Snider accuses opponent of wanting to move jobs from Bell to Sheppard: Winegarner says claim 'a blatant lie'

Vance Snider
A GOP Texas 13th Congressional District candidate is accusing one of his Republican primary opponents of wanting to move jobs from Bell Helicopter in Amarillo to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls.

"If you live in Amarillo and work at Bell Helicopter, did you know that Josh Winegarner wants to eliminate your job and move parts of Bell Helicopter to Wichita Falls?

"This would cripple the economy in Amarillo and leave multiple empty buildings at Rick Husband International Airport," Vance Snider wrote on Facebook.

Snider makes his claim from a comment Winegarner made during a candidate forum in Wichita Falls. Winegarner was responding to a question about expanding the number of missions at Sheppard.

“So, Sheppard Air Force base does provide a pivotal point in our national security and defense, and it is strong. It is not going anywhere anytime soon

"But we can’t just stop there, we always have to be looking forward. We’ve got to look for new missions we can bring on. We’ve got to be looking for other opportunities.

"The F-35 fighters are built in Fort Worth, why aren’t we doing the maintenance on them here and the flight training here instead of in Florida? Bell Helicopter in Amarillo has the tiltrotor program. Why aren’t we doing that maintenance and flight training here also?” Winegarner said in response to the question.

Josh Winegarner
Winegarner called Snider's accusation "a blatant lie."

"One of my opponents has started a rumor that I want to move jobs from the Bell Helicopter facility in Amarillo to Wichita Falls. This is false and completely absurd.

"Bell Helicopter is critical to our region and our national security, and I will do everything in my power to support and grow the Amarillo facility.

"In the video clip he’s referencing, we were discussing ways in which to increase the number of missions at Sheppard Air Force base - another critical national security installation in this district. At no time did I mention closing the plant or moving jobs from Amarillo to Wichita Falls.

"This is a blatant lie by my opponent and I hope voters will reject this obvious scare tactic," Winegarner said.

Here is the full video of the Wichita County Republican Women's candidate forum. Winegarner's comment on Bell and Sheppard can be heard at the 43 minute and 30 sec mark of the video.