National Democrats suffer humiliating defeat despite million-dollar investments, and support from Biden, O’Rourke, Warren, Castro, and Bloomberg
WASHINGTON – Following major investments from national and state liberal groups that totaled more than one-million dollars to-date, including $350,000 from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and National Democratic Redistricting Committee, and high-profile party support from a slew of current and failed Democratic presidential candidates, liberal Eliz Markowitz was handily defeated tonight by Republican Gary Gates in a special election for Texas House District 28. Democrats for months have labeled tonight’s election as a key “bellwether” for the entire 2020 cycle.
Republican State Leadership Committee President Austin Chambers issued the following statement:
“Congratulations to Gary Gates on a hard fought and impressive victory. Gates’s grassroots campaign powered by Texas volunteers beat back the entire national Democratic party.
“Democrats everywhere said this Texas election was a ‘bellwether’ – and that it would set the tone for the entire 2020 election cycle. Spoiler alert: they’re right, it was – just not with the outcome Democrats hoped for.
“After dumping more than
one-million dollars into this race, and pushing support from everyone in their
party – from Beto to Biden – Democrats were convinced they could buy Texas. But
tonight they learned Texans aren’t buying the nonsense the Democrats are
selling. Texans sent a message loud and clear to the liberals in Washington:
‘we’re going to keep Texas, Texas.’
“For the National Democrats at the DLCC and NDRC this defeat is about much more than Texas. They are starting to learn that wrapping themselves in socialism is costing their party elections everywhere this year – from Connecticut to Texas. The Democrats plan for 2020 is to ‘flip everything.’ They’re off to a hell of a start – losing everything.”
For months, leaders of the Democratic Party and their allied liberal groups have repeatedly made claims to their donors and the media that the special election in Texas House District 28 was a key “bellwether” to ‘turn Texas blue’ and for the “entire general election in 2020” across the country.
DEMOCRATS STATEMENTS ON THIS RACE
Joe Biden: “This will set the tone for the entire general election in 2020.” (Twitter, 1/16/20)
Beto O’Rourke: “The single most important election taking place in the United States right now … Eliz Markowitz might be able to turn the tide and define not just the outcome of that election but what is possible on a larger scale throughout Texas. (Twitter, 1/23/20)
Elizabeth Warren: “I’m joining Democrats across Texas and the country who are jumping all in for Eliz.” (Texas Tribune, 1/21/20)
Julian Castro: “We can send a message that our state has had enough of Republican attempts…” (DailyKos, 1/17/20)
DLCC: “Flipping Texas Blue Starts with Eliz Markowitz.” (DLCC, Press Release, 9/24/19)
DLCC: Texas HD28 a “key bellwether for the 2020 elections…” (DLCC, Press Release, 10/23/19)
Texas Democratic Party: “Great momentum point for us…” (The Hill, 1/27/20)
Flippable: “Flipping the Texas House Starts Now” (Medium, 10/17/19)
Forward Majority: “This race is at the frontline of the fight to win the Texas State House
and rewrite the electoral landscape for a generation to come.” (Fundraising Email, 1/27/20)
MEDIA REPORTS ON THIS RACE
Associated Press: “2020′s first big test? Not Iowa, but a tiny Texas House race” (Associated Press, 1/18/20)
The Huffington Post: “If Texas Is Going To Turn Blue, It Starts With This Special Election” (The Huffington Post, 9/20/19)
The Hill: “The 28th District has a special election for its House seat on Tuesday, the first opportunity for Democrats to see if their strategy is paying off.” (The Hill, 1/27/20)
National Journal: “District 28 is a seat west of Houston that will offer an early data point about Democrats’ ability to chip away at Republican support in the suburbs.” (National Journal, 1/23/20)
NBC News: “The race, viewed by some as a harbinger of Democrats’ chances of taking the House in November, has drawn national interest.” (NBC News, 1/17/20)
The Texas Observer: This race will “show which way the political winds are blowing.” (The Texas Observer, 10/31/19)
The Texas Tribune: “Democrats look to special election for suburban Houston state House seat as 2020 harbinger” (The Texas Tribune, 10/9/19)
Corpus Christi Caller Times: “The first votes of the 2020 election cycle will offer some clue as to whether Texas is really in play.” (Corpus Christi Caller Times, 1/24/20)
The RSLC is working to protect Texans from a socialist agenda in the state legislature and from liberal gerrymandering after the 2020 Census. In 2019, the RSLC identified Texas as a top priority of its Right Lines 2020 redistricting initiative, particularly as public estimates show that the Lone Star State is likely to pick up three additional congressional seats from reapportionment.
Tonight’s victory adds to a growing list of great wins for Republicans in every corner of the country, including in deep-blue Connecticut, where Republican Harry Arora delivered a huge victory for the Party by overcoming significant support for his liberal opponent from national and state liberal groups who proclaimed that a victory in this election could signal important voting trends for the 2020 elections.