Is Katrina Pierson ready to enter the Texas Republican primary for the Congressional seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Ron Wright? Rep. Wright died in office, serving the 6th Congressional District of Texas. He is the first sitting member of Congress to die with the virus while fighting a prolonged battle with cancer. A special election to fill the seat has been scheduled for May 1.
Candidates are filing for the race, including Wright’s widow, Susan, a political activist. The first to file for the open seat was a field of female candidates including three Democrats. The field is more crowded now, with the deadline for filing on Wednesday. A Trump administration alum, Brian Harrison, and a never-Trump Republican, Michael Wood, are the latest to commit to the race. It is reported that former Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson will make a decision by Wednesday on whether or not she will run, too.
Michael Wood is a 34-year-old major in the Marine Corps Reserve. He is a small-business owner and married father of four. Wood served in combat in Afghanistan and was awarded two Purple Hearts. He launched his campaign Monday. He’s a never-Trump Republican, running to fight against “a cult of personality, a vehicle for one man’s ambitions and grievances.” He blames Trump for recent defeats in some key races.
“It is time to move on before he does to the country as a whole what he has done to Georgia and Arizona, two reliably Republican states turned blue,” Wood says.
The candidacy of Wood sets up a proxy battle between Trump and never-Trump Republicans. Can he defeat two, maybe three Trump administration alums?
The Hill reported Sunday that Katrina Pierson is set to enter the race.
Several sources say Pierson has held advanced conversations with a top Republican consulting firm about plans to enter the race in the coming days.
Those sources said they expected Pierson to receive Trump’s backing when she enters the race, a huge boost to any candidate running in a Republican primary decided by voters deeply enamored of the former president.
“There is a lot of excitement about my potential candidacy, and I am honored to have so much local support. As a proven conservative fighter, from my home state of Texas, I remain committed to furthering the America First agenda. I was with President Trump long before the historic escalator ride, and I remain with him still. I will make my final decision within the next 48 hours,” Pierson said in a text message to The Hill on Sunday.
This will be Pierson’s second run for Congress, if she enters the race. She ran against Rep. Pete Sessions in 2014 and lost. Critics say she does not live in Wright’s district.
Would Trump’s endorsement swing the race her way? There is a stronger Trump alum candidate that has entered the race, in my opinion. Brian Harrison, former chief of staff of the Health and Human Services department in the Trump administration, promises to continue Trump’s America First agenda. He also worked in the George W. Bush administration.
Brian Harrison, a Republican and Texas native, told the Star-Telegram he will join the race for the Texas 6th Congressional District seat. Harrison was appointed deputy chief of staff of the HHS and promoted to chief of staff in 2019. He helped coordinate Operation Warp Speed, a plan to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to millions of Americans during Trump’s presidency, alongside former HHS secretary Alex Azar.
Harrison, a Texas A&M graduate who worked within the George W. Bush administration, said while in D.C. he “took on the swamp, the liberal national media and the establishment.” One of his primary goals is to make the federal government “as irrelevant as possible in the lives of Texans.”
“I want to keep the Trump movement alive,” he said.
He is the guy who Trump critics mocked as just a Labradoodle breeder when he joined Azar at HHS. That nonsense was soon dismissed. He and his family own several small businesses, including the Labradoodle-breeding business. He has gained valuable political experience on policy matters that Pierson does not have.
As a self-described defender of conservative, Christian ideals, Harrison helped pass rules that led to Planned Parenthood forfeiting Title X funds, provided alternative options to Obamacare and created term limits for senior bureaucrats in the federal government during his time in the Trump administration.
Harrison said he wants to amend the U.S. Constitution in order to curb federal regulations. Harrison said Congress “outsources its job” of creating laws by relying on agencies, including the HHS, to create regulations. “Unelected bureaucrats” should not have legal authority over people’s lives, he said.
“Americans in this country should be free, and Washington should have no impact on their lives unless the President, Congress and the Senate passes a law,” he said. “And at this point, we need to amend the Constitution to get back to that.”
As a business owner, Harrison said another priority is to protect small businesses, especially through deregulation. Harrison has run several family businesses in Ellis County, including a homebuilding company and a labradoodle-breeding business.
I was recruited by the Trump Admin. to help deliver the America First Agenda. As your voice in Congress, I will fight and win against Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, & the socialists who control Washington. That's what the people of the 6th District deserve. https://t.co/6nmc5T1TyJ
— Brian Harrison (@brianeharrison) March 1, 2021
Harrison is already pushing back on Joe Biden’s lies about the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID vaccine distribution and supplies. He has first-hand knowledge to take that fight to Biden and the Democrats.
“They’re liars, and I know firsthand they’re liars because I led the first transition briefing to the Biden administration,” he told the Star-Telegram. “And it was on Operation Warp Speed and vaccine distribution planning.”
Harrison said the Biden administration received hundreds of briefings on the coronavirus vaccination strategy. In a Jan. 24 op-ed for Fox News, he wrote that the Trump administration delivered millions of vaccine doses and “two extraordinarily safe and effective vaccines, with more in the pipeline.”
Thank you to my friend and former colleague,@DrGiroir, for pushing back on these lies. Fun fact, every vaccine dose being administered today began production under President Trump!#operationwarpspeed https://t.co/U484epOFxj
— Brian Harrison (@brianeharrison) February 25, 2021
Susan Wright will likely have the sentimental vote. The district has moved to a more purple shade in recent elections but Ron Wright had a solid victory in his bid for re-election last November. A third Trump administration alum is also in the mix. Sery Kim, who held a post in the Department of Health and Human Services during the first year of the Trump administration, has announced plans to run.
Does a never-Trump Republican candidate in Texas stand a chance right now? That’s the question. How much traction will he get in his race?