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Central Texas Republicans Battle For A Shot At Lamar Smith's Seat In Congress

Matt McCall (L), Chip Roy (R)

Texas Public Radio's "The Source" is hosting a series of forums with candidates leading up the 2018 midterm elections. In Texas, more than 30 races are in runoffs for a party's official nomination. Early voting for the May 22 primary runoff elections begins May 14. 

From a field of 18 candidates, the race for a Republican nomination in Texas' 21st congressional district is now down to two, who will duke it out in the primary runoff on May 22.

The congressional seat, currently occupied by Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, spans northern San Antonio, the Hill Country, New Braunfels and parts of Austin. Smith announced his intention to retire late last year

Hoping to succeed Smith and advance to the November elections are Chip Roy and Matt McCall.

Roy, who captured 27 percent of the vote in the March primaries, is a first-time candidate with experience in Austin working for state elected officials and the Texas Public Policy Foundation think tank. 

McCall is a Boerne-based entrepreneur in the medical sales field. He ran for office in District 21 twice before but lost the runoff elections to incumbent Lamar Smith. McCall finished with about 17 percent of the vote in the primary election earlier this year.

Both candidates cite conservative records and backgrounds in business as qualifiers for office. 

What values drive the candidates and what are their respective priorities? Which issues matter most to Central Texas residents and how do the candidates plan to address them? 


  • Chip Roy, Republican candidate for U.S. House District 21
  • Matt McCall, Republican candidate for U.S. House District 21

The Democratic candidate runoff forum for District 21 will take place Thursday, May 3.

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet at @TPRSource. Leave a voicemail with your questions and comments in advance by calling 210-615-8982.

*Full audio for this interview will be available by 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19

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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.