Former congressional candidate and retired military veteran Casey Gray announced his candidacy in the March 2022 Republican Primary on Thursday for the District 81 seat in the Texas House of Representatives – setting up a challenge to incumbent State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) for the spot. 

According to a campaign press release, Gray, who also hails from Odessa, served in both the U.S. Navy working in naval special warfare and in the Texas Army National Guard, where he sustained a severe injury in a helicopter crash.  Gray is also married to his wife, Brittnie, and has 6 children. 

“Our nation is at a critical point in our history,” Gray is quoted in the press release, adding further, “Never has the radical socialist agenda threatened so many of our American ideals of freedom and liberty. At times like this, the nation looks to Texas to lead, and our leaders must demonstrate courageous servant leadership.” 

Gray identifies as a “Christian conservative republican” and says in addition to protecting constitutional rights like the Second Amendment, he is pro-life and wants to protect the energy industry and bring additional infrastructure funding to West Texas. 

Gray also indirectly went on the offense with several issues, citing Landgraf’s vote to reduce offenses for voting-fraud-related laws, mentioned the controversial multi-million-dollar Schlemeyer Airport runway appropriation, among others. 

With redistricting House District 81 will look different going into the mid-term elections, with the House voting to remove Andrews County from the district and replace it with Loving County – leaving HD-81 made up with Ector, Winkler, Ward, and Loving Counties for the next decade. 

Filing for the March 1 Republican Primary Election continues now through December 13, but so far, Gray and Landgraf are the only candidates who have signaled their intent to seek the approval of voters for the job.