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Texas Democrats Look To Gain Control Of State House, Republicans Aim To Maintain Majority

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - After winning by just 1,100 votes two years ago, veteran Republican State Representative Angie Chen Button is facing a battle to hold onto House District 112 in Dallas County.

It's one of two Republican held state legislative seats in the county.

Last year, Republicans held 83 of the House's 150 seats, while Democrats held 67.

Both parties would like to have at least 76 seats to gain a majority.

Governor Greg Abbott went door to door with Button Saturday morning to help Republicans build on their eight seat lead in the State House.

The Governor told reporters and Button's volunteers, "This race is so important."

Button said she hopes to continue working with the Governor and Republican leaders. "We work so closely together to get our state to work and we can be the number one job creator again."

Her opponent this year and in 2018, Democrat Brandy Chambers, is hoping this time, she will win. "I think there is a general thought and enthusiasm for something different from the same old, same old."

Democrats are targeting 22 Republican House seats statewide including Button's.

Chambers has announced she has raised more than one million dollars this month alone. "We've had over 18,000 individual donations from people all over the nation, all over Texas, my district as well."

Governor Abbott warned, "I'm with Angie here today to send a clear message we will not allow liberal money from California to buy Texas House of Representative seats."

Republicans, like Will Douglas, are targeting seats Democrats won two years ago, including House District 113, where Rhetta Bowers won.

Douglas said, "We feel good. We've put in the work, 47,000 doors. We're out here every single day and we are getting voters who don't typically vote for Republicans."

State Representative Bowers said she has received support from the district, too.

"They're going to come out in our favor because they know we have provided fair representation for the entire district."

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said if Democrats gain the majority in the State House, they will help set the agenda in Austin.

"A balance between Republicans and Democrats right now would go along way to helping the legislature focus on the important issues to your and not on cultural side issues," he said.

Whichever party controls the Texas House will not only have a say over policy, but redistricting as well.

After the census, state lawmakers will draw State House and Senate districts and Congressional districts.

If Republicans maintain control of the House, they will continue to oversee the process.

But if Democrats gain a majority in the House, they will have a seat at the table and some influence over how the districts look, which experts say will help Democrats politically in the future.

Texas Democrats have long accused Republicans of gerrymandering districts across the state to control the legislature and Congressional delegation.


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