Bloomberg Campaigns For Markowitz In Texas HD-28

The Fort Bend County district is one of a handful that could help determine control of the Texas House in 2020.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT
View of the Texas Capitol in Austin.


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Last weekend, presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg was in Fort Bend County, doing a "block walk" for a local Democrat running for the Texas House. It’s the one race in Fort Bend County that could help tip the balance of power at the State Capitol, and nationally, Democrats like the former New York City mayor are targeting the contest.

This January 28, Democrat Eliz Markowitz will face Republican Gary Gates in the special election runoff for Texas House District 28. If Markowitz wins, it will reduce the Republican margin of control in the state House to just eight seats.

"So this is a very important election, in many ways a harbinger, for the Democrats at least and a warning to the Republicans, which I think they have been well aware of for a while, that things are not as they were,” said Bob Stein, who teaches political science at Rice University.

Stein estimates there are at least 17 competitive Republican statehouse seats going into the 2020 cycle. He said Republicans won roughly half of those seats in 2018, including HD-28, with margins of fewer than 5 percentage points.

Fort Bend County was previously a Republican stronghold, but it has been trending Democratic over the last two election cycles. That's in large part due to the increasing ethnic diversity of the county.

Early voting begins January 21. The winner of the special election will still need to run for a full term in November in order to take a seat in the 2021 Texas Legislature.

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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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