Texas Democrats still basking in the glow of the Presidential debate in Houston last week have begun to channel their enthusiasm into the first step toward Democrats retaking the majority in the State House in 2020: a special election in rapidly changing Fort Bend County for House District 28. The seat became available when the powerful House Appropriations Chairman, Dr. John Zerwas, resigned to work for the UT Health System.
The special election was on full display over the weekend when Presidential hopeful and Texan Beto O’Rourke laced his sneakers and hit the street to knock on doors for the Democratic candidate, Dr. Eliz Markowitz. O’Rourke highlighted the importance of the special election, as well as the opportunity at hand: in 2014, Democrats lost Fort Bend County by a wide margin. Last year, O’Rourke carried it handily.
Markowitz faces 6 other candidates vying for the seat vacated by Zerwas, all of whom are Republicans.
O’Rourke isn’t alone in lending a hand to Markowitz. Democrats across Texas are championing the opportunity to cut their minority in the House from 9 seats down to 8, and in addition to O’Rourke, Markowitz was joined over the weekend by State Reps. Celia Israel and Gina Hinojosa, who dedicated significant time to travel throughout Texas and campaign for State House candidates in 2018.
The race is similarly attracting the type of national attention Texas Democrats have begged for. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has begun to highlight the race and is aiding in Markowitz’s online fundraising. The DLCC has similarly signaled that they’re prepared to seriously play in Texas this cycle, an encouraging sign for Lone Star State Democrats, as the legislative campaign arm has developed a track record for success in flipping legislative chambers of the past several cycles.
In-state, the enthusiasm, and commitment to help Markowitz is at a fever pitch, and the enthusiasm of Democratic voters fired up by our Presidential primary could spell success for Markowitz, who was a candidate for State Board of Education last cycle. With school finance and property taxes prominent issues in voters minds in this county and across the state, Markowitz could be the right candidate at the right time to help pave Texas House Democrats’ path back to the majority.
Photo: Facebook/Dr. Eliz Markowitz for Texas State Representative – House District 28
Joe brings over a decade of experience as a political operative and creative strategist to Texas Signal, where he serves as our Senior Advisor and does everything from writing a regular column, Musings, to mentoring our staff and freelancers. Joe was campaign manager for Lina Hidalgo's historic 2018 victory for Harris County Judge and is a passionate sneakerhead.