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Battleground 2020Elections 2020FederalBattleground 2020: Freshman Democrat Rep. Colin Allred Looks to Stave Off Challengers in Historically GOP District

The Republican primary race to challenge Rep. Colin Allred intensifies in Texas' 32nd Congressional District after the historically GOP district flipped Democrat in 2018.
January 31, 2020

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As Super Tuesday on March 3 and the general election in November get closer, the race for Texas’ 32nd Congressional District in North Central Texas is heating up with the field of primary challengers growing increasingly competitive.

With a population of more than 700,000, Texas’ 32nd Congressional District stretches across portions of Dallas and Collin counties to include parts of prominent cities like Garland, Richardson, and the entirety of both the Highland Park and University Park areas of Dallas.   

Freshman Congressman Colin Allred (D-TX-32) has represented the district since his election in 2018. According to the Cook Partisan Voter Index, the district was listed as R+5 in 2017.

After defeating Lillian Salerno in a primary run-off with nearly 70 percent of the vote, Allred went on to defeat longtime Republican incumbent Rep. Pete Sessions by a 7-point margin in the general election. Allred garnered 52 percent of the vote to Sessions 45 percent. 

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The Incumbent

Going into 2020, Allred, who is a former NFL linebacker and Baylor football player, has gained endorsements from a number of prominent politicians, including former President Barack Obama, former presidential candidate and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings among others. 

Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX-32).

Additionally, he has been endorsed by various progressive organizations to include Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, and Moms Demand Action. 

As a current member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in Congress, Allred has co-sponsored various bills with regard to these issues, while also advocating for lowering healthcare costs, maintaining Medicare, and lowering the cost of higher education.

Despite representing a district that has historically leaned right, Allred has not shied away from criticizing President Trump, even penning an op-ed expressing opposition to the administration’s action after the president authorized a military strike in Iraq that resulted in the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

Allred also voted for both articles of impeachment against the president. 

According to candidate filings, Allred has raised $1.7 million and spent $355,000 with $1.4 million cash on hand. 

As the election season heats up, however, Allred is facing a crowded field of five GOP primary candidates. 

The Challengers

Genevieve Collins touts herself as a longtime Republican and Texan, running on promises to protect 2nd Amendment rights and the rights of the unborn, while also emphasizing her support for President Trump. 

Genevieve Collins

An SMU graduate with experience serving as the head of an education technology firm, Collins has earned endorsements from Maggie’s List, Dallas County Commissioner J.J. Koch, and a number of Texas lawmakers, including former state senators Don Huffines and Florence Shapiro. 

She was also listed as one of 43 “On the Radar” candidates in the first rounds of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) young guns program. 

Earlier this year, however, she faced public scrutiny after failing to disclose a personal disclosure form to the House of Representatives, blaming technological problems for her tardiness in the filing. 

Collins reported raising $477,000, almost six times more than the other primary candidates thus far, and maintains $445,000 cash on hand. She reports spending $31,000.

Second to Collins in financial filings is candidate Jon Hollis.

Jon Hollis

Touting broad platforms without much detail of promises to reform healthcare, immigration, and education, Hollis reports raising $80,000 and spending $61,000 with a cash-on-hand value of $19,000.

Notably, though Hollis has been vocal about his support for President Trump and not shied away from criticizing Allred, he first filed to run for California’s 28th Congressional District against current Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff (D-CA) before announcing his candidacy and moving to Texas. 

Behind Hollis in financial filings, Floyd McLendon Jr. is a primary candidate who has gained a lot of public attention recently. 

Floyd McLendon Jr.

Since filing in November, the retired Navy Seal with five overseas deployments, including two combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, touts his public service experience and faith as core values helping to drive his campaign. 

The veteran is running on a platform that promises to reduce taxes, limit government, and protect the southern border if elected. 

McLendon reports raising $46,000 and spending $5,400 with a cash-on-hand value of $41,000. 

Two other primary candidates, Jeff Tokar and Mark Sackett, are also hoping to upset incumbent Colin Allred.

Jeff Tokar

Capitalizing as their platforms as outsiders and not career politicians, Tokar was a former firefighter and captain/paramedic for the Garland Fire Department before announcing his candidacy.

Similarly, Sackett emphasizes his background in engineering and his advocacy for creating bipartisan solutions in Congress.

Mark Sackett

To date, financial reports for both candidates are not listed. 

As the primary challenge intensifies, Texans wait to see if this historically Republican district that flipped Democrat with the election of Colin Allred in 2018 will change hands once again. 

 

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Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.