U.S. Rep. Bill Flores makes endorsement in crowded Republican primary to succeed him


The retiring Bryan Republican is backing Waco business owner Renee Swann in the 11-way primary.

Republican candidate Renee Swann and retiring U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan. Swann Campaign and Chris Maddaloni for The Texas Tribune

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores makes endorsement in crowded Republican primary to succeed him” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Retiring U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, is making an endorsement in the crowded Republican primary to succeed him with less than a month to go.

Flores announced Saturday that he is backing Waco businesswoman Renee Swann, who is among 11 Republicans vying for the solidly red seat. Swann is the co-owner of Brazos Eye Surgery of Texas.

Swann “is a strong, thoughtful, Conservative, businesswoman, who will be able to best represent the views, values, and priorities of those of us who call Central Texas and the Brazos Valley our home,” Flores said in a statement provided to The Texas Tribune. Flores cited Swann’s deep roots in the region, business experience and belief in term limits, among other things.

The two appeared together at a Waco news conference late Saturday morning to announce the endorsement.

Flores has played an active role in the primary to replace him since announcing his retirement in September. He said last month that he had narrowed down his preference to three “promising candidates”: Scott Bland, a former Secret Service agent; Trent Sutton, a Marine Corps veteran; and Swann.

From the outset, Flores made clear his opposition to candidates with questionable ties to the district. That includes former U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, who is running for Flores’ seat after losing reelection to his Dallas-based district in 2018.

Sessions responded to Flores’ endorsement Saturday by playing up his over two decades of congressional experience, saying in a statement, “When I am elected to represent CD-17, I will begin with more seniority than Rep. Flores has now.”

Flores is among six Republican members of Texas’ U.S. House delegation who are not seeking reelection. Two others — Reps. Will Hurd of Helotes and Pete Olson of Sugar Land — have also made endorsements in crowded GOP fields to replace them.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/02/08/us-rep-bill-flores-endorses-renee-swann-tx-17-race/.

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