By David Rupkalvis
It’s more than six months before Republicans and Democrats will choose candidates to represent their parties in the race for the 22nd Congressional District, but a crowded field is already taking shape.
When Congressman Pete Olson announced he was not going to seek another term, that opened the floodgates for candidates hoping to win a seat in the U.S. Congress.
Officially, six candidates have announced or have created websites indicating they are planning to run. Unofficially, there are others seriously considering a bid.
On the Republican side, three candidates have announced they are hoping to keep the seat in GOP hands. Those candidates include:
• Fort Bend County resident and Army veteran Joe Walz. Walz was the first candidate to announce his bid, long before Olson announced he was not running.
• Brazoria County Judge Greg Hill. Hill announced he will resign his seat on the bench to run.
• Former Congressional candidate and Republican donor Kathaleen Wall. Wall ran for the 2nd Congressional seat in 2018 and lost in the primary.
On the Democrat side, three candidates have also announced they plan to run. They include:
• Sri Kulkarni, who ran for the seat in 2018 and lost to Olson by 5 percentage points.
• Pearland City Councilman Derrick Reed. Reed is the first black councilman elected in Pearland.
• TV personality Nyanza Moore. Moore is an attorney who started working free for veterans and victims of Hurricane Harvey.
While the 22nd Congressional District has been a safe Republican seat for more than a decade, Kulkarni’s ability to make it close in 2018 has made it a seat both Republicans and Democrats have high hopes for in 2020.
With no incumbent, it is more wide open heading into the final months of 2018.
Candidates cannot officially file to run in January 2020.