Congressional field grows to 10 candidates


Another candidate has entered the race for Rep. Will Hurd's seat in the 23rd Congressional District, bringing the total to 10.

Ben Van Winkle is the sixth Republican in the race and the fourth person to come to Fort Stockton on the campaign trail.

Van Winkle, 31, is from San Antonio and said he thinks it is important to uphold the constitution, which he said is under attack.

“It's the foundation of our country,” he said.

Van Winkle, who has no prior experience in politics, said it is important to get younger faces in Congress.

“We need to reach a younger audience,” he said.

One of the things that Van Winkle believes in is securing the border with technology, a wall and giving the border patrol agents the tools that they need to succeed.

He also believes in closing the asylum loopholes with expedited removal and no welfare for illegal immigrants.

Van Winkle said he is pro Second Amendment and doesn't believe in gun regulation.

“I think that gun laws have never benefited our nation as a whole,” he said.

Van Winkle is pro-life, and believes in the sanctity of life, he said.

He also believes the country has a spending problem and they should look at a tax ceiling so citizens can't be taxed over a certain amount.

Van Winkle graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in Education and worked as a creative producer and is now an account manager at Apple.

“I never thought I would get into politics,” he said.

The main reason he is choosing to run is he believes the citizens needs a representative who is like them, not planned to be a congressman from the beginning.

“It should be someone who listens to the people,” said Van Winkle.

He said its important for someone who sits in that seat to come up with ideas and look towards the future.

“If you want someone to truly represent you, I'm the candidate for you,” said Van Winkle. “If it resonates with the voter, I would love their support.”

Van Winkle has been doing his tour around the district meeting the public and personally calling people to support his grassroots campaign.

“I'm making politics more personal,” he said.

Hurd, a Republican, announced he would not seek reelection. The Republican and Democrat candidates will be decided in the March 3 primary. If needed, a primary runoff will be held on May 26. The general election is Nov. 3.