Former Candidates Make Endorsements in District 17 Runoff

Rob Curnock and Bill Flores are headed to a runoff in the Republican primary for Texas' 17th District of the US House. Both have picked up endorsements from primary opponents.

Timothy Delasandro, who finished fifth in the March 2nd election, has put his support behind Curnock in his bid to again face Democratic Congressman Chet Edwards in the general election.

"Rob is the candidate in the run-off who is a consistent conservative and will best represent our Central Texas values to Washington," Delasandro wrote in a statement. "Because of his long track record supporting this district, Rob has the experience, tenacity, and hometown connections to make our district his priority."

The local nurse praised Curnock, a Waco small business owner, for three decades of working for conservative values in District 17, and implied what had been his long-standing criticisms of Flores being "handpicked by Washington insiders" for this run at the House seat.

Curnock lost to Edwards by 7.5 points in the 2008 general election. He was unopposed on the GOP side that year prior to his run at the incumbent.

Flores, an Aggie who moved back to the Twin Cities in recent years after three decades as an executive in the Houston area, has picked up the endorsement of Chuck Wilson, who finished fourth in the March primary.

“I am convinced that Bill Flores has the better understanding of what life in Central Texas is all about, that he would be a more effective representative for McLennan County, and for the rest of the district,” Wilson said.

During his campaign, Wilson said he believed a Waco-area candidate would stand the best chance to defeat Edwards in the November election because the incumbent has always scored a wide margin of victory in McLennan County. But this week, Wilson noted that he shares the same beliefs as Flores, and that he was the person to meet the needs and challenges of the district.

Flores received about a third of the votes on March 2. With a majority needed to avoid a runoff, he earned a trip to an April 13 match-up with Curnock, who won 29 percent in the primary.

In Brazos County, Flores won with 42 percent of the 15,649 votes cast, compared to Curnock's third place finish with 18 percent. Brazos County had the second biggest turnout of the 12 counties in the district.

Like Flores, Curnock won his home county, pulling in 35 percent of McLennan County's 17,446 votes. Flores finished second with 31 percent in McLennan.

The candidate who finished third overall, Dave McIntyre, has chosen not to endorse Curnock or Flores, but says he will support the primary winner against Edwards. The Flores campaign notes McIntyre's campaign manager has put his support behind Flores.

Early voting for the primary runs from April 5-9.

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