TX-29: Rep. Gene Green (D) will not Seek Re-election

The year of epic turnover in Texas’s normally-staid Congressional delegation continues with a sixth open seat in the Lone Star State. Rep. Gene Green (D) will not seek a fourteenth term. Despite being the last moderate white Dem in the Texas delegation, Green’s TX-29 is an overwhelmingly Hispanic seat covering the poor barrios of north-central and southeast Houston proper, as well as some inner southeastern slumburbs like the inner part of Pasadena. The seat is overwhelmingly Safe Dem at D+19 (and trending even further left). Thus, it is all but a foregone conclusion that Green will be succeeded by a (likely both more liberal and Hispanic) Democrat.

Now to the Great Mentioner: If you’re a betting person, take the over on this seat having a Rep. Garcia in 2019, because both of the most obvious contenders share that name. The most likely candidate is ex-Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia (D), who took nearly 40% against Green two years ago despite starting his campaign very late and being underfunded as a result. Adrian Garcia would likely be the clear front-runner for this seat this time should he mount another run, though he has been on mediocre terms with the local establishment and might attract a strong primary rival. His most serious competition would likely be State Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D), who represents essentially the entire district – and came in third in the primary for this seat way back when it was newly created in 1992. State Rep. Carol Alvarado (D), who lost a State Senate race to Sylvia Garcia in 2013, is also a name to watch. Three other State Reps, Ana Hernandez-Luna (D), Armando Walle (D), and Mary Ann Perez (D), live in the seat. Houston councilors Karla Cisneros (D) and Robert Gallegos (D) are also names to watch. In the “blast from the past” file, ex-State Rep. and 2008 US Senate nominee Rick Noriega (D) could also be a potential contender as he is only 59.

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  • johnintx November 13, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    This district is next to mine. It was created as a Hispanic-majority district in the 1992 Dem redistricting, but then-state Sen. Gene Green won it and nailed it down for the next quarter century. He is now 70, and was first elected to the state House at the age of 26, before moving to the state Senate and then Congress.

    You’re right: the winner will most likely be someone named Garcia. Both have high name recognition and have won high local offices.

    Adrian Garcia, in addition to his previous run against Green, left the sheriff’s office in order to run for mayor of Houston in 2015. He finished third in the jungle primary with 17% of the vote. He had also previously served on the Houston city council.

    Sylvia Garcia, before serving as a state senator, served two terms as a Harris County commissioner. She was defeated in a shocking upset by a Republican in the GOP year of 2010. She then was elected as a state senator in a 2013 special election.

    Both have high name recognition and have proven their ability to get elected. I’d make Sylvia Garcia a slight favorite if she chooses to run. She appears to have better relationships with the establishment and has only lost re-election in a GOP wave. Adrian Garcia risks becoming a perennial candidate, in spite of his service on city council and as sheriff. A loss here would mark his third in a major race.

    Carol Alvarado is also a name to watch here, for sure. She had a high profile on city council before moving to the state House. I would put her behind Sylvia Garcia and slightly behind Adrian Garcia. She could make a runoff if it broke correctly for her.

    TX-02. Somewhere between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Was #NeverTrump, now hoping for the best.

  • Son_of_the_South November 13, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    I think this might end up with a clowncar Dem primary. A lot of local officeholders have been waiting on Green.

    24, R, TN-09
    Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

    • shamlet November 13, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      Except this seat doesn’t have that many elected officials. Other than the 9 I mentioned, I think Felipe Villareal (D), a Pasadena councilman who was just elected this year, is the only other official in this seat besides random constables or other minor stuff of that sort.

      R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

      • TexasR November 13, 2017 at 7:06 pm

        Yep, the only other elected officials who could live there are some random Harris County JoPs, and maybe some Galena Park and/or Channelview city council members. Though, they’re pretty much not worth mentioning.

        Whatever we're talking about, it's all Frank Meyer's fault
        Be careful what you wish for

        • shamlet November 13, 2017 at 7:12 pm

          It’s kinda similar to what happens in LA or Dallas… when you have black and Hispanic communities in close proximity, because of turnout differences and the law not really distinguishing among MMDs, the black one tends to be overrepresented at the expense of the Hispanic one.

          R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

  • dpmapper November 13, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    I still have a hard time understanding why the TX legislature didn’t make this seat more purplish. You can get down to D+2/3 easily without giving up a Hispanic supermajority and without endangering any nearby Pubs.

    • TexasR November 13, 2017 at 11:32 pm

      Because we don’t win seats like that in Houston, and if we wouldn’t win it anyway, it’s not worth the legal headache the Democrats would have given the legislature.

      Whatever we're talking about, it's all Frank Meyer's fault
      Be careful what you wish for

      • dpmapper November 14, 2017 at 7:01 am

        How do we know we don’t win seats like that in Houston if we haven’t tried? Houston almost elected a GOP mayor recently. At the very least it would force the Dem to be relatively moderate.

        • TexasR November 14, 2017 at 12:29 pm

          First of all, that was citywide, not merely East Houston. Second, municipal races in Texas are technically non-partisan.
          The other reason they didn’t try to draw a D+low there is that East Houston has trended D in every presidential election since at least 2004, if not earlier. All the legislative seats in TX-29 trended Dem in this time period and TX-29 itself went from 56% Kerry to 62% Obama ’08 to 66% Obama ’12 to 71% Hillary.
          Additionally, one of those legislative seats within TX-29 went from 51% McCain in 2008 to 51% Obama in 2012. We lost that seat in 2012.

          Whatever we're talking about, it's all Frank Meyer's fault
          Be careful what you wish for

  • krazen1211 November 14, 2017 at 8:31 am

    It seems like something like 10k votes could win a primary here? I wonder if the GOP can run a fake DINO and ratf**** this district.

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