It’s time for new leadership in Texas. Rep. Lamar Smith has represented Texas since 1986 and built a reputation as Congress’s most persistent climate change denier – a fact that is even more disturbing considering he is the Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Rep. Smith doesn’t believe in facts, and he doesn’t want them reported. Instead, he believes it’s “better to get your news directly from the President. In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.” We can do better.

I am a Democrat challenging Rep. Lamar Smith in Texas' 21st Congressional District. Your donation will help send a powerful signal that a people-powered campaign can defeat one of the most anti-science politicians in Congress.

I want to help move this country forward, which means supporting science and business while taking climate change seriously. I have the experience to do it. In 2013, I was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for my efforts in Energy and Transportation.

I served in the U.S. Army for 20 years earning the Combat Action Badge, Army Ranger Tab and Bronze Star. I graduated from West Point with a BS in Aerospace Engineering and received a Masters from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2002.

I’m currently the President of Grayline, where we work to bring together experts, data and solutions to help companies and public institutions manage disruptive change. Before joining Grayline, I was the Co-Founder and CEO of a Texas-based technology company that enabled seamless multimodal experiences and connected transit commerce to app users worldwide.

In my free time, I work closely with The Bunker Austin, an organization dedicated to supporting veteran entrepreneurs. I co-founded 60x30Works to improve education and workforce training in Texas to build the new economy. In addition, I volunteer as Chairman of NSTXL working to improve U.S. Energy Security policy. I am also a member of the Texas Lyceum, the Truman National Security Project, the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Association of Business.

I live in Austin with my wife and three daughters.

Learn more about me by visiting my website .


Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • endorsed

    “Kopser for Congress!! This guy has it all, which includes a flexible, thoughtful, compassionate intellect.”

  • endorsed

    “He's civic-minded, smart, and broadly experienced”

  • endorsed

    “My wife and I are endorsing Joseph Kopser because we are long overdue in District 21 to have a responsive, technically educated , experienced business manager representing us. As we are both vets, we also recognize the value of his military experience. We will fully support his campaign.”

  • endorsed

    “It's time! How bad does it have to get before we act?”

  • endorsed

    “It's time for new leadership in District 21.”

  • endorsed

    “Time to remove Lamar Smith, anti-science candidate of the year and water boy for Trump.”

  • endorsed

    “I support Joseph Kopser because it is past time to get rid of Lamar Smith, an anti-science candidate who has been too long in office. As a veteran, entrepreneur, and engineer, Kopser knows the issues most critical to our nation.”

  • endorsed

    “Joseph is the candidate and Member of Congress we need from Central Texas.”

  • endorsed

    “Joseph can beat Lamar Smith. He has a message that will attract voters across the political spectrum, but is yet consistent with the principles of the Democratic Party. The other candidates for Tx 21 appeal to a small slice of the electorate, therefore no chance of beating Lamar.”

  • endorsed

    “As an engineer and retired military officer Joseph Kopser has the experience, education, and enlightenment to deliver as a US representative. Rep Lamar Smith has dangerous limited ability to make rational decisions on facts. In addition Rep Smith a never served in the military minion believes the 5% military personnel who are non-citizens who serve courageously in the military should not be provided citizenship consideration. This narrow point of view infuriates me. Vote Kosper, Vote for Sensibility.”

June 27, 2018

Our first deadline of the general election!

Thanks to your support, we won our runoff election last month by 16 points! But now, we have another hurdle ahead of us.

June 30th is our next big fundraising deadline, and it's our first real test of the general election. To win this seat, we have to raise more money than our Tea Party opponent (Ted Cruz’s former Chief of Staff) on our first head-to-head finance report.

TX-21 hasn't had an accountable representative in Congress for over 30 years. With your help, we can change that. Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball have both said our race is more competitive than ever. And since we won the primary, the Economist rated this seat as one of only a few tossups around the country.

We're building serious momentum here in Texas, but we can't win without your help. Pitch in today to show how strong our grassroots movement is!

June 30, 2017

If You Believe

Tonight at midnight is our first fundraising deadline -- we have $1,299 left to reach our online goal.

We are incredibly close to our first quarter goal. If we reach our goal for this important FEC reporting period, it will put Lamar Smith on notice that his retirement is near.

If you have been thinking about donating, if you have been meaning to get involved, now is the time.

If you believe climate change is a threat to our nation's future, donate now so we can fight for our environment.

If you believe we can do a better job educating our children, donate now so we can fight for our children's future.

If you know one of the 22 million people who will lose health care under the current Republican plan, donate now so we can fight for healthcare for all.

If you are sick and tired of a Congress that puts their petty partisan politics ahead of the American people, donate today.

Thank you,

Joseph

June 8, 2017

The Wrong CHOICE

While James Comey’s testimony stole national attention, Lamar Smith and House Republicans took advantage of the opportunity to pass legislation allowing Wall Street to return to the predatory practices that caused the 2008 financial crisis.

The Financial CHOICE Act would allow Congress to defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and President Trump would have the power to fire the director of the CFPB and the Federal Housing Finance Agency for no reason at all.

It represents a significant step toward another financial catastrophe, and Speaker Paul Ryan described the Financial CHOICE Act as the “crown jewel” of the effort to undo protections for ordinary Americans. Lamar Smith supports it, too.

Can you help us meet our $100,000 goal on Crowdpac today to defeat Rep. Lamar Smith in 2018?

Rep. Lamar Smith voted for the CHOICE Act because he is in Wall Street’s pocket, not because it’s the right thing to do for the families of TX-21.

I’m running to represent the people of Central Texas. And my campaign is backed by grassroots supporters like you.

We are $10,210 from reaching our $100,000 goal on Crowdpac. Please help us reach this major campaign milestone by chipping in today.


Thank you,

Joseph

May 4, 2017

Left behind

Friend --

Moments ago, Congressman Lamar Smith voted to pass TrumpCare and to leave people across our country, and right here in Texas, vulnerable to soaring healthcare costs and declining coverage.

While Congressman Smith continues to ignore and deny the facts, the people of Texas' 21st cannot afford to. According to the latest CBO score, this bill has the potential to leave 54,700 Central Texans, including 6,100 children, without healthcare. The final numbers could be even worse.  

This is unacceptable. We need a representative in Congress who looks out for our interests, not someone who blindly follows the partisan agenda of our President. Join the fight today – write an endorsement on Crowdpac.

Congressman Smith and House Republicans voted for this bill without requesting or reviewing an impact and cost analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. 
 
If this healthcare bill becomes law, the effects would be devastating. Insurance companies will be allowed to jack up rates on those who can least afford it and effectively charge women more than men. An age tax will be implemented on older Central Texans, ages 50-64, who would have to pay up to 5x more in insurance premiums. Citizens with pre-existing conditions will be left behind and once again denied coverage.

Congressman Smith’s support of this healthcare bill is yet another shameful disconnect from our Texan values.

Thank you for supporting new leadership in Texas. Together we can defeat Lamar Smith in 2018. Encourage other people to support my campaign by writing an endorsement on Crowdpac today.

Thank you,

JK

May 1, 2017

From a “safe seat” to the hot seat

Friend --

“Even Smith might feel some heat.” That’s how The San Antonio Express-News summed up my impact on our potential race last week.

After years of denying climate change – and challenging scientific consensus, Congressman Lamar Smith is now in the political hot seat for the first time.   

Congressman Smith has gotten away with ignoring our voices because he thinks he has a safe seat. But even the most aggressive district map can’t hold back a surge of grassroots enthusiasm. 

That’s what we’re seeing across our district. Thanks to supporters like you, we’ve already raised more than the last Democratic candidate raised in an entire election cycle. We are currently the #2 race out of over 270+ Democratic campaigns among money pledged.

Over the last couple of months, tens of thousands have marched and rallied in Austin, San Antonio, and the Hill Country showing a grassroots force like our district has not seen in a very long time.

I hope you’ll join me tonight as I speak at “Race to Replace” TX21 forum at Texas State University. This is the first forum featuring potential candidates in this race. Together, we’ll show Congressman Smith that change is coming. 

Thanks,

JK

April 23, 2017

March for Science

Yesterday, tens of thousands of protesters filled Austin, San Antonio, Washington D.C. and other cities around the world to march for science on Earth Day. After the march, PBS News aired a story on scientists considering running for office which featured my potential campaign against Rep. Lamar Smith in TX-21.

You can watch the interview on my Crowdpac homepage. Please, share with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you,
JK

April 17, 2017

Another milestone

With your generous support, we are now the #2 Democratic campaign on Crowdpac with almost $85,000 in pledged donations from over 480 contributors.
 
Thank you. Your support for new leadership in Texas is proving that Rep. Lamar Smith can be defeated in 2018.
 
Let’s keep it up – please share our campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Thank you,
JK

April 6, 2017

You've been hacked

This week, President Trump and the Republican Congress repealed online privacy protections that would have required internet service providers to obtain permission from customers before sharing browsing and app usage histories.

This hack will allow cable and telephone companies to sift through and sell your private data to advertisers -- potentially worth billions of dollars in additional revenue.

While Congress investigates hacking of our data by the Russians, why would members of Congress, like Rep. Lamar Smith, sell our data to the highest bidder without our permission? 

If you agree that online privacy and access to a free, unfettered internet are important, please consider pledging an additional $21 or $221 for my potential campaign against Rep. Lamar Smith in TX-21. You will not be charged until I officially declare my candidacy.

Rep. Lamar Smith has always been on the wrong side of the new economy. In 2012, using his power as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, he introduced SOPA. This bill was considered the greatest threat to the American online economy ever proposed.

Laws like SOPA are especially dangerous to the Central Texas technology community -- they stifle innovation and the exchange of ideas, hurting our economy. After a global backlash, the bill was pulled and deemed too radical by Republican leadership.

We need a voice in Congress who understands these complicated issues and will fight for a 21st-century economy, not for big cable companies. It's why I am interested in running for Congress. 

With your support, we surpassed our $75K fundraising goal and raised it to $100K. Together we are sending the message that we can and will defeat Rep. Lamar Smith in 2018. Please, pledge to donate today -- even $21 brings us one step closer to new leadership in Texas.

Thank you.

-JK

P.S. Read my entire argument on my latest blog post.

March 30, 2017

The EPA, Climate Change and our Economy

Thank you for your continued support as I explore the possibility of running for Congress against Rep. Lamar Smith in Texas' 21st district. We are so close to meeting our newest goal of $75K. Please help us continue the conversation by sharing our Crowdpac with your friends and colleagues.

Rep. Lamar Smith and I differ drastically when it comes to the debate around science, tech, jobs and our climate. Learn more about how I plan to approach these issues in my latest blog post: The EPA, Climate Change and our Economy.

Thanks,

JK

March 18, 2017

We've met our goal of $50K!

On March 14th, Buzzfeed highlighted my interest in running for Congress against Rep. Lamar Smith.

After just 24 hours of launching this Crowdpac, we hit $25K in pledged donations. In 72 hours, we've doubled that to $50K!

Your enthusiasm for new leadership in Texas has been overwhelming. I am grateful to have your support as we establish the next steps of this critical change for District 21. Stay tuned for updates in the following weeks.

Thanks,

JK

March 16, 2017

Thank you for helping me raise my first $25,000

In just 24 hours, we have surpassed our first fundraising goal and raised over $27,000! I am incredibly thankful for your support as we work to get this grassroots campaign off the ground.

I'm increasing our goal to $50,000 - please help us keep the momentum going. With a pledge to donate today, we can put the pressure on Rep. Lamar Smith and send a powerful message that Texas education matters, connected communities make a difference, and Rep. Smith's anti-science rhetoric will no longer be tolerated.

Can you reach out to five colleagues and ask them to pledge their support today?

Thanks,

JK

Campaign created!

Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • endorsed

    “Kopser for Congress!! This guy has it all, which includes a flexible, thoughtful, compassionate intellect.”

  • endorsed

    “He's civic-minded, smart, and broadly experienced”

  • endorsed

    “My wife and I are endorsing Joseph Kopser because we are long overdue in District 21 to have a responsive, technically educated , experienced business manager representing us. As we are both vets, we also recognize the value of his military experience. We will fully support his campaign.”

  • endorsed

    “It's time! How bad does it have to get before we act?”

  • endorsed

  • endorsed

    “It's time for new leadership in District 21.”

  • endorsed

    “Time to remove Lamar Smith, anti-science candidate of the year and water boy for Trump.”

  • endorsed

    “I support Joseph Kopser because it is past time to get rid of Lamar Smith, an anti-science candidate who has been too long in office. As a veteran, entrepreneur, and engineer, Kopser knows the issues most critical to our nation.”

  • endorsed

    “Joseph is the candidate and Member of Congress we need from Central Texas.”

  • endorsed

    “Joseph can beat Lamar Smith. He has a message that will attract voters across the political spectrum, but is yet consistent with the principles of the Democratic Party. The other candidates for Tx 21 appeal to a small slice of the electorate, therefore no chance of beating Lamar.”

  • endorsed

    “As an engineer and retired military officer Joseph Kopser has the experience, education, and enlightenment to deliver as a US representative. Rep Lamar Smith has dangerous limited ability to make rational decisions on facts. In addition Rep Smith a never served in the military minion believes the 5% military personnel who are non-citizens who serve courageously in the military should not be provided citizenship consideration. This narrow point of view infuriates me. Vote Kosper, Vote for Sensibility.”

  • endorsed

    “Anti-intellectualism has reached its zenith with the election of Donald Trump, It is imperative that we elect knowledgeable, thinking people to congress.”

  • endorsed

    “Joseph Kopser is the perfect candidate to beat Lamar Smith and represent District 21: highly educated, military experience, business experience, open-minded, and forward thinking.”

  • endorsed

    “I am a District 21 constituent and we need a new representative. Smith does not represent my positions and does not respond to communications. I also went through West Point, the Kennedy School and an Army career - and thus think there is a solid basis for supporting this man.”

  • endorsed

    “Congress is brain-dead to science or logic.”

  • endorsed

    “He is a soldier and supports rational data driven decision making. Hopefully he will inject rationality into the toxic mess of our political system and will ensure our military is used as a last resort rather than just another tool in the tool box. RH USMA'71”

  • endorsed

    “Military background, scientist, father and husband. From the first 30 seconds I heard him on PBS, I thought he should be the future of the Democratic Party.”

  • endorsed

    “I support Joseph Kopser because we need intelligence and life experience in our leadership if we are to have a future.”

  • endorsed

    “I endorse Joseph Kopser because I saw a segment on PBS Newshour. He seems to be a rational, thinking candidate not locked into a dying dogma like Lamar Smith. We need someone who understands science.”

  • endorsed

    “Enough is enough. Lamar Smith may be a lovely person, but he became our representative because of a gerrymandered redistributing plan. I can think of nothing he has done for this district.”

  • endorsed

    “I am in Lamar Smith's district after the GOP gerrymandered Lloyd Doggett. I will support Mr. Kopser 100% if he chooses to run. I am active in Hays County Democrats..will call and block walk for a candidate that supports my values.”

  • endorsed

    “Mr. Kopser understands science. Lamar Smith is an ignorant unscientific leach on America. Mr. Kopser will move us forward. Raise money and knock out Lamars evil intimidating anti science agenda!”