Rep. John Raney (R-College Station) is facing his toughest challenge since winning a special runoff election, 58%-42%, in 2011. He easily dispatched his 2012 primary opponent, 81%-19%, and was unopposed in 2014. This year, he faces conservative activist and former College Station council member Jess Fields, who has the backing of movement conservative groups and their allies.

Fields was a Texas A&M student when he narrowly won a seat on the city council in 2010. He did not seek re-election in 2013 after being the lone dissenting vote on a number of city issues. “I have never really had a majority of people on council who have felt the same way and who have been as conservative as I am,” Fields told the Bryan College-Station Eagle in 2013. “I feel like I’ve done about as much as I could do.” [] Now Fields has his sights set on the Capitol, and his target is a two-term incumbent for whom conservative groups have shown little enthusiasm. Raney has a lifetime score of “F” on Empower Texans’ scorecard. He scored an 84 on Texas Right to Life’s scorecard in 2015 after receiving a 96 in 2013.

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