Congressional District 33 –Tarrant/Dallas Counties
CD33 is the only truly new minority opportunity district under the court-ordered Texas redistricting map. As expected, Fort Worth-based State Representative Marc Veasey and Dallas-based lawyer Domingo Garcia finished first and second in an eleven-candidate field. However, Veasey emerges from the first round in better shape, having exceeded expectations by garning almost 40 percent of the vote and running more than 10 points ahead of Garcia. Veasey not only dominated in his Fort Worth State House District but also ran stronger in Dallas County than expected. Meanwhile, Garcia, even after pouring more than half a million of his own money in the race, performed below expectations. Garcia ran first in Dallas County, however, the county turn-out was significantly lower than in Tarrant. Also, Garcia appears to have lost some Hispanic votes to both David Alameel and Marc Veasey.
Clash of Styles
As the Lone Star Project has detailed in a number of reports, Marc Veasey and Domingo Garcia have very different styles and backgrounds. The 41-year-old Veasey has an even temperament and an inclusive style. Garcia is a generation older at 54 and brings a combative and divisive personality to his political activity that often alienates fellow Democrats.
What to watch for
Over the next few days, both candidates will work to gain the support of candidates who did not make the run-off and other local North Texas Democratic leaders who stayed out of the first round. As a wealthy lawyer, Garcia does not have to focus on fundraising, but must overcome considerable bad will to expand upon his relatively narrow base in Dallas County. Veasey has a solid base in Tarrant and appeals to many Dallas Democrats. However, he is not independently wealthy, so he must raise funds aggressively in the coming weeks while simultaneously working to broaden his coalition.
Congressional District 23 – Bexar County/West Texas
CD23 is the most competitive Texas congressional district in the fall, so it is important that Democrats nominate the strongest candidate to challenge GOP incumbent Francisco Canseco. Most observers, including the Lone Star Project, consider State Representative Pete Gallego the strongest candidate in the fall. However, former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez once again showed his strength among Bexar County Democrats by garning 46 percent of the vote. Gallego, however, ran just six points behind. Gallego remains the strongest candidate in a match-up with Canseco, but he must overcome the long-time good will among voters built up by Ciro Rodriguez.
Congressional District 34– Brownsville/Cameron County
CD34 is basically a replacement district for old CD27 and is not considered a new minority opportunity district. However, it is a safe Democratic district, with the winner of the Democratic primary becoming the presumptive Member of Congress. The CD34 race has not received much attention outside the Rio Grande Valley. Filemon Vela ran well ahead of everyone else in the crowded field with just over 40 percent of the vote. No one else reached even 15 percent. Vela will be considered the strong favorite in the run-off.
Reyes Goes Down
Congressional District 16 – El Paso
The biggest surprise across the state was the outright loss by Congressman Silvestre Reyes to Beto O’Rourke. While the race was originally seen as competitive, the belief was that Reyes would run first, and that the endorsements of President Obama and Bill Clinton would blunt any real damage. Clearly, those views were wrong. O’Rourke was able to mobilize dissatisfaction among progressives for Reyes and soundly defeated the incumbent. The district is safely Democratic, so O’Rourke is now the presumptive Member of Congress from CD16.
Savy Incumbents Win Outright
Congressional District 35 – Austin/San Antonio
As expected, Congressman Lloyd Doggett easily won the primary outright, once again showing his strong appeal to progressive voters. While there was some nervousness during early voting due to low turnout in Austin, it is now clear that Doggett had things in hand from the outset. The district is strongly Democratic, so Congressman Doggett is safe in the fall.
|Maria Luisa Alvarado|
Congressional District 30 – Dallas
CD30 is perhaps the best example of those outside a community not understanding what is going on inside. While observers in Washington and in Austin were intrigued by the appeal and fundraising strength of challenger Taj Clayton, virtually no one in North Texas thought Congresswoman Johnson was ever in serious danger of losing her seat. Congresswoman Johnson is an iconic figure in North Texas and is still regarded with great affection. Just as important, she still knows how to campaign aggressively. She took her campaign seriously and easily dispatched her challengers. Taj Clayton badly underperformed, running third and gaining barely over 10 percent of the vote.
|Eddie Bernice Johnson|