Goldman jumps into race to replace Granger, Byrd eyes state legislator run

dfwnewsa | November 3, 2023 | 0 | Dallas News , Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

Goldman jumps into race to replace Granger, Byrd eyes state legislator run

State Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, celebrates the launch of a film industry training program at Backlot Studios, 305 S. Main St., in Fort Worth on Aug. 30, 2023. (Marcheta Fornoff | Fort Worth Report)

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State Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, is running for departing U.S. Rep. Kay Granger’s seat.

Goldman announced his campaign for Texas’ 12th Congressional District Friday morning. His decision to run for the U.S. House creates an open race for his seat in the Texas Legislature. 

“I’m incredibly honored and humbled by the number of people who have urged me to run. My record proves I will be a conservative fighter who will prioritize border security and the American taxpayer, and I am excited to announce I am all in to serve the people of Tarrant and Parker counties as their next congressman,” Goldman said in a news release.

Goldman, 55, is chair of the Texas House Republican Caucus, a role that makes him the majority leader in the Republican-led House and a top lieutenant to House Speaker Dade Phelan. He represents state House District 97 in southwest Tarrant County, an area that is inside Granger’s district.

Granger, who represents west Tarrant County and parts of Parker County  announced her decision to not seek a 15th term in Congress on Nov. 1. The Fort Worth Report and KERA News were the first to report her plans. 

“It’s time for the next generation to step up and take the mantle and be a strong and fierce representative for the people,” Granger, 80, said.

Goldman could face a crowded field of candidates in the March 5 primary. Republican John O’Shea, who has the endorsement of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, jumped into the race in April. Tarrant County Commissioner Manny Ramirez and former Colleyville Council member Chris Putnam, who challenged Granger in 2020, are considering campaigns.

Filing for elections begins Nov. 11 and ends Dec. 11.

Former Fort Worth council member Brian Byrd confirmed to the Fort Worth Report that he’s considering a run for Goldman’s state House seat.  

“I’ll be taking a look,” Byrd, 53, told the Report, adding that he plans to make a decision “within a couple of weeks.”

Byrd, a physician, is a medical director for Miami-based Palm Primary Care, a health care group that has expanded into Texas from Florida. He served on City Council from 2017 to 2021, representing District 3, most of which lies in Goldman’s legislative district in southwest Fort Worth. He made an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2021.

Goldman took office in January 2013 and has steadily risen through the leadership ranks. He is a real estate investor and fifth-generation Texan, whose father ran a gourmet food and fine wine store in Fort Worth.

Former Rep. Jim Murphy of Houston, who preceded Goldman as House Republican Caucus chair, previously described Goldman’s political instincts as “the best I’ve ever worked with.”

In addition to serving as majority leader and one of the key architects for House Republican policy, Goldman is the chairman of the House Energy Resources Committee, which oversees the state’s oil and gas energy as well as alternative energy resources.

Goldman faced perhaps his toughest political challenge when Democrats targeted him and other Tarrant County Republicans in an attempted “blue wave” takeover in 2020. He won reelection by 8 points after more than $4 million from both parties poured into the race.

A Fort Worth native, Goldman was elected to the House in 2012, along with four other Republican freshmen from Tarrant County, all of whom were collectively dubbed the Tarrant County Five. Of the group, Reps. Stephanie Klick of Fort Worth and Rep. Giovanni Capriglione of Southlake are still in the House. Like Goldman, they are influential senior members and committee chairs.

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