State Sen. Kip Averitt draws primary challenger
The Ellis County Press
ELLIS COUNTY – State Sen. Kip Averitt, R-McGregor, has drawn a primary challenger for the first time since his election in 2002.
Burleson’s Darren Yancy, who had been a candidate for U.S. Congress against Democrat Chet Edwards, withdrew from that race and focused on the sprawling 10-county District 22, which includes Ellis County.
"It is no secret that my wife and I have been in an eminent domain struggle with one of the largest natural gas producers in the country, XTO Energy," Yancy said.
"In March of this year, after I had begun my campaign, they filed for condemnation against our homestead for substantial pipeline construction.
"For months we have been working to re-negotiate the conditions of the condemnation, but have failed. This month we were to have a trial to settle the value of the damage to our home.
"That trial has now been moved to March 23, 2010 after the primaries.
"This places uncertainty on my ability to compete in the federal campaign circuit."
Averitt, first nominated in the GOP primary in 2002 against Ovilla resident and former congressional candidate Ed Harrison, is rumored by several national political Web sites to be in the running for Edwards 17th District congressional seat.
As a state representative representing the Waco suburbs, and as a state senator, Averitt has ranked in the 30s and 40s on conservative voting report cards.
Yancy said he would present himself as the conservative alternative in the March 2 GOP primary.
Candidates have from Dec. 4 to Jan. 4 to file for the November 2010 general election ballot.