SocraticGadfly: Should Drew Springer be in trouble? Well, Dems (or Greens, or even Libs) have to run a candidate

September 30, 2019

Should Drew Springer be in trouble?
Well, Dems (or Greens, or even Libs) have to run a candidate

Texas Democrats are lacking just nine seats from regaining the Texas House, and presuming that Donald Trump is renominated, are hoping he is a lead anchor.

In my mind, Drew Springer SHOULD be in trouble, if not immediately, then down the road. House District 68 may be rural, but its eastern end is in Cooke County, just north of Denton, where the Metroplex has officially arrived. More and more people are commuting from Gainesville and the rest of the county to Denton and some even to the Metromess proper, and it can't be the case that all of them are wingnuts. (On the other hand, per City-Data, it went 83 percent Trump in 2016.)

But ... it's kind of hard to tell by local elections, as per Ballotpedia, Springer has been unopposed every November from his initial 2012 election on.

So, let's say this district is too wingnut to flip now.

What about 2022 or later after redistricting?

Contra Drew and Pat's excellent adventure recently, although Texas GOPers' future overall depends on rural districts, they'll shave the comfort margin those districts have to try to preserve suburban districts, or semi-rural ones in West Texas that still have a larger anchor community.

That would be a district like James Frank's 69th, anchored on Wichita Falls. And Wichita Falls itself has been growth-flat for a decade or better. The collar counties in his district are even lower growth.

Or Lubbock, split between Dustin Burrows' 83rd and John Frullo's 84th. Or Ken King's gerrymandered 88th, which slithers between Springer and Amarillo while dodging both it and Lubbock.

Indeed, given how depopulated Panhandle and Southern Plains rural counties have become, redistricting will be a clash between Springer and King if Springer is not shoved east.

To the south are Mike Lang's 60th, which has no hugely urban areas, and other than Hood County, is low growth, and Stan Lambert's 71st, centered on Abilene, and low-moderate growth, not likely to change. To the south/southeast is Phil King's 61st. That district has been having population growth a little ahead of state average, but not that much ahead, and Phil King ain't getting his district shuffled. (Map of all Texas state House districts is here.)

Denton County is hived up among four districts right now. A slice of it being part of a fifth district seems most likely. And, it's shifting more and more Democratic.

Anyway, with all of this, "my Democrats right or wrong" people like Kuff, instead of worrying, or non-worrying, about HB 2504 and Greens, should instead focus internally.


In a sense, I "don't get" Libertarians not contesting this seat even more than I don't get Dems not competing. To build your image as a statewide party, at some point, you've got to compete these rural areas just like more winger urban areas. If you're the state Libertarian Party, and you truly believe you have an alternative message to the GOP, you need to stand by that statewide, and find rural candidates with that same gumption.

Of course, the first of the two most successful Republicans to run for the Libertarian presidential nod, Ron Paul here in Texas, exemplified what I think is still a split of sort among state libertarians. Namely, are you real libertarians on social issues or not? Gary Johnson was and is. Paul was anti-choice, iffy on other issues and ... well, a racist.

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