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Growing Diversity in Fort Bend County May Make for Tight Contest in TX-22

Congressman Pete Olson is running for a sixth term in what has long been safe Republican territory. His Democratic opponent, Sri Preston Kulkarni, is hoping Asian-American voters can help him score an upset.

This map shows the Texas 22 Congressional District.
This map shows the Texas 22 Congressional District.

Texas' 22nd Congressional District has long been a safe Republican seat. But the race between incumbent Congressman Pete Olson and Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni could be tight.

Fort Bend County makes up the bulk of the 22nd District. It's one of the most diverse counties in the country. "Traditionally, we have been bluebirds living in a red nest, and now I say that we are bluebirds in a purple nest," says Cynthia Ginyard, who chairs the Fort Bend County Democratic Party.

Kulkarni, who is of South Asian descent, is campaigning hard to get the county's large Asian-American population to the polls.

But Olson isn't taking any votes for granted. "Pete reaches out to everyone," says Jason Walker, vice chair of the Fort Bend County Republican Party. "Pete is a person that is out there, reaches out to all voters."

Asian-Americans make up nearly a fifth of the population in the district, enough potentially to swing a close contest.


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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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