“We will bring progressive leadership that comes from this community,” Rodriguez said during his campaign launch event at Joe’s Bakery in East Austin on Wednesday morning. Rodriguez was joined by his Austin delegation Texas House colleagues Sheryl Cole (D-Austin), Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin), Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin), Donna Howard (D-Austin), and Celia Israel (D-Austin).
Last week, Rodriguez filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission for the office, foreshadowing the announcement to come.
Some of the issues Rodriguez mentioned that will be discussed in the race are climate change, economic and social justice, education spending, and protecting abortion. But he also thinks “kitchen table issues” will be a feature of the campaign.
Rodriguez’s current district, House District 51, is rated D-84% according to The Texan’s Texas Partisan Index. The new 35th Congressional District is rated D-73%. Current Democratic incumbent of the 35th Congressional District, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, is running in the new 37th Congressional District, leaving this seat open.
Rodriguez was among the Texas Democrats this summer who flew to Washington, D.C. to break quorum and kill prevent the GOP-backed election reform bill from passing. Rodriguez was rated the 22nd most liberal member of the Texas House according to the latest Rice University rankings.
Hinojosa said of her colleague, “We operate and legislate in crazy town, and still, Eddie is able to get things done.” Four of Rodriguez’s authored bills from the 87th Regular Session were passed and signed into law this year.
He joins a field that includes former Austin City Councilman Greg Casar who just launched his bid last week. Casar welcomed Rodriguez to the race, saying, “I am eager for the conversation with voters about who will truly fight and deliver on raising wages, passing Medicare for All, protecting reproductive health care, and fixing our grid.”
Rodriguez’s run brings the open seat total in the Texas House to 19.
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Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.