WASHINGTON — Less than two weeks away from a critical special election, Texas House Republicans are in disarray, more focused on party infighting than protecting their majority in the Texas House of Representatives.
Tuesday, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced he would not seek re-election after he was exposed targeting members of his own party and telling the truth about Donald Trump’s harmful effects up and done the ballot in a state Republicans considered securely theirs for the past decade.
“We agree with disgraced House Speaker Bonnen, Donald Trump is killing Republicans up and down the ballot in Texas,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee press secretary Matt Harringer. “His unpopularity along with Texas Republicans’ right-wing policies are going to help us win this November and next.”
Democrats need to flip just nine seats in the Texas House this cycle to win control for the first time since 2002. Beto O’Rourke carried nine currently Republican-held seats in his senate campaign last year — giving Democrats an ample list of targets next year.
But Democrats aren’t waiting until 2020 to start flipping seats blue. On November 5th, Dr. Eliz Markowitz is the sole Democrat running in a special election to replace Republican John Zerwas, who resigned earlier this year. Republicans are locked in an internal battle, with no fewer than five candidates fighting for votes. HD-28 is a suburban seat that Ted Cruz barely won last year — exactly the sort of place where Republican fortunes have plummeted since 2016.
The DLCC has invested $35,000 in the special election, on top of a previous early commitment of $100,000 to the Texas House Democratic Caucus for the cycle. The DLCC’s involvement has helped drive other partner groups to support Markowitz, and the immense interest has allowed her campaign to invest in a robust field, digital and cable TV program. With the clock counting down to election day, Markowtiz and Texas Democrats have all the momentum in this key bellwether for the 2020 elections in the newly-minted swing state.
“All the drama in Austin is just another reminder that Texas Republicans’ days in power are numbered,” added Harringer. “Democrats are united on a winning message for Texans while the GOP is mired in political fights with their right-wing radicals. Democrats are ready to flip the Texas House from red to blue, and that starts with Eliz Markowitz in just two weeks.”