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Kopser could make a run for Congress

Thursday, March 16, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Republican U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith is close to drawing what could be his most substantial challenger in recent history. Austin entrepreneur Joseph Kopser is now openly considering a run against the Kerrville congressman whose oddly shaped District 21 includes much of the Hill Country, northern San Antonio and parts of south, west and downtown Austin. Smith has been in Congress for three decades and won re-election in 2016 with 57 percent of the vote. However, Kopser, who co-founded transportation tech firm RideScout before selling it to Daimler AG, is not cut of the same cloth as the more conventional Democratic, Libertarian and Green Party opponents Smith has repeatedly vanquished. The West Point graduate has an extensive background in business and also enjoys a relatively prominent public profile after years of engaging both the private and public sectors on mobility policy. On a fundraising site announcing his interest in running, Kopser starts off with a strong swipe against Smith and his approach to climate change. “Rep. Lamar Smith has represented Texas since 1986 and built a reputation as Congress’s most persistent climate change denier – a fact that is even more disturbing considering he is the Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Rep. Smith doesn’t believe in facts, and he doesn’t want them reported. Instead, he believes it’s ‘better to get your news directly from the President. In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.’ We can do better,” Kopser wrote. As of Wednesday evening, he had raised more than $12,000 toward a $25,000 goal.

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