Now that all the post-redistricting filings have been finalized, I thought I would take a look at Texas U.S. congressional races to see where either the Republican or the Democratic party has failed to field a candidate. While districts are usually drawn to protect incumbents and minimize the chances of the out-of-power party, it’s usually best to contest all possible races, for a variety of reasons:
Unexpected opportunities arise, but you can’t take advantage of them if you don’t have a candidate in place.
With that in mind, let’s see how well Republicans and Democrats have done in finding candidates for all 36 Texas congressional races:
U.S. Congressional Races Where Democrats Failed to Field a Candidate
So that’s seven U.S. Congressional races where Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee National Chair for Recruiting and Candidate Services Allyson Schwartz, and, well, whoever the hell it is at The Texas Democratic Party in charge of recruiting candidates, were unable to find a single person out of approximately 688,488 citizens in each of those districts to run for the United States House of Representatives. Say what you want about Alvin Greene running for Senator in South Carolina, but at least he showed up, which Texas Democrats couldn’t even manage to do in almost one-fifth of U.S. Congressional races this year.
By contrast, Republicans only fell down on the job in one congressional district:
U.S. Congressional Race Where Republicans Failed to Field a Candidate
U.S. Representative District 29: Democratic incumbent Gene Green gets a pass. In a district that went 62% for Obama, any Republican was going to have an uphill race. But given that there are five districts even more heavily Democratic (the 9th, 16th, 18th, 33rd, and 35th) where Republicans fielded a candidate, this seems like a lost opportunity, especially for a Republican Hispanic candidate in a Hispanic district headed by an old white guy. (Granted, this didn’t work for Roy Morales in 2010, but I would have preferred that Morales file again and run a token campaign over no one running at all.)
All in all this is good news for Republicans. If I were a Democrat, I’d be mad at how thoroughly the state and national party fell down on the job of recruiting candidates.
A suggestion: All six Republican incumbents who haven’t drawn an opponent should each hold a fundraiser for Republican Incumbent Francisco “Quico” Canseco, who figures to have the toughest race of any incumbent this time around.