Dallas County is Ground Zero in Texas Democrats’ Fight to Win State House Seats
In 2016, Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton won seven Texas House districts in Dallas County that are represented by Republicans in the State legislature. Texas Democrats hope to unseat the seven GOP lawmakers in those counties.
Texas Democrats held a fundraiser on Wednesday at a private home in Dallas to interview potential House candidates including Dorotha Ocker. Last year, she came within one percentage point of beating incumbent Republican Matt Rinaldi in House District 115 in far northwest Dallas County.
The expected rematch between Ocker and Rinaldi will likely be one of the most watched races in Texas because Clinton beat Trump in Rinaldi’s district by nine percentage points.
Texas Democrats campaigned in Dallas Wednesday and raised money hoping to convince donors that 2018 could be a successful election cycle.
Along with Dallas County, Democrats are targeting Republicans in House Districts 134 and 138 in Harris County and House District 136 in Williamson County.
Democrats’ march into Dallas County will include campaigns against incumbent Republicans Linda Koop of Dallas in District 102, Rodney Anderson of Grand Prairie in District 105, Cindy Burkett of Sunnyvale in District 113, Angie Chen Button of Garland in District 112, Morgan Meyer in District 108 and Jason Villalba in District 114.
In 2016, Democrat Victoria Neave beat incumbent Republican Kenneth Sheets in District 107, which includes eastern Dallas County.
“The 2016 elections showed us that voters reject the tone and rhetoric of Donald Trump and the Texas Republicans who support him. Dallas County is ground zero in our fight to win seats now held by Republicans,” said Cesar Blanco, co-chairman of the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee.
Blanco said the House Democratic Campaign Committee is hoping to build on Clinton’s success.
Democrats hope a July redistricting case now in federal court will result in new lines being drawn that favor minority voters. A federal court ruled that 2011 maps drawn by Republicans discriminate against minority voters in Dallas County.
“The redistricting case could be critical to our efforts in Dallas County,” Blanco said.
Republicans aren’t sitting still though. Dallas County Republican Chairman Phillip Hiffines scoffed at the notion that Democrats are poised to make in-roads in the state elections.
“While they’ve been putting on a big show and talking, we’ve been working,” said Phillip Huffines. “We’re not only going to keep the seats they’ve targeted, we’re going to take back ground in Dallas County.”
The GOP holds a solid majority 95-55 seat advantage in the Texas State House and Democrats agree that it will be nearly impossible for them to retake the Texas House in one election cycle.
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