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Texas Democrats Kopser, Wilson Face Off In May Primary For Congressional District 21

Mary Street Wilson (L) and Joseph Kopser (R) are in runoffs for the Democratic Party nominarion in Texas Congressional District 21.

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 racesare in runoffs for a party's official nomination. Early voting for the May 22 primary runoffelections begins May 14. 

From four candidates, the race for the Democratic Party nomination in Texas' 21st congressional district is down to two contenders heading for a runoff: Mary Street Wilson and Joseph Kopser. 

The winner of the May 22 Democratic primary runoff will face one of two candidates vying for the Republican nomination in the November general election. 

District 21 spans northern San Antonio, the Hill Country, New Braunfels, and parts of Austin. The congressional seat has been occupied by retiring Republican Representative Lamar Smith since 1987. 

Kopser is an Army veteran and technology entrepreneur. In the March primary, he collected 5,475 votes in Bexar County and29 percentof the overall vote.

Wilson, a pastor and educator, received about 31 percent of the vote with about 4,577supporters in Bexar County.  

Both candidates run on platforms that prioritize healthcare, gun safety and the environment, as well as social issues like criminal justice reform and women's rights. 

How do the Austin-based Democrats plan to campaign in a historically Republican district? What issues matter to Central Texas residents and how do the candidates plan to address their concerns? 


The Republican Democratic candidate runoff forum for District 21 can be found here

"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.

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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.