Texas: All Up Seek Re-Election

Photograph by Eric Gay/AP Photo

Marta Rangel Medel vacuums the stage in preparation for the Texas Democratic Party election watch party, in Austin.

It’s looking like the Texas congressional delegation will see little or no change in its membership in the 2014 elections.

Every member of Congress from the nation’s second most-populous state up for re-election next year — 36 House members and Republican Sen. John Cornyn — filed to run ahead of tonight’s deadline, according to a Political Capital canvass of candidate filings with state and county party organizations.

Incumbents generally are politically safe in Texas, where voters in 35 of the 36 congressional districts last year backed President Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney by a margin of at least 15 percentage points.

That means the key elections are the primaries on March 4. Yet competitive primaries also seem scarce.

Cornyn didn’t draw top-flight primary opposition — the Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan explains why — and he is strongly favored to win a third Senate term in a state where Democrats last won a Senate election in 1988.

Republican Rep. Ralph Hall, 90, the oldest House member in history, drew four primary opponents as of 2 p.m. Easterrn time today. In the 2012 primary, Hall won 58 percent of the vote against two opponents.

Republican Rep. Pete Sessions, chairman of the Rules Committee, will be opposed in the Dallas-area 32nd District by Tea Party activist Katrina Pierson. Sessions was unopposed in the 2012 primary and won 84 percent of the vote in the 2010 primary.

In the Dallas-based 30th District, Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson will be challenged by Barbara Mallory Caraway, a former state representative Johnson easily defeated in the 2012 primary.

Then only competitive general election probably will be in the 23rd District, a Hispanic-majority area stretching from San Antonio to El Paso. One-term Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego will face the winner of a multi-candidate Republican primary in a district that Romney won by 3 points. The Cook Political Report rates the general election race as “Leans Democratic” and the Rothenberg Political Report includes it in the category of “Toss Up/Tilt Democrat.”

Texas has the nation’s earliest primary and the second-earliest candidate filing deadline after Illinois. All 18 House members in Illinois and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin filed to seek new terms.


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