Wealthy businessman to challenge Rep. Chet Edwards

Republicans finally have a challenger for Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas).

Edwards might be the most battle-tested man in Congress, routinely winning an extremely conservative district in spite of the 'D' next to his name. The GOP, meanwhile, has struggled to recruit top candidates in recent years.

They hope businessman Bill Flores is the answer. Flores has announced that he is leaving his business in preparation for a run at Edwards. He brings self-funding capability to the race and should at least have the money to compete.

His entry comes after state Sen. Steve Ogden this month bypassed an Edwards challenge and said he would seek reelection. But Flores still faces a primary with 2008 nominee Rob Curnock, who hasn't raised much money but did garner 46 percent of the vote last year and carries some name ID.

Here is the beginning of Flores's letter:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I guess the short version of this message is "He's back"!

Things have been awfully busy the past 10 days or so and I am writing to update you regarding my latest activities.  After almost four years as CEO of Phoenix Exploration Company, I recently decided to retire and to sell my interests in the Company.

The reason for doing this is that I have decided to restart my activities to run for the Republican nomination for the 17th Congressional District. Put simply, I got fed up watching what has been going on in Washington and felt it was more important for me to offer myself as a candidate in the hopes that we can change the leadership in Washington and have more appropriate and accountable representation for our district. This change is not motivated by any long standing desire to serve in an elected position; rather, it is motivated by my deep concern for the direction that our Country is being taken. If God allows and the voters of District 17 so choose, hopefully, I will be one of 40-45 new, conservative Congressmen elected to the U.S. Congress next November. If that happens, we can take the Speaker's gavel away from Nancy Pelosi and put it into the hands of a more conservative person that believes in limited government.

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