Sheriff Troy Nehls announced today that he is considering running for U.S. Representative for District 22.
Nehls has served as sheriff of Fort Bend County since 2013. In July, Nehls announced he would not be seeking reelection at the end of his term in 2020.
In an official video, Nehls stated that he is starting an exploratory committee in consideration of his run for Congress.
“After announcing that I would not be seeking a third term as sheriff, many people asked me about my future plans,” Nehls said. “I inform them that I am very seriously considering running for Congress, for Congressional District 22.”
Nehls is emphatic that he is not announcing his official candidacy. Under the Texas Constitution, Article 16, Section 65, commonly called the “resign-to-run” provision, an elected official cannot become a candidate for another position without resigning from their current seat. Once they are one year and 30 days away from the election for their new position, they may announce their candidacy without vacating their current seat.
As Nehls will not be resigning as sheriff, he will not be making an official decision to run until early December of this year. The sheriff’s term takes place until 2020. Put simply, Nehls said, “If I were to announce that I was running for Congress next week or even next month, I would have to resign my current position as sheriff, and I'm not willing to do that, nor will I do that. So if I choose to run, I will make that known the first week of December. If I do that, I will be able to fulfill my term as sheriff while I run for Congress at the same time.”
Until he makes his official decision in December, Nehls has organized an exploratory committee to gather feedback from the community as to whether or not Nehls would have sufficient support in District 22 to support his campaign.
“I’m exploring my options. How does the public feel about you? Is this a pipe dream or is it something that could be obtainable? You’re testing the waters,” Nehls explained.
Nehls stated that the biggest impetus to his potential campaign is his belief in the need for immigration reform. “Serving as a sheriff for Fort Bend County, and seeing some of the issues with our immigration policy, at the federal level- it's Congress' responsibility to keep the American people safe. It's Congress' responsibility to secure our borders. And they've done very little,” Nehls said.
Since forming the exploratory committee, Nehls said he’s received considerable positive feedback from the conservative voters. He reported that since making his announcement, the exploratory campaign has raised over $100,000 in donations from voters.