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Veasey wins in new Texas CD33

State Representative Marc Veasey won the Democratic Party nomination in new Texas Congressional District 33 yesterday. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic so, while Veasey must run a fall campaign, it is almost certain he will be sworn into Congress next January.
State Representative Marc Veasey won the Democratic Party nomination in new Texas Congressional District 33 yesterday. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic so, while Veasey must run a fall campaign, it is almost certain he will be sworn into Congress next January.

The Lone Star Project has followed the configuration of the new Texas congressional district lines from early in the redistricting process and has released detailed reports on CD33. While an in-depth analysis of yesterday’s primary run-off can only be done after voter lists are released later this month, the key elements to Veasey’s win are evident.

Veasey proved to be a tough, strong, disciplined candidatemarc-family

Marc Veasey is a relatively low-key individual with an even temperament. Some wondered if he could go toe-to-toe with an aggressive and ruthless millionaire opponent like Domingo Garcia. Veasey’s even demeanor, however, is reinforced by a deliberate toughness. Veasey never backed down from Garcia’s attacks and fired back with more effective and substantive counter punches. Perhaps most impressive, Veasey raised nearly a million dollars from individuals and key organizations. While he was outspent significantly by Garcia who gave his own campaign over 1.2 million dollars, Veasey knew exactly how much he needed to run his campaign and did the hard work necessary to raise it in time to be spent effectively.

There are a number of young Texas Democrats who are seen as rising stars in the Democratic Party. Marc Veasey has earned his place on this list.

Voting strength in Tarrant County/Fort Worth proved decisive

Early on, the Lone Star Project demonstrated that Tarrant County and Fort Worth had the greatest voting strength in the new district. Moreover, we predicted that Marc Veasey’s strong base in Fort Worth gave him a distinct advantage. The run-off played out almost exactly as predicted. Despite Garcia devoting enormous resources to boosting turnout in Dallas County, Tarrant provided 59 percent of the vote, and Veasey’s Fort Worth State House district alone made up about one-third of the turnout.

Veasey won the mail ballot, early vote and election day by large margins in Tarrant County, thus overcoming the heavy spending of Garcia in Dallas County.

 
Early Vote by Mail
Early Vote in Person
Election Day
Total
%
Dallas County
Marc Veasey
1,096
284
1,113
2,493
29.9%
Domingo Garcia
2,254
1,063
2,516
5,837
70.1%

Tarrant County

Marc Veasey
1,188
3,778
3,305
8,271
68.5%
Domingo Garcia
848
1,259
1,704
3,811
31.5%
District Total
Marc Veasey
2,284
4,062
4,418
10,764
52.7%
Domingo Garcia
3,102
2,322
4,220
9,648
47.2%
County Breakdown
Dallas County
3,350
1,347
3,629
8,330
40.8%
Tarrant County
2,036
5,037
5,009
12,082
59.2%

 

Veasey pursued a smart, disciplined strategy 

Veasey skillfully utilized his structural advantages within the district. His on-the-ground campaign team targeted voters and communicated effectively door-to-door, through the mail and over the phones. They were reinforced by TV and radio ads that echoed the message. Veasey emphasized his Fort Worth base and demonstrated his strong ties to key Tarrant County employers. As a result, key organizations supported his campaign both financially and with some independent expenditures.

Meanwhile Domingo Garcia made the fundamental mistake of trying to change the turnout dynamics of the district. Most damaging, Garcia attacked major Tarrant employers and insulted Fort Worth neighborhoods calling them “ghettos.” On a personal level, Garcia played into his reputation as being divisive and mean spirited which prevented him from ever significantly expanding his base. Garcia’s cluttered television spot may well have hurt him more than helped him. The charges he made against Veasey dealt with issues unimportant to local voters and the footage of Garcia himself was unflattering. Finally, the ad was placed on stations and at times where it did not reach the voters likely to participate in the CD33 run-off.

Garcia won a majority only among those who voted by mail, after expending hundreds of thousands of dollars on this single element of the campaign. Veasey won a large majority of those who voted early in person and then won a majority of in person voting on election day. Veasey’s smart, tactical campaign proved stronger than Garcia’s expensive, scattered effort.

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