WASHINGTON — Texas Republican Representative Gary Gates has been trying to cast himself as a hard working public servant — even as he evicted over 100 tenants during the coronavirus pandemic. The Houston-area legislator has long been accused of exploiting low-income Texans to build his fortune, and it appears that not even an unprecedented global public health emergency can stop him. Evicting tenants during the pandemic directly jeopardizes their health and safety.
“Texas Republicans have been on the wrong side of this pandemic from the very beginning,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “Between spreading conspiracy theories and pushing to defy public health restrictions, they’ve proven that they have no interest in dealing with this crisis. Representative Gates’ callous disregard for the plight of struggling Texans proves that he and his party have no business in the majority. Vote them out.”
Gates isn’t even the first Texas Republican to kick people out of their homes during the crisis — Fort Worth Representative Craig Goldman’s company also evicted tenants, potentially violating federal law. Meanwhile, Texas’s premature opening — championed by GOP legislators — has become a cautionary tale for the rest of the country.
Democrats need to flip just nine seats in the Texas House to win a majority for the first time in nearly two decades, and Beto O’Rourke carried nine Republican-held seats in his 2018 Senate campaign. Gates’ Fort Bend County district has rapidly trended away from Republicans in recent years, and Beto O’Rourke only narrowly lost it two years ago.
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is the official Democratic organization dedicated to winning state legislative seats. Earlier this year, the DLCC unveiled its unprecedented $50 million campaign to “Flip Everything” this November. Since Trump’s election, the DLCC and state partners have flipped over 450 seats and 10 chambers from red to blue.