Battleground 2020Elections 2020The Back MicThe Back Mic: Super PAC Pledges $6 Million to Flip Texas House, Democrats Reprove Abbott’s Pro-Police Pledge, New Campaign Ads Released

This week — a Democratic super PAC eyes the Texas House, Abbott's pledge to support law enforcement is countered by Democrats, and new campaign ads are released.
September 11, 2020

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National Democrats Pledge Millions to Flip Texas House

Forward Majority, a national super PAC aiming to “take back GOP-held state legislative chambers,” announced a $6.2 million investment in the effort to secure Democratic control of the Texas House.

First reported by the Texas Tribune, the group plans to spend the money targeting the following 18 house districts:

  • HD 26 — Rep. Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land), retiring
  • HD 28 — Rep. Gary Gates (R-Richmond)
  • HD 29 — Rep. Ed Thompson (R-Pearland)
  • HD 54 — Rep. Brad Buckley (R-Killeen)
  • HD 64 — Rep. Lynn Stucky (R-Denton)
  • HD 66 — Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano)
  • HD 67 — Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano)
  • HD 92 — Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford), retiring
  • HD 93 — Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth)
  • HD 94 — Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington)
  • HD 96 — Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington), retiring
  • HD 97 — Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth)
  • HD 108 — Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas)
  • HD 112 — Rep. Angie Chen Button (R-Richardson)
  • HD 121 — Rep. Steve Allison (R-San Antonio)
  • HD 126 — Rep. Sam Harless (R-Spring)
  • HD 134 — Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place)
  • HD 138 — Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston), retiring

After a devastating 2018 general election cycle for Republicans, the Texas House majority is within striking distance for Democrats, currently made up of 67 Democrats and 83 Republicans.

Democrats Counter Abbott’s Law Enforcement Pledge

Governor Abbott called on candidates this week to sign a pledge in support of law enforcement in response to localities across the state considering the defunding of police departments in varying degrees following public outcry at George Floyd’s murder.

The Texan Tumbler

After Abbott’s call, some Texas Democrats responded with pledges of their own.

The Texas Democratic Party released a “Texas First Pledge” focused on health care for those with pre-existing conditions, public health concerns in light of COVID-19, unemployment relief, and a right to education for Texas children.

“I sign this Texans First Pledge to put an end to the political bull—- and put Texans first,” reads the pledge.

The pledge also referenced supporting the armed forces in light of recent allegations that President Trump has made disparaging remarks against veterans, and condemned “racism, violence, and fear.”

Meanwhile, the Texas House Democratic Caucus called on state representatives to oppose public education funding cuts, support Medicaid expansion, and help “eradicate systemic racism.” 

The final portion of the caucus’s pledge was an emphatic nod to Abbott’s call: “I do not support defunding the police.”

New Campaign Ads

U.S. Senate

Republican Senator John Cornyn released an ad touting his legislation addressing rape kit backlog, while his Democratic challenger MJ Hegar recounted her experience in the Air Force that resulted in her receiving a Purple Heart. 

Congressional District 7

Wesley Hunt, the GOP challenger to Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-7), references his combat missions in Iraq and family life in his campaign’s latest ad.

Congressional District 10

Rep. Michael McCaul’s (R-TX-10) latest spot centers on his support for childhood cancer funding and research. He’ll face Democrat Mike Siegel in November.

Congressional District 21

In what will be one of the most contentious congressional races in the state, incumbent Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21) is set to face off against former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis in November. Roy released a baseball-themed ad of his own, and both candidates were hit with an attack from the opposing camp this week.

Congressional District 22

An ad attacking Troy Nehls was released by the House Majority PAC, challenging his record as a law enforcement official. Democrat Sri Kulkarni will compete against Nehls for the open seat.

Congressional District 23

Republican Tony Gonzales’ ad emphasized his childhood and military service, while Democrat candidate Gina Ortiz Jones received support from VoteVets. The group attacked Gonzales on the basis of his stance on coverage for veterans with pre-existing conditions.

Tony's Story

Tony wasn’t supposed to make it, but he beat the odds and achieved the American Dream. Watch our newest ad and learn Tony’s Story. #TX23 #TeamTony

Posted by Tony Gonzales on Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Congressional District 32

GOP candidate Genevieve Collins, battling Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX-32) for the Dallas-heavy district, positions herself as a “problem solver” in her latest spot.


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McKenzie DiLullo

McKenzie DiLullo serves as Senior Editor and resident plate-spinner for The Texan. Previously, she worked as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.