Politics

16th Congressional District seat available, possible candidates start to emerge

16th Congressional District seat...

The 2018 mid-term congressional election that will have a major impact on the Borderland.

The vote for Texas's 16th Congressional District seat could determine the direction the city of El Paso heads.

Although the primary election isn't until March 2018 two prominent Democratic officials say they are considering entering the race.

""I am still exploring everything," County Judge Veronica Escobar said. "I am still considering it."

El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees President Dori Fenenbock is making her intentions clear. "If I can fight for El Pasoans," she said. "I am happy to do it."

Although neither have officially announced their candidacy, both say there needs to be a change on the Hill. " We are feeling very frustrated and disgusted with our national government," Fenenbock said. Escobar added, "This is a very, very important seat especially (with) what is happening in D.C. right now and all the decisions that will have a direct impact on the border and El Paso." 

Although the election is months away, both potential candidates are thinking about possible competition. "It's hard to say who will be in the race this early," Fenenback said. "But I am really focused on the work in Washington."

"I do think a lot of people will be running for this seat as the fall comes around," Escobar said. "It's an open seat and generally with an open seat election we have a lot of folks running."

The two candidates will be competing for donors as well. ABC-7 went through their campaign contributions for their last election and found businessmen Wood and Josh Hunt, Paul Foster, Bob Wingo, Banker Rick Francis and several others donated to both Escobar and Fenenbock's campaigns. This time, the donors may have to make a choice.

Another woman, Nichole J. LeClaire, has announced she is running for the 16th Congressional District. According to her website, she grew up in El Paso, is a 12-year U.S. Navy Veteran, teaches U.S. Government in high school and is a coach. Although she lives near Houston, LeClaire is qualified to seek federal office in El Paso as Congressional candidates do not need to live in the district they represent; however, LeClaire has indicated she will move to El Paso after her teaching commitment near Houston is finished this summer. 

As for the Republicans, a local spokesman said he does not expect anyone to run for the GOP. 


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