Texas Republicans warned the GOP Monday that Texas is slowly growing more purple, and if the party does nothing, the once Republican stronghold will become a potential pick up for Democrats.
“If the Republican Party in Texas doesn’t start looking like Texas, there won’t be a Republican Party in Texas,” Rep. Will Hurd said to Politico. Mr. Hurd is the only African-American House Republican who is retiring from his competitive Texas swing district in 2020.
Mr. Hurd added the 2018 election, where Democrats flipped two GOP districts and almost won a Senate seat, has become “a wake-up call to most elected officials” that “Texas is indeed purple.”
The change is attributed to a suburban revolt against President Trump, and to morphing communities, including the Latino population, which is expected to become the largest Texas demographic by 2022.
Many Republicans who have never had to run for reelection have seen their districts moved to the “toss-up category.”
This has led many Texas Republicans, including Mr. Hurd and Reps. Pete Olson and Kenny Marchant, to all announce their retirement after winning close elections in 2018 with less than 5 percent of the vote.
“The Texas GOP took a little bit of it for granted,” Rep. Randy Weber said.
Democrats are taking aim at eight competitive House seats up for grabs, Sen. John Cornyn’s Senate seat and may even try for Texas’ 38 electoral college votes in the presidential election.
“Republicans need to be very concerned about Texas,” Rep. Brian Babin said. “Texas is definitely in play. We need to take this very, very seriously.”
“We have our work cut out for us,” Mr. Babin said. “It could be a toss-up in some of these districts. I’m disappointed and sad to see some of my colleagues retiring. It certainly makes it tougher to hang on” to their seats.
However, many Republicans have said the Democratic Party is jumping the gun, citing Mr. Trump winning the state by 9 points in the 2016 election.
“Texans aren’t buying what they’re selling,” said Rep. Chip Roy, a freshman who is being challenged by former State Sen. Wendy Davis in 2020. “We’re taking nothing for granted.”
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