Kevin Brady was elected to the U.S. House, defeating Republican Gene Fontenot in a special April 1996 runoff to replace Republican Rep. Jack Fields, who was retiring.
Brady gave up a six-year state House seat to run for Congress and had to face Fontenot twice that year after the first results were tossed out by a federal court panel's ruling that some congressional districts were drawn improperly on the basis of race.
The three judges made new boundaries for more than a dozen Texas districts and opened the general election to anyone of any party, reopening the door to Fontenot, who spent more than $3 million of his own money in his unsuccessful bids.
The race degenerated into a battle between who was more conservative. Brady had the backing of the mainstream GOP hierarchy like then U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm. Fontenot's support came from the likes of Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson. Brady won with 59 percent of the vote.
He was re-elected in 1998 and 2000, both times without Democratic opposition.
He was re-elected in 2002 with token opposition, taking 93 percent of the vote.
He won his Texas House seat in 1990 with 52 percent of the vote over Democrat John McCall, making him the first Republican to win that district.