Politics

Is Culberson’s Congressional Seat Vulnerable in 2018?

The race is typically a safe bet for the GOP.

Constituents line up to speak to Congressman Culberson
Constituents speak with Congressman Culberson

Several congressmen are now under scrutiny for possible insider trading, including Houston Republican Rep. John Culberson. In 2018, he’s seeking a 10th term serving District 7. Earlier this year, Culberson was one of several elected officials who bought stock in an Australian biotech firm just as the price soared. The company’s stock tanked in June. One congressman is under review and more could be added, but that’s not Culberson’s only headache.

His seat, District 7, is also attracting an unusually high level of national interest. It’s one of 23 districts in the country that elected Republicans to Congress in 2016 but also voted for Hillary Clinton.

Democrats are already lining up around the block to challenge Culberson. Seven have campaign websites.

At the Harris County Democratic Party headquarters, volunteer Neil Aquino made phone calls to District 7 voters about Culberson’s support for the GOP health care bill. Aquino didn’t have a hard time convincing one voter over the phone.

“I know he’s terrible, ma’am, I know it,” he said. “We’re going to keep at him and see if we can help him see the light, or maybe get a better congressman next November- November of ’18.”

Aquino hopes the health care bill will send voters to the polls, but Harris County Republican Party Chair Paul Simpson said Democrats eyeing the seat are overly optimistic.

“The race in Georgia was a perfect example of that, a district very similar to the congressional District 7 here,” he said. “Democrats believed that they could win that election.”

A campaign spokeswoman for Culberson said the congressman doesn’t mind the abnormally crowded field and is “more than ready to face Nancy Pelosi’s handpicked liberal nominee.”

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