Curnock Challenges Chet for District 17

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A Waco businessman will challenge for a place in Congress representing District 17.

Rob Curnock filed the appropriate papers with the Republican Party late Wednesday and will seek to defeat incumbent Democrat Chet Edwards in November's elections.

In addition to his business ventures, Curnock also worked at KWTX-TV in Waco as a sportscaster. He is unopposed in the March primaries, which is new for him. He twice attempted to win his party's nomination and run against Edwards, but was beaten in the primaries.

Edwards has won election to the House of Representatives on nine occasions, including two for District 17, which was redrawn in 2004. Edwards defeated Burleson's Arlene Wohlgemuth and West's Van Taylor in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

Each time, there were Republican opponents in the March primaries.

"The Republicans have beat each other up, wasted their money and themselves politically," Curnock said. "By the time they finally get to the end of the primary to face the incumbent, everyone is spent and destroyed, and he's (Edwards') just sitting there waiting. We needed to have a situation where there was no contested primary and that's what we were hoping for and that's what we got (Wednesday) night."

In his 2004 race against Wohlgemuth, Edwards eeked out a win with 51 percent of the total vote. In four of the five Brazos Valley counties -- Brazos, Burleson, Grimes and Madison -- Edwards only garnered around half of the votes. He earned 69 percent in Robertson.

However, 2006 was a different story. Edwards Taylor with 58 percent of the total vote, and in each of the Brazos Valley counties, the Democrat increased his margin of victory by an average of eight-and-a-half points.

Other congressional races of local note include District 8, where Republican Kevin Brady is running for a seventh term in Congress. The Woodlands resident will be opposed by Democrat Kent Hargett, heads up a non-profit organization in Montgomery.

In the 10th District, Republican Michael McCaul will have to wait to find out his opponent. Attorney Larry Joe Doherty and international affairs consultant Dan Grant will meet in March to decide the Democratic nominee.