Scientific American: "Lone Star Long Shot: Science Runs for Congress"

By: David S. Rauf

"Backed by the science community, Kopser says that at a time when scientists and researchers are increasingly under attack by the White House and some in Congress, the country needs politicians that believe in data and evidence-based policy-making, not ideology-driven policies.

"'To win this race, it’s going to take somebody who can not only win Democrats but can pull in some Republicans who are looking to find common ground and don’t like the hostility in Washington,' says Joe Trippi, a veteran national Democratic consultant advising the Kopser campaign and 314 Action."

Original Article

Science Magazine: "Aerospace engineer and ‘clean energy warrior’ eyes Texas congressional seat"

By: Jeffrey Mervis

"Most politicos expect the district, a classic gerrymander by the state legislature that stretches from Austin to San Antonio and includes parts of the deeply conservative hill country, to remain in Republican hands. But Kopser believes that his combination of military service, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement will appeal to enough mainstream Democrats, independents, and moderate Republicans to overturn that conventional wisdom. And when Joseph Kopser believes something, he acts on it.

“'I don’t wait for somebody to invite me,” he says. “When I see a problem, I go after it.'”

Original Article

ENDORSEMENT: San Antonio Express-News

Sarver, Kopser to replace Smith

Express-News Editorial Board

Congressional District 21 in Texas has known no representative other than Republican Rep. Lamar Smith since he won the seat in 1987 — a seat with district lines historically gerrymandered to heavily favor the GOP. Democrats are hoping that Smith’s retirement announcement last year and a blue wave driven by anti-Trump sentiments overcome that high hurdle in this election.

In fact, a lot of hopes are soaring in this election. Eighteen hopefuls are competing in the GOP primary, and four on the Democratic side.

We recommend Jenifer Sarver, a former aide to U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, in the GOP primary, and retired Army officer and businessman Joseph Kopser, a Bronze Star winner for meritorious service, in the Democratic primary.

In many respects, the primary and general elections here might be a bellwether for how contests unfold nationwide for both parties. The two who win their party nominations in these races — a runoff is likely on the GOP side because of the number of candidates — are likely to be showered with national money to keep the district red or flip it blue. Both Sarver and Kopser represent trends that both parties might do well to emulate going forward.

In Sarver, we see a genuine conservative with limited government, pro-life sentiments who — unlike most of her GOP colleagues in this election — has been forthright in her distaste for President Trump. Voters will get someone who adheres to traditional Republican stances but is not willing to turn a blind eye to Trump’s divisive actions.

She calls for a return to civility in Congress and in the nation, and is willing to call out the president when he crosses those lines. At least two other candidates on the GOP side have similar views, but we give the nod to Sarver because of her government experience working with Hutchison, as executive director of a program working with the University of Texas System in Washington, D.C., and her time in the U.S. Commerce Department.

In Kopser, who sold a startup to a major car manufacturer and works to help veterans, we see a candidate who shares many of the progressive views of his Democratic colleagues in this race, but who has business and military savvy that is likely to attract broader support.

The Republican Party is going through tumult, but the Democratic Party is going through similar convulsion, with a heavy push leftward. That might work in many other congressional districts. It’s difficult to see how it would in this district.

Kopser’s campaign suffered from a charge of plagiarism after the Huffington Post published a story pointing to large portions on his website that copied other sources unattributed. The campaign blamed this on sloppy staff work. That’s believable, and with Kopser’s record, we don’t see this as disqualifying.

In Sarver and Kopser we see traditional party virtues embodied but also see how either could be unifying, open-minded fits for this district.

Original Article

Kopser for Congress Launches New Digital Spot: "Champion of Change"

Today, the Kopser for Congress campaign launched a new digital spot, “Champion of Change.” The spot introduces Joseph to Primary voters, highlighting his history as a changemaker and his background creating green energy solutions, which led to President Obama naming him a Champion of Change. Joseph Kopser released the following statement:

“Our campaign set out to do what Democrats in this district haven’t done in a long time — to have a real conversation with District 21 voters from Austin to San Antonio, from San Marcos to Leakey. We have a unique opportunity to reach more voters in this district than ever before, and I could not be more excited to bring them our message of new leadership and Progressive Texas values.”

Background: “Champion of Change” is part of a six-figure communications buy targeting roughly 50,000 likely Democratic primary voters.


CONTACT: Madison Kaigh, (609) 254-0647,

Joseph Kopser Responds to Cook Political Report Shifting TX-21 from Solid Republican to Likely Republican

Today, after the Cook Political Report  moved its rating of Texas’s 21st District from Solid Republican to Likely Republican, Democrat Joseph Kopser  released the following statement:

“This change represents a monumental shift in a district that’s been locked down by Lamar Smith for more than 30 years. With more Democrats and swing voters in Texas-21 than ever, and a field of 18 Republicans to whittle down, it’s no surprise that we’re starting to see a blue wave here.

“Thanks to Team Kopser volunteers, donors, and supporters all over Central Texas, our momentum continues to build. With less than a month until Primary Day, I couldn’t be prouder of this movement to flip Texas-21.”

Read the Cook Political Report ’s coverage below:

Cook Political Report: Ratings Changes in 21 Districts
By Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict)
February 8, 2018

TX-21: OPEN (Smith) (R) — South central: San Antonio and Austin suburbs Likely Republican. This open seat has been one of Texas's most reliably GOP districts dating back more than 30 years. But the professional suburbs of San Antonio and Austin are rapidly moderating. President Trump won this district by 10 points, down from Mitt Romney's 20 point margin. That gives Democrats a shred of hope that former Army officer Joseph Kopser ($337,000 on hand) could pull off an upset in a wave.

He'll likely need a flawed GOP nominee to do that, but the 18-candidate Republican field appears headed for a draining May runoff. At least eight of them have a credible path to the runoff, including former Sen. Ted Cruz staffer Chip Roy, former CIA officer William Negley, state Rep. Jason Isaac, former Rep. Quico Canseco, former Bexar County GOP chair Robert Stovall and PR consultant Jenifer Sarver (who didn't support Trump).

San Antonio observers cite Roy, Isaac and Stovall in particular as potentially too conservative for some more moderate suburban Republicans. It's still a long-shot for Democrats, but worth watching to see whom Republicans nominate.


CONTACT: Madison Kaigh, (609) 254-0647,