Six Texas Republicans in Congress, including Houston’s John Culberson, received a show of financial support from their party’s leader this week.
President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign announced Thursday, July 26 that it was donating the maximum contribution possible to around 100 House and Senate Republican candidates ahead of midterm elections in which multiple polls suggest Democrats could be poised for big wins. Republican National Committee spokesperson Christiana Purves confirmed Friday that six of those candidates are incumbents from Texas: U.S. Reps. Michael Burgess of Lewisville, John Carter of Round Rock, Michael Cloud of Victoria, Mike Conaway of Midland, John Culberson of Houston and Pete Sessions of Dallas.
Three of those Republicans —Carter, Culberson and Sessions—recently learned they had been outraised by their Democratic challengers in the second quarter of the year, the latest sign that Democrats are aiming to compete in more Texas congressional districts than they have in a generation. Veteran MJ Hegar reported raising $1.1 million from April to June, more than four times Carter’s haul over that period. Hegar, a veteran, posted a campaign video last month that went viral, drawing national attention to her bid to win in a district that has long been reliably Republican.
Democratic attorneys Lizzie Pannill Fletcher of Houston and Colin Allred of Dallas also both outraised their opponents, Culberson and Sessions, respectively. Both of those districts became prime Democratic targets this year after Democrat Hillary Clinton drew more votes than Trump there in 2016. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, Culberson has voted with Trump 98 percent of the time. Culberson, who represents much of west Houston, received the lowest possible score of zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s most recent Congressional Scorecard, which measures support for LGBTQ issues.
Cloud was sworn in to Congress just this month after beating out eight other candidates to win a special election to complete scandal-tarnished Blake Farenthold’s term, which ends in January. Democrats are hopeful Eric Holguin may have a shot at the seat for a full term in November. If elected, Holguin would be the first LGBTQ Latino member of Congress.
Burgess and Conaway are somewhat more surprising picks for being singled out by Trump as both represent solidly Republican districts.