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Is it true what they say about Texas? by @BloggersRUs

Is it true what they say about Texas?

by Tom Sullivan


whiteafrican (CC-BY)

Texas Democrats are hoping for a blue wave this fall. But, says Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, "Greg Abbott and his $43 million campaign fund is a great seawall for any blue wave." They will need it with Texas Democrats fielding candidates in all of the state's congressional districts for the first time in 25 years. It's not as if Repubicans have anything new to offer.

Nancy Pelosi is not on the ballot anywhere in Texas this fall, but Texas voters can expect to hear plenty about her. At the close of the Texas primaries last night, Republicans were already invoking her name.

After winning renomination last night, Republican Congressman Pete Sessions of Dallas declared his reelection race a choice between a "Nancy Pelosi liberal" and values "embodied by North Texans." In a post Women's March world, that tired line might not be the wisest pitch, but count on hearing it from Republicans even after Pelosi is gone, just as the sitting president cannot let go of slamming his 2016 rival.

Sessions' is one of ten congressional seats House Democrats have targeted in Texas, reports the Dallas Morning News. Three dozen races were on yesterday's ballots.

Incumbent Republicans Sen. Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott easily won renomination to the fall ballot. Cruz will face Democrat Beto O'Rourke, a three-term congressman from El Paso. "Beto wants those open borders, and wants to take our guns," twangs a jingle from Cruz released immediately after results were final. Abbott will face either former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez or Andrew White. The two face a runoff after finishing 43-27 in the Democratic primary for governor.

But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will have to work harder if it expects to get its preferred candidate in TX-7. Previously attacked by the House Democrats' campaign arm, activist and journalist Laura Moser finished second among seven candidates in the Houston-area primary and advances to a May 22 runoff against attorney Lizzie Pannill Fletcher.

Houston may send its first-ever Latina to Congress. Sylvia Garcia handily defeated Beaumont businessman Tahir Javed for the Democratic nomination in TX-29:

“This was for Latinos who for too long have sat on the political sidelines while the president sits in the White House blaming all of our problems on immigrants,” she said.

The heavily Democratic district was drawn in 1992 to help elect a Latino to Congress but has been filled ever since by U.S. Rep. Gene Green, a Democrat who announced he is not seeking re-election.

Democratic turnout was the highest in 16 years, reports the L.A. Times:
More than 830,000 Democrats had voted with ballots still being counted late Tuesday, the best showing in a midterm primary for Texas Democrats since than 1 million voters turned out in 2002, the first election after the Sept. 11 attacks. Republicans were close to their turnout in previous midterm primaries, with more than 1.3 million votes and counting.

While 2002 was a high water mark for Democratic turnout in Texas it also showed the limits of the exuberance for turning the state blue. In November that year, the Democrats running for statewide office were all beaten, just as they have been since 1994.

Whether or not Democratic turnout portends a blue wave this time remains unclear. Trump won Texas by 9 points, "the smallest margin of victory by a Republican presidential candidate in Texas in 20 years" reports the Times.

But reports indicate that seats open through retirements are likely to remain in the same party's hands. Democrats may make more gains in the legislature than in Congress. It's a start.

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Request a copy of For The Win, my county-level election mechanics primer at tom.bluecentury at gmail.