Ten Republicans have filed to represent U.S. House of Representatives District 38, a new district created following the 2020 census. The winner will be on the ballot in the November general election. Three Democrats have also filed for the seat. The primary election will be held March 1 with early voting taking place Feb. 14-25. Candidate responses may have been edited for length and clarity.

David Hogan

Experience: 21 years as a pastor and community leader, serves as precinct chair and national delegate with Republican Party, leading a class action lawsuit of 2,500 United Airlines employees against vaccine mandates

Occupation: pastor


Damien Matthew Peter Mockus

Experience: over 25 years of experience as a personal trainer and strength coach

Occupation: owner of Gym Cypress


Jerry Ford

Experience: first responder/chief fire marshal/assistant fire chief with the city of Houston; owner of several businesses

Occupation: business owner


Richard Welch

: c
andidate did not submit responses by press time

Occupation: candidate did not submit responses by press time

Wesley Hunt

Experience: Houston native, former Army Apache helicopter pilot deployed to Iraq, MBA from Cornell University

Occupation: former U.S. Army captain


Brett Guillory

Experience: conservative with Republican voting record; budgeting and negotiation, coaching, leadership, mentorship; bachelor's of education, University of Arkansas at Monticello; master's of education, Northwestern State University

Occupation: educator and fabrication instructor, baseball coach


Mark Ramsey

Experience: Houston native; 2020 Presidential Electoral College member for President Trump; 2020 Republican Party of Texas, State Convention Legislative Priorities Committee Chair; 2012-20 State Republican Executive Committee

Occupation: oil and gas consulting engineer


Roland Lopez

Experience: candidate did not submit responses by press time

Occupation: candidate did not submit responses by press time

Phil Covarrubias

Experience: state legislator in Colorado from 2016-18, city planning commissioner, business owner, Marine Corps veteran

Occupation: oil and gas technician


Alex Cross

Experience: candidate did not submit responses by press time

Occupation: candidate did not submit responses by press time

Why are you running to represent U.S. House District 38?

DH: Hogan has become increasingly furious as local, state and the federal government have enacted draconian measures that are clearly unconstitutional. Watching local county judges issuing lockdown orders and seeing governors across the country flounder back and forth while crushing small businesses and closing places of worship is what has motivated David to run for Congress. Local and state governments have violated the rights of Americans, and Congress has largely been silent and often compliant with these measures.

DMPM: I’ve been a small business owner and community leader for over two decades. I am running to better serve the people of Texas' 38th new congressional district. There are two types of politicians in Washington, D.C.: those that are hell-bent on destroying our country and our economy for their own wasteful spending and continuous overreach/abuse of power. Then [there are] politicians that do nothing and do not fight hard enough for people that voted for them.

JF: Our country is under attack from within. Progressive Democrats want to fundamentally transform our nation into a socialist one. As [a] father, first responder, [successful] business owner and patriot, I want to protect our way of life, our freedoms and our constitution for the next generation. I want our children to have the same rights, freedoms and economic opportunities. With my unique background as both a first responder and successful business owner, I have the knowledge and the skill set to protect our rights and stop the Biden inflation.

RW: candidate did not submit responses by press time

WH: I lost 14 of my West Point classmates in the global War on Terror, and I am running for Congress to preserve the freedoms they bravely fought for. I wish to serve on behalf of those patriots who can no longer serve for themselves. The direction of our country under Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is unsustainable and we must preserve our country for our future generations.

BG: I’m running because I can no longer sit and watch what is happening to this country. Far left, progressive ideologies are corrupting our freedoms, values and culture. Also, I’ve been let down by those elected to represent me and my values, but once elected, conform to the establishment to preserve their own political careers. I share the values of my conservative neighbors in TX38. I am truly one of them. As such, I’m the candidate they can trust to best represent their interests in Congress.

MR: I am running because Washington, D.C. is out of control. Other candidates have no experience promoting conservative issues. This is the greatest country in the history of mankind, and we must save it before it is too late for our children, grandchildren and future generations. I have a long record of successfully advocating for conservative values and transparency in the Republican Party of Texas and have already represented this area on the executive committee for eight years. I have deep experience with conservative issues, having served as chair of both the Platform Committee and the Legislative Priorities Committee. I have also written actual legislation. The other nine candidates have no similar experience. Some have not bothered to vote in the Republican primary elections, and a few have even voted in Democrat primaries.

RL: candidate did not submit responses by press time

PC: Phil is tired of seeing Americans’ freedoms being lost. Having politicians with principles and integrity is a must in today’s political landscape. Phil is the only candidate in the race with legislative experience that has stood up to lobbyists. He is a candidate who reminds all people that we are Americans with God-given rights and liberties who will not be divided by immutable characteristics.

AC: candidate did not submit responses by press time

What are the most important issues facing residents in your district, and how would you address them if elected?

DH: The border crisis is being ignored, and it must end now. We will finish the wall and hold our elected officials responsible for enforcing immigration laws. Crime in our city is surging as repeat offenders continue to be released with little or no bail at all. I will fight to have strict bail standards and reduce the backlog of pending trials. Health freedom relating to vaccine mandates is under attack. I will ensure that individuals remain in control of their personal health choices.

DMPM: [The] 38th district faces the same challenges across Texas and America: increased crime with a poor bail/bond system, increased cost of gas, food and everyday supplies. A crisis with border security, continuous government overreaching and excessive mandates. The people need to vote for judges, politicians and school board members to ensure Texas laws and [the] U.S. Constitution is followed and enforced. I [will] fight hard in Washington but need the people’s vote and support of local businesses.

JF: Ending inflation, securing the borders, stopping the radicalization of our schools, backing the blue and protecting our rights that are under attack from progressives are my top issues. Unlike others, I am not running for a job. I am running to save our [nation] for the next generation. Here is my plan for ending illegal immigration: building the wall; sending federal troops to the border until the wall is built; ending the catch-and-release program that allows criminal illegal immigrants back on to our streets; prohibiting payouts for illegal families being separated at the border; ending chain migration for nonimmediate family members; ending sanctuary states by holding back federal funding; prohibiting taxpayer dollars from paying for attorneys for illegal immigrants; ending the abuse of asylum claims; ending the visa lottery system; prohibiting illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer-funded benefits such as health care, welfare and housing; increasing funding for ICE; increasing penalties on businesses that purposely hire illegal aliens; requiring mandatory employer verification; re-evaluating criteria for refugee status; improving background checks on visas; withholding certain federal funds for states that allow illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses; ending visa overstays; increasing penalties for human trafficking; increasing funds for courts dealing with deportation disputes; and enacting merit-based immigration reform to expedite naturalization process.

RW: candidate did not submit responses by press time

WH: Joe Biden and his radical allies in Congress have waged a war on Houston’s oil and gas industry. On his first day in office, Biden canceled the Keystone XL and terminated almost 11,000 jobs. On my first day in office, I will be a vocal advocate for oil and gas companies in Houston and will eliminate burdensome regulations on the industry to help them become prosperous once again.

BG: Education: Establish a three-diploma system: traditional, career and technology, and ROTC. Also, ensure that Marxist indoctrination such as Critical Race Theory are not part of our children's education.

Border: Secure the border, advocate for harsher penalties for traffickers and incentivize legal immigration.

Energy: Work to restore our energy independence, decrease regulations on oil and gas, and bring back and protect jobs in oil and gas.

Flooding: Fight for federal funding for flood-control measures in our community.

MR: There are many. The federal government has intruded into so many parts of our lives, almost entirely in unconstitutional manners by using agencies.

1) Pro-life: I have been pro-life and have worked to protect the unborn all of my adult life. Texas Right to Life has endorsed me.

2) Education: Parental school choice for all. I received the endorsement of the Texas Home School Coalition. No CRT or other indoctrinations. Get D.C. out of public schools. Protect what is good about our good schools and fix what is being degraded.

3) Oil and gas: Abundant low-cost energy sources are God’s gift to mankind in so many ways, and I have supported their responsible use on six continents. Our great industry is under attack and must be defended. I have been endorsed by the chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission (that regulates oil and gas in Texas) Wayne Christian who said, “Mark Ramsey is an accomplished oil and gas engineer who has even authored a peer-reviewed technical book on drilling. I can think of no better advocate for the oil and gas industry that is centered in Texas Congressional District 38!”

4) Economy: Given the horrendous effects of the government's shutting down a huge portion of commerce, restarting the economy must be a priority.

5) Immigration: Borders must be sealed.

6) Mandates: They are unconstitutional and must be eliminated, period.

7) Taxes: They are far too high [and] must be reduced accordingly.

8) Size of government: The size of the government and its regulations and costs must be reduced!

9) 1st Amendment: Censorship should not be allowed by de facto monopoly big tech companies.

10) 2nd Amendment: Gun rights “shall not be infringed.”

11) Foreign policy: Stop giving taxpayer money to countries that hate us. Always support Israel.

12) Families and churches should be free to exercise their rights to voice their opinions and beliefs without restriction by any federal agency.

13) Global climate change war on carbon: My opponent supports a global war on carbon. This is fundamentally incompatible with reality and would destroy the Texas and U.S. economies. There are better solutions to climate issues that do not destroy western civilization as we know it.

14) Election integrity: Voting system integrity is important, but so are counting systems. We need multiple independent counting systems to provide [an] automatic audit of the counting portion of the election.

15) Term limits: I have signed the U.S. term limits pledge.

RL: candidate did not submit responses by press time

PC: When elected to Congress, Phil will focus on American energy independence, taxpayer money follows student/school choice and the border crisis. The best ways for the federal government [to] aid in energy independence and economic heath are by removing regulations, keeping the current tax rates in place and promotion of investment in American-made products and energy. In education, Phil will work to ensure federal funds follow the student so parents can have school choice. Phil will fight to finish the border wall, end illegal immigration and then reform immigration law.

AC: candidate did not submit responses by press time

How would you support health care systems as the COVID-19 pandemic continues?

DH: Fire Dr. Fauci and fight for truth in what is being reported by the media. Allow medical professionals access to drugs that have been marginalized by fake news and keep the decisions for treatment between doctors and patients. We must demand common sense when it comes to treatment and testing and never let Washington bureaucrats to make our health choices.

DMPM: [First] we need to support the rights for our frontline health care workers. We also need to create a system of medical-based policies, not political. Plus, [we] need to take everything learned from this pandemic to better prepare how to care and tend to unknown and/or deadly disease[s]. Ultimately, we need a better system implemented not only at local hospitals and doctors’ offices but on a national and worldwide scale.

JF: The most immediate steps are fixing the supply [chain] and end the vaccine mandate on health care workers. For the long run, we need to stop manufacturing pharmaceuticals overseas so that we are never at the misery of countries like China or the supply [chain].

RW: candidate did not submit responses by press time

WH: Over 2 million immigrants have entered our country illegally in the past year without being tested for COVID[-19] or required to show their vaccination history. If we are to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, we must first secure our southern border and eliminate this severe public health threat. I also believe that vaccine and mask mandates are unconstitutional and should not be enforced, especially here in Texas.

BG: COVID[-19] is endemic. We must live without fear of this virus and without implementing draconian measures upon our society or hurting our economy. I will ensure health care systems are supplied with monoclonal antibodies for the sick. I will also ensure that they have stockpiles of other treatments that are proven to be effective. I will stand against forced vaccination of health care workers and the termination of the unvaccinated workers.

MR: The NIH/CDC has failed miserably in their mission. I would vote to reduce regulations that are strangling all sectors of our great economy, including health care. Health care providers with their patients are the best equipped to make decisions on how they provide care, not Washington, D.C., agency bureaucrats. Health insurance coverage and bans on pre-existing condition discrimination should be both geographically portable (across state lines) and employment portable (in going from one to another employer, for example). You should be able to both choose and keep your doctors—something the Democrats lied about in sneaking Obamacare through.

RL: candidate did not submit responses by press time

PC: First, Phil would work to promote and expand safe early treatment of COVID-19 symptoms so that people do not end up in the hospital, thereby reducing the burden on health care systems. He would encourage discussions within the Houston health care system to better manage bed capacity, outpatient treatments that can occur outside the hospital setting and other creative solutions to support each other. Finally, Phil would help focus resources on those most vulnerable to COVID-19 death, such as the elderly and those with comorbidities.

AC: candidate did not submit responses by press time

The 38th District is home to some of the largest school districts in the country. What are your top priorities regarding public education?

DH: We must give parents school choice. We must expose Critical Race Theory for the evil that it is. Our schools must increase teacher pay and benefits while reigning in wasteful spending. The education system needs to wash its hands of progressive indoctrination and get back to prioritizing raising the next generation of the most educated students in the world.

DMPM: We need to make sure our kids are being taught in subjects to better educate and train them for their careers, college and for a better future. We need [to] make sure schools are providing a safe environment, and we need [to] eliminate personal opinion in the public school systems locally and nationally. Furthermore, we need greater physical and nutritional education taught and implemented both during school hours and outside. Last, we must end bullying entirely.

JF: I am a parent, not a politician. We need to stop the radicalization of our children in the schools. I support the Cruz bill to defund school districts that teach Critical Race Theory. Moreover, I support the parental bill of rights. As the next congressman, I believe that we should abolish the Department of Education so that we stop wasting money on bureaucracy, and those funds can be sent directly to fund the classrooms.

RW: candidate did not submit responses by press time

WH: I grew up in Klein as a child but drove one hour each way to attend middle and high school at St. John’s. I am a product of school choice, and [I] firmly believe that parents should have the right not only to participate in what is taught to their children but also where their children attend school.

BG: Our education system needs reform. I will establish a three-diploma system: traditional, career and tech, and ROTC, also mandating financial literacy as a required course. This will [provide] our students with proper tools and training to be successful and responsible in life, with or without a college education. Critical Race Theory infects our education system. The indoctrination of our youth with this radical, Marxist agenda must stop. I will work to ban this from our schools.

MR: First, get Washington, D.C. out of public education. Their involvement has become one of promoting leftist ideologies and agendas, and student achievement and learning on basic subjects has plummeted accordingly. And absolutely no hateful Critical Race Theory (CRT) teaching. One of my opponents said CRT was no big deal and would blow over. No mask or vaccine mandates. Second, the key to improving public schools is competition. Competition is good in any industry—it improves everyone involved, inherently promotes innovation and efficiencies. In the education sector, this means that parents need to be able to have a meaningful choice in what available education options are best for their children. Any government money spent on education must follow the child. Third, eliminate “taxpayer-funded lobbying,” where ISDs employ lobbyists with taxpayer money to lobby against those very taxpayers.

RL: candidate did not submit responses by press time

PC: Educational choice is crucial to ensure parents and kids have the right fit for their needs. Currently, America’s most disadvantaged students have the least access to educational choices. Phil would work with other Congress members to make federal education funds follow the student and provide incentives for states to do the same.

AC: candidate did not submit responses by press time