity of marriage to be important again.
McCall has been NO SHOW at the three forums I have attended. He is ill mannered, ill-tempered and ill-suited for CD21. I know this because he ran against Congressman Lamar Smith for the last two cycles and ran on getting Smith out because he had been in office too long. He has no voting record, has not worked or volunteered in the Republican Party in a leadership position and has no comprehension of civility.
I personally spoke with William Negley at the candidates’ forum in San Antonio. He was standoffish and I was taken aback as to how poorly he treated his supposedly Regional Director. His director had contacted me to see if I could talk to Negley. There is a question about Negley’s voting record and whether or not he did vote. He comes from ‘old money’, which is from the wealthy in San Antonio and is being supported by Red McCombs who is tightly connected with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. Please understand that we can’t have the San Antonio Chamber directing policy for CD21. They have only one agenda and that is more money for San Antonio and family values are definitely not a priority. Negley’s biggest claim to fame is being a ‘Terrorist Hunter’.
NEGLEY: This state is in the greatest country in the history of the world. American exceptionalism is real but it can only endure as long as we have people willing to fight for it. You’ll hear candidates talk about liberty and about freedom and perhaps about being a conservative patriot but when I joined the CIA I didn’t do so because I wanted to run for office. I wanted to fight for this country to protect our families and secure this nation for future generations. When I started Sound Off to provide support to so many veterans suffering from Post-traumatic stress, I didn’t want to have a campaign talking point. The sufferings of veterans were deeply personal to me. And I knew I needed to do something about it. I have fought for this country, I have fought for veterans and I will fight for you.
Al M. Poteet said that his family settled Poteet, Texas. I did hear him speak in San Antonio and has a gruff way of speaking. He is prepared to fight for us as our CD21 representative. I went to his website to find out more about him and found that he had two deployments to Vietnam as a decorated helicopter gunship pilot. We are thankful for his service.
He says on his website: Because I am not, nor will I become, a political insider but will be your citizen legislator in D.C. If elected, I will forcefully maintain my outsider status and answer only to you, the people of the Texas 21st District.
He has an entire paragraph dedicated to the Right to Life on his website but in essence will not stand for life because it is the law of the land.
I stand for the rule of law and currently Roe v Wade is the law of the land – but I don’t like it and I most vehemently disagree with it. Unborn children are the most helpless and innocent among us.
AUTRY PRUITT has been a NO SHOW at three of the candidates’ forums I have attended.
Jenifer Sarver lives in Travis County and does have somewhat of a past. She wrote an article supporting Hillary Clinton in the presidential election of 2016. ‘Can a Prolife Christian support Hillary Clinton?’ This article came out in the Dallas News October 16, 2016. It’s unimaginable to have her represent CD21 with that in her resume. If she were truly prolife she would not be supporting the icon of abortion, Hillary Clinton. So in essence she has a strong distain for President Trump and is not consistence in her prolife stance! This is taken directly from her article.
I am pro-life. I do not agree with Hillary Clinton's position on this issue. My support of her does not mean that I support all of her policy positions -- in fact; I disagree with many of them. Were Donald Trump not at the top of the Republican ticket, I would be proudly supporting any number of the qualified candidates who ran against him. But, as a wise woman and mentor of mine often says: "Every election is a choice, and perfect is never on the ballot."
SARVER spoke at the San Antonio candidates’ forum: I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley. I am the daughter of a minister and an educator. I went to the University of Texas at Austin and I am excited to be here with you today to have a conversation about reclaiming our core Republican values, limited government, and local control and restrained spending. For too long we have gotten away from this our core values. I’d like to see us return to them. I think we can return to them by sending new people to Washington with fresh faces and fresh ideas. If we keep sending the same kind of people we’ll keep getting the same kind of results. I’d like to see change in Washington too. I’d like to bring a breath of fresh air to Washington DC and I have some interesting ideas as to how to do that.
Samuel Temple said that he was a ‘thinker’ and can think on his own; it is hard to get past that statement. According to his website he would like to legalize marijuana and even listed three reasons why, with medical marijuana being the third reason.
Peggy Wardlaw said that she was a common sense person. She basically didn’t have anything different to say than many of the other candidates in the forum. This statement is taken from her website. Vote for me so I can go work for you. I believe we all deserve better. Like you, I am sick and tired of professional politicians in Congress who have forgotten that they are supposed to be working for regular people like you and me.
ANTHONY J. WHITE
Anthony White is a retired Colonel from the US Marine Corps. He made a positive impression because of his demeanor and ability to articulate his stance on issues. He and his family reside in Boerne and are in CD21. He works in San Antonio as a defense contractor. He is prolife from conception to natural death, believes marriage is between a man and a woman and attends Oak Hills Church at the Crownridge campus. Presently he depends fully on volunteer support.
WHITE spoke at the San Antonio Candidates’ Forum: I chose not to go back to Washington DC because I wanted to bring my family up in Texas. My dad was from Texas; he moved out to California right after WWII and met my mom. She was an immigrant from Mexico and she came through the system the right way. She respected our laws. This is very vital; there is a path for citizenship. Follow the rules; get your green card and work to become a citizen. The other thing that I want to leave you with is national security. You all have a budget. We all live on budgets. Congress needs to stick to a budget and must stop spending money and putting it on the backs of our children.
It is totally up to the voters in Congressional District 21 to select the one person that best suites our family values and our goals for the future. The issues that need to be addressed are the economy, jobs, education, health, North Korea, immigration and the growth in the district. Actually there are a multitude of issues that need to be addressed since the Obama Administration practically slept...no ....it would have been better had they slept.
Remember to attend at least two or more CD21 candidates’ forums and ask questions, review their websites and keep in mind that we want a representative we can trust and be proud of. Without question, there will be a run-off. The strongest candidates for this open seat remain Quico Canseco, Jason Isaac, Susan Narvaiz, Chip Roy and Robert Stovall. Retired Colonel Anthony White is someone to watch.