Democrats Outnumber Republicans In Texas Races

The party hasn’t run this many candidates in more than a decade.

Niyazz/iStock

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

For the first time in a decade, more Democrats than Republicans have registered to run in Texas legislative races this year—bolstering speculation that the deep red state could be turning purple.

As Mother Jones reporter Tim Murphy noted earlier this year, Democrats across the country are running in record numbers in both state and national GOP strongholds. That includes the Lone Star State, where Democratic candidates have outnumbered Republicans in state races for the first time in recent memory. 

All 150 seats in the Texas state house are up for election this year, and 15 of the 31 state senate seats are up as well. Democrats are contesting 113 state legislature races while Republicans are competing in 114. Both parties have candidates running in 14 of the 15 state senate races. (Democrats are also contesting all 36 of Texas’ congressional seats for the first time since the early 1980s.)  

Democrats have recruited candidates to run in state districts where Republican incumbents haven’t faced challengers in years. This year, 184 Texas Democrats filed to run in state house races, the most since at least the early 1990s. Another 24 Democrats have run for state senate seats, the most in at least a decade, according to data by the nonpartisan political site Ballotpedia. One hundred and eighty Republicans filed to run in state house races this year, down from a peak of 207 in 2010, when the tea party swept state races nationwide. This year, 23 Republicans are running for the state senate, down from 39 in 2012.

Texas held its primaries in March and a run-off election in May, winnowing down the number of candidates who will be on the ballot in November. But for the first time in years, Texas Democrats seem determined not to let Republicans pick up seats without a fight. 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest