Texas Democrats Take Aim at Congressional Seats

Texas Democrats are lining up for next year's election, hoping to gain seats in Washington D.C.

With five U.S. congressmen retiring, Democrats are looking to grab at least one, if not two of those seats.  However, a more interesting race may be taking shape against Houston Republican John Culberson.

“Still the smart money would be to bet on Congressman Culberson, but CD-7 is a district that's likely to be in play next fall and as a result we're seeing four very talented and highly qualified Democrats,” says Dr. Mark Jones, a fellow in political science at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

The four Democrats so far have raised more than $4 million between them.

“Overall there's a belief that districts we normally could call safe Republican seats are potentially in play, that doesn't meant they're going to be in play, but there's the potential they're in play.”

El Paso Democrat Beto O'Rourke also is giving up his seat in the House to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz.

“There's no way, shape or form Beto O'Rourke is going to defeat Ted Cruz,” says Jones.  “I think the only question is can Beto O'Rourke somehow hold Ted Cruz to a single-digit margin of victory?”

At least three Texas state senators face stiff primary challenges, with Democrats also looking to gain seats in Austin come next November.  However, Jones believes that is highly unlikely, especially against Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican statewide office holders.

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