With lawmakers at both the congressional and state level up for election in 2018, several big developments have already taken place in Cy-Fair area races.

After U.S. Rep. Ted Poe announced he would retire at the end of his term representing Texas Congressional District 2, several candidates have throw their hats in the ring for Poe’s seat. Among them is Rep. Kevin Roberts, R-Spring, who was elected to Texas House District 126 in 2016. Roberts—whose district covers the northeastern portion of Cy-Fair as well as parts of Spring and Tomball—won his bid for District 126 by defeating his Democratic challenger Joy Dawson-Thomas with 59 percent of the vote.

With Roberts leaving his Texas House District 126 seat behind, several candidates have filed to run to fill that spot. Republican candidates Kevin Fulton, Sam Harless and Gail Stanart are set to square off in the March primary.

Two of these local candidates have close relations to other political figures in Harris County. Harless, a small-business owner, is the husband of former state representative for District 126 Patricia Harless. Stanart, a conservative grassroots activist, is the wife of Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart.

Democrats Undrai Fizer—a teacher and author who lives in the Klein area—and Natali Hurtado—the director of services for the International Management District with consulting firm Hawes Hill & Associates—are also running for District 126.

The filing deadline for candidates was Monday, Dec. 11. Primary elections take place March 6, and general elections take place Nov. 6.

Read more about the candidates running for Texas House District 126 below:

Kevin Fulton – www.votekevinfulton.com

  • The owner of the Fulton Law Group has assisted in religious freedom lawsuits and deceptive ballot language issues against the City of Houston.

  • Top priorities include: protecting personal liberties, decreasing property taxes, eliminating unnecessary government spending, decreasing business regulations and education reform.

Sam Harless – www.samharless126.com

  • The small business owner co-owns Fred Fincher Motors with his wife Patricia, who served as state representative of District 126 from 2006-16.

  • Top priorities include: public education, safety and job growth.

Gail Stanart – www.gailstanart.com

  • The conservative grassroots activist has launched businesses in insurance and as an independent beauty consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics. She is married to Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart.

  • Top priorities include: property tax reform, flood mitigation, public education and decreasing regulation on businesses.

Undrai Fizer – www.fizer4texas.org

  • The teacher, author and jazz pianist also founded and operates a spiritual awareness center called The Kairos Centre in Houston with his wife Bridget.

  • Top priorities include: education, protecting individuals with preexisting conditions and protecting children in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Natali Hurtado – www.natali-hurtado-32st.squarespace.com

  • The consulting firm director of services works on public safety initiatives, environmental and urban design projects and community development programs.

  • Top priorities include: education, stronger economy, law enforcement, veterans and women’s rights.