Texas Primaries See Surging Democratic Turnout and Record Number of Female Candidates

This year’s midterm elections officially began on Tuesday as Democratic and Republican primaries were held in Texas. Democrats are hoping Texas could become a key state in the party’s effort to retake control of the Senate and the House. A record 50 women were on the ballot in what many are calling the “year of the women.” On Tuesday, Congressmember Beto O’Rourke won the Democratic primary for US Senate. He will take on incumbent Ted Cruz, who easily won the Republican primary. On the House side, Democrats are putting up candidates in every Texas district for the first time in over 25 years. In one of the most watched Democratic races, progressive Democrat Laura Moser placed second, forcing a runoff against Democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, an attorney who has been criticized for working at a law firm that has targeted unions in Texas. The race is seen as part of a war within the Democratic Party. Moser was endorsed by Our Revolution — the political organization that grew out of Bernie Sanders’s run for the White House. Fletcher was backed by the Democratic Party. In February, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took the unusual step of directly attacking Moser even though she is a Democrat. Moser and Fletcher will now face each other in a runoff to decide who will face Republican Congressmember John Culberson in November. We speak to Mike Barajas, staff writer for The Texas Observer.

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: This year’s midterm elections officially began Tuesday as Democratic and Republican primaries were held throughout Texas. Democrats are hoping Texas could become a key state in the party’s effort to retake control of the Senate and the House. A record 50 women were on the ballot in what many are calling “the year of the women.” On Tuesday, Congressman Beto O’Rourke won the Democratic primary for US Senate. He’ll take on incumbent Ted Cruz, who easily won the Republican primary, though the El Paso congressman, O’Rourke, outraised Cruz in the last months. On…

Read more