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Democrats Hope 2020 Is the Year They Flip the Texas House

  • October 25, 2020

“Because of urban growth, many of what are considered traditional suburbs in Texas metropolitan areas really are just extensions of the urban areas,” Mr. Munisteri said.

Collin County, a suburban area 20 miles north of Dallas, has two competitive state House districts that Mr. O’Rourke carried in 2018. In six years, the county has added 200,000 people. It now has a population of more than 1 million people and has gone from a Democratic wasteland to one teeming with liberal volunteers.

In 2014, when John Shanks moved to Collin County, there were about 20 dedicated Democratic Party volunteers. Now Mr. Shanks, the executive director of the county’s Democratic Party, has several hundred — so many that he has trouble finding work for them all.

“We’ve had about four years of people getting used to the idea that their vote really can matter,” Mr. Shanks said. “We’ve grown into realizing that you can make a difference. And as they realize that and wake up, things become more competitive.”

Bedford sits in a part of the Dallas-Fort Worth region that has been deeply conservative for decades. Republicans have held the region’s state House seat since 1985, and the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party was one of the most influential Tea Party groups during the Obama era.

The outgoing state representative, Jonathan Stickland, is a bearded Cruz-style firebrand who supported gun rights and wore his .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol at the Texas Capitol. In 2015, The Texas Tribune called him the “chamber’s antagonist-in-chief.”

Mr. Stickland apologized in 2016 after an online posting he made in 2008, before he ran for elected office, was unearthed by a political opponent. In the posting on a fantasy football site, he responded to a man’s request for sex advice by writing: “Rape is non existent in marriage, take what you want my friend!”

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