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Opponents start to line up against Lamar Smith

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Democrats are hoping 2018 will be the year they can finally defeat one of Congress’ most persistent climate change deniers, Congressman Lamar Smith, who represents District 21, which includes parts of Austin and San Antonio as well as part of the Hill Country. Entrepreneur and engineer Joseph Kopser is set to announce his candidacy Tuesday night after 6 p.m. at the Broken Spoke, 3201 S. Lamar Blvd. Kopser promises on his website, “to help move this country forward, which means supporting science and business while taking climate change seriously.” He served for 20 years in the U.S. Army and is currently president of Grayline. He is also a founder and former CEO of RideScout. Elliott McFadden, a well-known name in Austin political circles, has also indicated that he will be running for Smith’s seat. He has a list of well-known supporters from Austin, including Council members Leslie Pool and Pio Renteria and former Council members Bill Spelman, Jackie Goodman and Jennifer Kim. McFadden, who has served as a political consultant to numerous public officials, has most recently been the executive director of the bike-sharing company Austin B-cycle. McFadden plans to announce on June 5. A third likely candidate is Derrick Crowe. He is a founder and former co-owner of Mothership Books and Games and has the most experience in Washington. According to his website, Crowe has worked for House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Texas Congressman Charlie Stenholm and Congressman Adam Smith of Washington state. He has also worked for a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Center for Public Policy Priorities. The Austin Monitor has heard that other Democrats are also considering taking on Smith. Please feel free to email us with their names.

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