Katrina Pierson (r.) on the campaign trail with Ted Cruz
Katrina Pierson was a close consultant to Ted Cruz during his 2012 campaign for Senate. Now, she wants to join Cruz in Congress, and North Texas voters are about to hear a lot more about her.
Pierson, who launched her campaign in September, is running in the Republican primary in the Dallas-area 32nd congressional district. That's the district Pete Sessions has represented since 2003. He's made a huge name for himself in Washington as a leading opponent of health insurance reform, efforts to protect the environment, immigration reform, and basically anything that represents American progress.
More below the jump.Sessions is unquestionably the favorite — he's gained the NRA's endorsement already, for one — but Pierson is trying to use her former boss's “grassroots conservative” political strategy. She is, as Cruz did, relentlessly courting the extremist wing of her party. She's secured the endorsement of Michelle Malkin and FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe, both tea party figures. She also gained the support of Rafael Cruz, Ted's father, this month. He described her as an “an utterly fearless principled conservative” at a rally.
Aman Batheja of the Texas Tribune relates Pierson's background: “Soon after attending her first Tea Party meeting in 2009, she found herself a leader in the nascent movement, holding advisory roles in several groups and explaining Tea Party positions on cable news. Last year, she left a career in health care administration to start Pierson Consulting Group, a political and media consulting firm. She declined to identify any current or former clients.”
Pierson is, of course, painting Rep. Sessions as a creature of Washington out of touch with the (allegedly) very conservative views of the 32nd district. Her campaign has an attack website up, NoRePete.com, and half of her campaign speeches are about how out of touch Sessions is. She's also accusing him of not really living in the district, but instead taking up residence in Florida. “The couple owns a house near Orlando, though Mr. Sessions listed a Dallas apartment as his address when he filed for re-election. Mr. Sessions said in an emailed statement that he still lived in Dallas, though he also spent time in Florida,” Batheja explains.
As BOR's Joseph Vogas noted, the 32nd congressional district is far from the most right-wing in Texas. In fact, it is where President Obama won the highest percentage of votes in 2012 (41.4%) without a Democrat representing the district. Even if Pierson does beat Sessions (which would take Sessions off of his several high-ranking committee assignments), she'll have to fight hard against Democrat Frank Perez for the election in November.
Pierson's website is here.