Randy Weber easily defeated Felicia Harris in the Republican party primary runoff Tuesday in U.S. House District 14 to gain the nomination and the opportunity to succeed U.S. Rep. Ron Paul in Congress.
The unofficial tally shows Weber crushed Harris 62.8 percent to 37.2 percent, with Weber winning 23,212 to 13,765 votes for Harris.
The race pitted Weber, a state lawmaker from House District 29 and self-employed businessman, against Harris, a lawyer and former city councilwoman. Both candidates are from Pearland. The district runs through Jefferson, Galveston and Brazoria counties, southeast and south of Houston.
During the campaign, Weber and Harris exchanged verbal jabs over who was more conservative — and more anti-Washington. Weber touted his endorsement of the independent-minded Paul and state endorsements by Gov. Rick Perry, Comptroller Susan Combs, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Texas Rangers owner Nolan Ryan.
Harris fought back by receiving support of several Republican members of the Texas congressional delegation: Ted Poe of Jefferson County, Pete Olson of Sugar Land, Bill Flores of Bryan, Jeb Hensarling of Athens, Kay Granger of Fort Worth, and Francisco Canseco of San Antonio. She also touted endorsements among people active in the Tea Party movement, including Robert Gonzales, who is head of the Clear Lake Tea Party and was one of Weber and Harris’ seven opponents in the May primary.
Harris criticized Weber for voting in 2011 for the so-called Amazon tax (see page 659), which requires the online retailer to collect sales tax in Texas. Weber then pointed to some of Harris’ votes on Pearland City Council that raised taxes and spending.
The two Republicans supported an agenda to repeal ObamaCare, the federal health care law, to eliminate federal regulations and to add energy jobs, which is the economic backbone of the congressional district along the Gulf of Mexico.
Weber will face former U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, who has a reputation of being a conservative Democrat, in the general election. Rice University political scientist Mark Jones gives the edge to Weber. He believes President Barack Obama’s unpopularity in Texas at the top of the Democratic ticket will be too much for Lampson to overcome.
Contact Curt Olson at email@example.com or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.
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