Speaker: Texas Republicans are in Trouble in 2020
SAN ANGELO, TX — The Republican Party of Texas needs to register one million new voters before the 2020 presidential election to keep the state red according to an attorney and activist for Texans for Lawsuit Reform.
TLR lead attorney Lee Parsley of Austin told members of the San Angelo Pachyderm Club Wednesday at their regular monthly meeting that the state Republican Party took a beating in 2018 when Beto O’Rourke came close to defeating incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. The hundreds of thousands of new Democrat voters in 2018 elected dozens of new Democrat appellant court judges ousting long time Republican judges.
“In our view, there were 32 contested races in the Texas courts of criminal appeals.” Parsley said. “Republicans lost 31 of them.”
“We Republicans a long time ago lost Dallas County at the trial court level. At the appeals court level, we had 14 solid Republican Judges. We lost nine of them in the last election cycle and the court is now solidly Democrat.” Said Parsley.
“In Harris County, the same thing happened. Incumbent Republican Judges lost every race.”
“We at TLR were very engaged in those races but it just wasn’t enough.” Parsley said. “In 2020, we need to pickup nine seats in the Texas House because the next legislature will be redistricting following the 2020 census. If the Democrats hold the Texas house, redistricting will be an entirely different animal.”
Republicans have been in control of the House for the last two redistricting cycles.
Parsley said the new Super Political Action Committee (PAC), Engage Texas, was created by a group of people including Houston home builder Richard Weekley who is also a board member for TLR. The goal of Engage Texas is to identify, register and educate new voters. Super PAC’s can receive unlimited amounts of money to spend on political races in Texas.
Parsley said in 2018 that more suburban women voters cast ballots for Democrats than in the past. Engage Texas will target rural and suburban voters who typically don’t vote.
Parsley said that there are some Republican voters who don't like Presideht Donald Trump and might not vote for him in 2020.
Parsley also told the audience Wednesday that there is a major change for the 2020 election. In 2017 the Texas Legislature eliminated the straight party ticket voting option. Before then, voters in Texas elections could vote a straight party ticket by marking one box at the top of the ballot for either the Republican or Democrat party and that would cast a vote for every nominee representing that party. The Republican led legislature voted to do away with straight party voting beginning in 2020, which means voters will have to mark a box in every race down the entire ballot.
Democrat activists nationwide have targeted Texas as a must win state for their eventual nominee for President. Democrats believe that based on the success of judicial candidates and the performance of O’Rourke even though he lost to Cruz, Texas could turn Democratic in 2020.
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