The “State” Of Congressional District 31 – Brian P. Ruiz Running In CD-31

Posted in 2008 Primary, Commentary, Congress, District 31, Election 2008, Williamson County at 12:04 pm by wcnews

This from the comments to an earlier post about Rep. John Carter (R – Round Rock):

Regarding 2008, this is the person I would most like to see defeated, assuming he runs. I have heard him speak on C-Span and YouTube, and I can not believe how poorly he expresses himself, especially for a man who was a judge and once lawyered for a living.

It seems to me that he was supposed to have given his annual “State of Williamson County” speech a few weeks ago at a Baptist {?} Church in either Leander or Cedar Park, but I can find nothing anywhere that he actually did so. Did he?

Don’t worry, he’s running. Well he did give the SOD speech, and the only evidence EOW can find is this press release on his web site. Generally speaking Congressman Carter, for the reasons listed in the comment, doesn’t like coming out into the open much. He has a history of putting his foot in his mouth. EOW’s assuming the speech wasn’t open to the public. It’s a possibility that a contribution had to be made to attend. I’m sure his staff wanted to make sure that it didn’t wind up like speech at the AARP preceding his SOD speech.

He addressed the issues of Iraq, immigration and taxes, and answered audience questions for the relatively small group at the Hope Fellowship Church in Cedar Park.

He said his policy on the war is to “stay the course,” citing progress he witnessed during a recent trip to Iraq. He said he walked without security through a market which was located in an area that was considered unstable a year ago. He credited the change to a neighborhood watch program established by the area’s residents.

“I’m not saying there aren’t problems – there are. I am not saying there aren’t issues – there are. But I am voting to stay the course,” he said. “We would be irresponsible to leave those people to die.”


Will Storie, who introduced himself as a 2004 graduate of Round Rock High School, also spoke against the war.

“If they’re going to be killing themselves for thousands of years, are you going to ask my generation to stay there for thousands of years?” Storie asked, saying his friends were among those fighting right now. Carter replied that if the issue is not settled now, another war in the region will be inevitable.

“It won’t be your generation who will fight the next war over there, it will be the 5-year-old sleeping in his bed tonight,” Carter said. “I don’t want that 5-year-old going in again.”


After the speech, guests were allowed to ask questions of the Congressman. While most comments centered on the war in Iraq, a few people expressed concern about the growing income gap and lobbyists in Washington.

“Somewhere along the lines ‘we the people’ has become ‘we the corporations,’” said Randy Stripling, a new member of the AARP who attended the meeting. “Our Constitution doesn’t seem to matter anymore.”

Stripling blamed the problem on a combination of voter apathy and the system pandering to corporate interests.

Carter responded by saying the system has not failed. While he does have to raise funds to run for office, he said he spends more time talking to his constituents, adding that any problems with the system will work themselves out.

“I have absolute faith in the American people and the government we have created,” he said.

I would say the more that Carter has to defend his blind support of Bush and corporations the better chance we have of getting him replaced. Although one of his supporters thinks he was roughed up at that AARP speech.

Congressman John Carter stood toe-to-toe with a crowd at the Wednesday AARP Meeting. The group was infiltrated with war protesters and others wishing to be heard on national issues.

They’re not insurgents, they’re called constituents. And they have a right to hold their elected representative to account. It’s called democracy.

Of course on the war Carter will do anything Bush tells him to do, but he recently attempted to soften his rhetoric on immigration somewhat. The harsh rhetoric helps him with his base and Carter needs no help there. Where he could be hurt is by losing Independent and moderate Republican’s support.

Carter already has an opponent for 2008. His name is Brian P. Ruiz. He was mentioned in CQpolitics.com.

Democrat Brian P. Ruiz has filed paperwork with the FEC to prepare a challenge to three-term Republican Rep. John Carter in the 31st District of Texas, a Republican-leaning district that includes suburbs of Austin and some territory near Waco. Carter won a third term last year with 59 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Mary Beth Harrell. In the 2004 election, the 31st backed President Bush by a 2-1 ratio.

His website is online, ruizforcongress.com, stop by and check it out and drop him a few bucks if you can. Ruiz is from a political family. His father, Abel Ruiz, ran in the Democratic Primary in 1996 for HD-51, coming in second to Glen Maxey. You can read the rest of his bio, and where he stands on the Iraq War. You’ll be hearing much more about Ruiz in the future.

Beating Carter in 2008 is an extremely uphill battle. Carter’s strength comes from the fact that he’s well known and liked by the Republican base in CD-31, which is still a Republican majority district. His strength is also that’s he’s near invisible to most of the his constituents – out of sight, out of mind. Most of his constituents know about him from the articles that appear, under his name, on the local papers Op-Ed page. It’s doubtful we’ll see much more of him unless he thinks he’s in trouble. Carter would not debate Mary Beth Harrell in 2006 and there’s little chance he’ll debate Ruiz in 2008.

As the population of Williamson County continues to grow at it’s rapid pace, it is the majority of CD-31, it will also continue to grow more Democratic. Who knows, with Carter running as a Bush rubberstamp and with a slip-up here and there, we could get a race.


  1. Capitol Annex » CD 31 & CD 11: Challengers For Conaway & Carter said,

    September 4, 2007 at 8:44 am

    […] previously missed that Brian Ruiz has decided to challenge Carter in CD 31. This is a district which could be prime […]

  2. WilcoVoter said,

    September 4, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    To the person who replied to my previous comment on this thread:

    As I recall, the “Hill Country News” referred to the State of District 31 as the State of Williamson County. Following Carter’s Leander or Cedar Park AARP talk, this was a brief mention of his talk. Also, a blurb about his SOD talk at a chuch. Included in the blurb was a request to reserve a place by calling someone. Since I had already made plans, I did not bother to call to be turned down.

    FYI: A day or two prior to the AARP talk I referred to in the preceding paragraph, he spoke at the Baca Senior Center in Round Rock, and event sponsored by AARP and SALT. Damn! I was in the building, but did not attend since I had no idea Carter was going to speak.

    I had a few questions I would like to have asked him re earmarks, especially one I understand he slipped thru several years ago for 6.8 million dollars for a weight room [gym?] at Ft. Hood. I am curious to know if he indeed got that one in and, if so, who was awarded the contract, and why.

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