Control of the Texas House up for grabs this election

The battle for control of the Texas House is tighter than it’s been in years after Democrats made significant gains in 2018.

Republicans have been in control since 2003, but if Democrats flip nine of the 150-seat legislative body, they’ll take over.

“If the Democrats did take control of the Texas House, that means that every bill that passes the state legislature has to pass the Democratic majority in the House. So it gives them leverage,” SMU political science professor Cal Jillson explained. 

Jillson said 2020 is as important a year as ever for both parties.

“In the wake of the 2020 census, redistricting will take place in 2021, and if the Democrats don’t control the House, they control nothing on redistricting. Republicans draw whatever maps they want. If Democrats do have the House, they’re in the game,” Jillson added.

Democrats believe they have a shot.

Ahbhi Rahman, Communications Director, Texas Democratic Party 

“You know, the energy is on our side,” said Ahbhi Rahman, communications director for the Texas Democratic Party.

Rahman said its “top strategic imperative” is to flip the House and break up the Republican trifecta hold on the governor’s seat and both chambers of the legislature.

“You know, we feel very comfortable with where we’re at right now,” he said.

Republicans, however, are saying, not so fast.

“They want to have that conversation because I think they want to paint that narrative that makes people question. It makes them go, ‘Well, maybe I could vote Democrat,’” said William Busby, who is the communications director for the Dallas County Republican Party.

Busby believes Texas will stay red.

“There’s no sense or urgency on that because we know Texas is a red state, it’s not a swing state,” he added.

There are 10 seats contested in Dallas County, nine seats in Tarrant County, five in Collin County, and four seats in Denton County. In total, Republicans hold 83 seats to the Democrats’ 67. Jillson believes it’s an uphill climb for Democrats.

“They need nine seats. I know they’ll pick up some, four or five, but I think that six, seven, eight, and nine are tough,” he said.

Biden or Trump is the main political question Americans are being asked, but as we see record-voter turnout, Texans also wonder red or blue when it comes to the House.

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