William Peterson, also known as Billy Hart, December 2015.
U.S. Congressman Will Hurd (R, TX-23) had a surprise this week. On Monday, just before the filing deadline, a Republican challenger entered the race: William “Hart” Peterson of Marfa.
Introducing himself as William Hart, or Billy Hart, he spoke to KRTS News on Wednesday, describing why he’s running for Congress.
“I feel I can truly represent the people here in the 23rd district, being of both Caucasian and Hispanic descent. I know in this particular county it’s predominantly Democrat. I am running under the Republican ticket. However, I know that the people here are very conservative people. And I fell that the GOP has lost touch.”
Host Tom Michael asked him, “Texas-23 is one of the longest border districts, not only in the state of Texas, but in the country. It stretches all the way from San Antonio almost to El Paso. What are the some of the issues you want to focus on in this region?”
Hart: “Immigration is one. With our advancement of technology today, I just don’t see how these brilliant Congressman over in D.C. can’t figure it out.”
Michael: “Now, running in an U.S. Congressional race costs money. Is that a challenge for you?
Hart: “Currently it’s not. I am doing this from my own pocket and will be starting fundraising here after the holidays.”
Hart, who is a newcomer to Marfa, has lived in Alvin, Texas, near Houston, and in San Antonio. He’s worked on political campaigns in the past (Tom DeLay and Steve Stockman), but hasn’t before been a candidate himself. He also talked about gun rights and terrorism, questioning Congressman Hurd’s previous employer, the CIA, as a potential catalyst for modern terrorism threats from Al Qaeda and ISIS.