Pence endorses challenger in Texas congressional primary runoff

Pence endorses challenger in Texas congressional primary runoff
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence on Tuesday endorsed Bunni Pounds in the Republican primary runoff election for Texas's 5th Congressional District. 

Pence touted Pounds on Twitter as a "strong conservative" who "will be a great supporter of the MAGA agenda," referring to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.

 

Pounds faces off against Texas state Rep. Lance Gooden in the May 22 runoff election. The winner will go head-to-head with Democratic candidate Dan Wood in November. 

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Rep. Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingLawmakers battle over future of Ex-Im Bank House passes Ex-Im Bank reboot bill opposed by White House, McConnell Has Congress lost the ability or the will to pass a unanimous bipartisan small business bill? MORE, who announced in October that he would retire after his current term, has held the seat since 2003.

Eight challengers tossed their hat into the ring for last month's primary, resulting in both Pounds and Gooden falling short of the 50 percent of votes required to win the party's nomination. 

Pounds received 12,895 votes, while Gooden received 17,501 out of the nearly 59,000 ballots cast.

Pence's endorsement adds to several heavy-hitter Republicans already backing Pounds's campaign, including Hensarling and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsMeadows says he wants Trump nomination speech 'miles and miles away' from White House Pelosi: 'Of course there's room for compromise' on 0-per-week unemployment benefit Pelosi, Schumer slam Trump executive orders, call for GOP to come back to negotiating table MORE (N.C.). 

Pounds has also been endorsed by the Club for Growth.

However, Gooden holds wide support in the area going into the runoff, as the 5th District covers his own 4th Texas state House District.

This story was corrected April 11 at 9:38 a.m. An earlier version had incorrect information about the Club for Growth's endorsement of a candidate.