This article was first published in the August 21 print edition of The Tower, a new project of The Wendt.
Chip Roy is the Republican nominee for Texas’s 21st congressional district. His placement in the runoff was secured by more than 7,000 votes in the March 6 primary, and fewer than 300 votes in Bexar county. While Roy was a favorite, having served as Senator Ted Cruz’s Chief of Staff and then as the Director for the Center for the 10th Amendment and Vice President of Strategy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, his victory was not assured. Members of the Young Conservatives of Texas at Trinity University knocked on more than 6,000 doors in Bexar county to turn out the vote for him.
Lamar Smith has been the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 21st District since 1987. TX-21 stretches from Southwest Austin, down I-35 to Trinity at the southernmost edge, and out to Fredricksburg. After several decades in Congress, Smith announced earlier this year that he would not be seeking reelection. 18 Republican candidates filed for the race.
With 18 candidates, a runoff was all but guaranteed. William Negley, who had hired the high powered campaign consulting firm Murphy Nasica, narrowly missed the runoff to Chip Roy and Matt McCall, who had challenged Smith several times before, earning 25-30% of the primary vote each time. Texas primary runoff elections were on May 22, and Chip Roy beat Matt McCall with just under 2,000 votes. Roy won Bexar county by more than 1,000 votes.
Campaign managers and consultants of all stripes and ideologies are in agreement that knocking on doors and other forms of direct voter contact, rather than TV ads and yard signs, are the most effective ways to win elections. There are other factors of course, but there are few things as effective as simple blockwalking. This makes the 6K+ doors that Trinity students knocked on in the weeks leading up to the March 6 and May 22 elections an invaluable contribution to Chip Roy’s place on the ballot in November.
Chip Roy will face Democrat Joseph Kopser on November 6.