Texas Republican Congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul has announced his endorsement of GOP candidate and Tea Party activist Lt. Col. Wes Riddle for the 25th Congressional District in Texas.
During May’s GOP primary election, Roger Williams, a well-known automobile dealer, was first with a quarter of the vote and Wes Riddle, a retired lieutenant colonel, defeated his other competitors to place second with close to 15 percent of the vote.
Later this month, Riddle and Williams will go one-on-one in a Republican runoff election for Texas’s 25th Congressional District, which runs from Tarrant County into Austin.
Since its inception, the district has only been led by Democrats, including during the redistricting from the 10th district. The seat is currently held by Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who was elected in 2005. In the last election, Doggett defeated Donna Campbell, a Tea Party activist, by eight percentage points.
Can a GOP candidate finally get the seat in November? The libertarian-leaning 2012 presidential candidate Ron Paul believes Riddle can win the district, according to an endorsement from the 10-term congressman.
“Wes is a committed patriot who graduated from West Point, served his country abroad as an army officer, and if he is elected to Congress, I am confident that he will fight every day to restore the Constitution and return to limited government,” stated Paul in a written statement. “Liberty voters have a strong choice in this CD-25 Republican runoff. I hope my generous supporters will help Wes win this runoff because we need more men like him.”
In an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via New York Daily News), Jim Riddlesperger, a political science professor at Texas Christian University, said that endorsements do not have any effect on voter turnout or voter support, but with Dr. Paul’s tremendous support across the United States, it could help Riddle garner a win.
“A Ron Paul endorsement could be different and might mobilize a few voters," explained Riddlesperger. "But it's not like Roger Williams doesn't have name recognition. Roger has a better name recognition among Republican voters in general. He doesn't have to bow to anyone in that regard.”
Paul has endorsed quite a number of candidates in this election season. He has lent his support to Kentucky Congressional candidate Thomas Massie, Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz, Minnesota Senate candidate Kurt Bills, Texas Congressional candidate Randy Weber, who is seeking to replace the retiring Paul, and many others.