Rep. John Carter

State Rep. Brad Buckley, R-Salado, left, and U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, listen to state Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, during a Thursday political rally at Barrow Brewing Co. in Salado.

With Democrats targeting Texas’ 31st District as a seat to flip in the U.S. House of Representatives, incumbent Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, is looking to keep a seat that he has been in since 2003.

Carter narrowly held onto the seat in 2018 with a 51% to 48% victory over political newcomer MJ Hegar.

This year, computer engineer Donna Imam, D-Round Rock, is challenging for his seat.

Although the coronavirus has changed the way people connect, Carter said he has not been deterred by the virus and has continued to campaign in-person within the district.

“This week alone, my team and I delivered almost 2,000 yard signs across the district,” he said via email Thursday.

From what he can tell, Carter said voters are “fired up, engaged, and ready” to vote for Republicans “up and down the ticket” in November.

Since the March primaries, Carter said he has focused his campaign on connecting with voters where they are, which includes an increase in digital communications and virtual events.

Carter said via email that potential voters in Bell and Williamson counties have expressed concerns about Democratic policies, such as the Green New Deal and defunding police, which are policies he called “socialist.”

He said his focus is on lower taxes, safer communities and better education.

Carter said Democrats focus on “destroying and defunding.”

“I am focused on the future for TX-31 and the nation,” Carter said. “This election truly is a choice between freedom and socialism.”

Carter easily secured the GOP nomination for the seat on March 3, earning 83.8% of the vote over challengers Mike Williams, Chris Wall and Abhiram Garapati.

Fort Hood

Carter is currently the top Republican on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding committee.

“I have been fighting to ensure the soldiers at Fort Hood have the resources they need to maintain readiness, be safe and have a high quality of life,” he said.

Carter said his accomplishments this past year include securing over $29 million for construction projects, ensuring a 3% pay raise for service members and the establishment of a Tenants Bill of Rights for housing issues.

The $29 million funding includes $19.2 million for a battalion headquarters complex and $10.5 million for a vehicle maintenance shop on Fort Hood, Carter said in July.

Carter also announced a $1.52 million grant in July that would be used to build a new hangar that will be built at the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport.

“As long as I’m your representative, I’ll never stop fighting for soldiers and their families,” Carter said in the email Thursday.

Carter campaigned in the area Thursday evening with Texas Rep. Brad Buckley, R-Salado, and Texas Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway.

He said he will announce other campaign events in the coming weeks.

Finances

Carter — who easily secured the GOP nomination in March — has amassed a large war chest ahead of the Nov. 3 election. He has $922,385 to Imam’s $42,099, according to June 30 campaign finance reports.

Overall, Carter has raised more than 3.5 times as much as Imam — who secured the Democratic nomination in a July 14 runoff. The congressman has raised more than $1.5 million to Imam’s $449,274, according to the Federal Election Commission.

 

FME News Service reporter Jacob Sanchez contributed to this report.

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