Former longtime Rep. Pete Sessions advanced Tuesday to a runoff for the Republican nomination in a rural central Texas district in his bid to return to Congress after being voted out of a different seat in 2018.
Sessions surged in a crowded field in the GOP primary amid criticism that he cherry-picked the district to return to Washington. It wasn’t immediately clear who he would face in the May runoff.
Sessions served 22 years before losing a Dallas district that flipped to Democrat in 2018. He then chose to run again in a more conservative, mostly rural area that includes his boyhood hometown of Waco. The district’s Republican incumbent, Rep. Pete Flores, is retiring.
Sessions announced his plan to run in the district before he moved there. He was the House’s GOP campaign chairman in 2010 when Republicans took back the chamber in the first midterm election under then-President Barack Obama.
A federal indictment in 2019 appeared to link him to a campaign finance scheme and the Ukraine scandal at the heart of the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
The indictment does not accuse Sessions of wrongdoing or mention him by name, and simply referred to the person as “Congressman 1.” But donations made by the two men charged match campaign finance reports for Sessions.
Sessions said he would donate what they gave him to charities serving abused women, children and the elderly in Central Texas.