Chris Ekstrom: Buckle up because I will be the most conservative member of Congress

TIMES-RECORD NEWS: Businessman Chris Ekstrom took an interest in politics as a conservative Republican donor and activist around the time the Tea Party took off, but he always saw himself as someone who worked behind the scenes — not as a candidate. 

Then the 13th Congressional District seat came up for grabs when U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry announced he was not running again earlier this year. Ekstrom, 52, decided it was time to leave the sidelines. 

“The reason I’m running is there was no conservative candidate in this race,” he said Tuesday in an interview. 

Yet the 13th CD is the most conservative district in the country, bar none, Ekstrom said. 

The sprawling district that stretches from the Panhandle across 41 counties almost to the Metroplex is considered a very red district.

President Donald Trump garnered just over 79 percent of the 13th CD’s vote in 2016, according to the Cook Political Report. 

“I just have no intention of watching yet another conservative district with a moderate politician who basically doesn’t intend to help the president,” Ekstrom said. 

So he recently moved from Dallas, which is outside the district, to Wichita Falls to mount a campaign for the 13th CD’s March 3 Republican Primary. 

“I hope you’re ready to buckle your seat belts because I’m probably going to be the most conservative congressman in the entire U.S. Congress,” he said. 

For Ekstrom, being conservative means, for instance, supporting Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military, as well as totally defunding Planned Parenthood. 

“We need to be outspoken in our convictions and beliefs because I think we’re right,” he said. “I’m an unapologetic conservative.”

Ekstrom also calls himself a “courageous conservative,” a tagline U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, employed during his bid for the presidency.

Ekstrom, who was born in Columbia, Missouri, founded the Courageous Conservative Political Action Committee.

The super PAC supported Cruz during his campaign for the 2016 GOP Presidential Primary, and the PAC sought to boost other conservative candidates over more moderate choices.   

Ekstrom, often referred to as a Dallas investor, plans to loan his campaign money. 

“I put my money where my mouth is, and I always have,” he said. 

As for the issues, he backs building the border wall, promoting job creation, protecting farmers, ranchers, and oil and gas producers who are “in the crosshairs of the liberals in D.C.,” taking care of veterans, supporting Sheppard Air Force Base and promoting military readiness, according to his campaign website at www.ekstromforcongress.com. 

He said Sheppard is extremely important to Wichita Falls and also serves a vital purpose for the nation’s defense. 

Ekstrom is a supporter of the Second Amendment, and, because he can’t stand for the “slaughter of innocence anymore,” he wants to see pro-life legislation called the Life at Conception Act passed in Congress, according to the campaign website.

In addition, he wants to shrink the size of the government and will oppose “any increase in D.C.’s authority and return power and influence to the States, to the people,” according to the website.

Ekstrom is married to wife Denise, and they are Christians who attend Christ the King Church regularly, according to the website.

He had his first job at 13 years old delivering soft drinks to businesses, according to the website.

He helped spearhead a construction company upgrading digital cable networks nationwide after college, working his way up to vice president of operations to manage thousands of employees, according to the website.

Ekstrom has been an entrepreneur over 25 years and is president of a successful commercial real estate investment firm, Ekstrom Properties, according to the website. 

Primary filing ends Dec. 9…

Trish Choate, enterprise watchdog reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news, politics and more. She loves getting news tips. If you have a good one, contact Trish at [email protected] Her Twitter handle is @Trishapedia. Published 6:10 PM EST Dec 3, 2019