|Senate leader||José R. Rodríguez|
|House leader||Chris Turner|
|Headquarters||P.O. Box 116|
Austin, Texas 78767
|Political position||Center to center-left|
|National affiliation||Democratic Party|
|Seats in the Upper House|
13 / 31
|Seats in the Lower House|
67 / 150
The Texas Democratic Party is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the U.S. state of Texas and one of the two major political parties in the state. The party's headquarters are in Austin, Texas.
President Lyndon B. Johnson was a Texas Democrat. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Texas Democrats have prioritized advocating Medicaid expansion in the state, a policy that would provide a federally subsidized healthcare plan to approximately one million Texans. Another priority for Texas Democrats is increasing the minimum wage.
Prior to the Annexation of Texas, the Democratic Party had a foothold in the politics of the region. A powerful group of men that called themselves the "Texas Association" served as an early prototype for the Democratic Party of Texas. The Texas Association drew its membership from successful merchants, doctors, and lawyers, often traveling from Tennessee. Many members of the Texas Association were close friends of Andrew Jackson, and most had strong ties to the Democratic Party. Similarly, most of the other settlers in Texas were from states in the South, and white American southerners of this era generally held strong allegiances to the Democratic Party.
In 1845, the 29th United States Congress approved the Texas Constitution and President James K. Polk signed the act admitting Texas as a state on December 29. In 1848, the party convention system was adopted, and it quickly became the primary method of selecting candidates for the Texas Democratic Party. In the period prior to the Civil War, national politics influenced the state party's perspective. Texas Democrats began to discard Jacksonian-nationalism in favor of the states' rights agenda of the Deep South. A conflict emerged within the Party between a minority of pro-Union Democrats and a majority of secessionists. During the war, supporters of the Union disappeared from the political scene or moved north. Those who stayed politically active supported the Confederacy. During Reconstruction, the rift between Unionist and Secessionist Democrats remained. For a short period immediately after the war, the Texas Democratic Party was a formidable political force, but they quickly split apart because their positions on freedmen varied greatly; some supported basic civil rights, while most opposed anything more than emancipation. As a result, Republicans captured both the governor's office and the Texas Legislature in 1869, but Republican political dominance in the post-Civil War era was short-lived. By 1872, the Texas Democrats had consolidated their party and taken over the Texas legislature. For the remainder of the 19th century and well into the 20th, Democrats dominated Texas politics and Republicans were minor political players.
In the presidential election of 1928, anti-Catholicism in Texas and across the country swung the Lone Star State away from Democratic presidential nominee Al Smith, the first time it ever voted against a Democrat in a presidential election. However, it was not until the middle of the 20th century that the Democrats began to face a growing challenge from the Republican Party in earnest. The 1950s was a decade of factionalism and infighting for the Texas Democratic Party, mainly between liberal and conservative Democrats, and the Republicans managed to carry Texas for native Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956. Cohesion returned to the party in the 1960s, and the Democratic ticket carried Texas in the 1960 presidential election with prominent Texas Senator Lyndon B. Johnson running for Vice President. In 1962, John B. Connally, a moderate Democrat, was elected Governor of Texas. The next year, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on a trip to Dallas created further impetus to bridge the gap between liberal and moderate Texas Democrats; Party unity was solidified with Johnson's ensuing Presidency and the drubbing of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election. In 1964, Johnson carried his home state with ease, but liberal forces in Texas were in decline. In the 1968 presidential election, Democrat Hubert Humphrey barely managed to win Texas.
In 1976, Jimmy Carter became the last Democratic presidential candidate to carry Texas, and the tide was clearly turning when Democrats lost the gubernatorial election of 1978. Bill Clements was the first Republican governor since Reconstruction. By the 1990s Republicans had gained a strong foothold in the state, and throughout the 21st century they have been largely victorious. Currently, both houses of the Texas Legislature feature Republican majorities.
In 2018, Democratic U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke lost his Senate bid to the incumbent Republican Ted Cruz by about 200,000 votes, a significant gain for Democrats in the state. O'Rourke's performance in the 2018 Senate race has shaken the notion of Republican dominance in Texas, with analysts predicting greater gains for the Democrats going into the 2020s.
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Texas Democrats have prioritized advocating Medicaid expansion in the state, a policy that would provide a federally subsidized healthcare plan to approximately one million Texans. Another priority for Texas Democrats in the 2010s and 2020s has been increasing the minimum wage.
The Texas Democratic Party is the primary organization responsible for increasing the representation of its ideological base in state, district, county, and city government. Its permanent staff provides training and resources for Democratic candidates within the state, particularly on grassroots organization and fundraising. The Party organization monitors political discourse in the state and speaks on behalf of its members. The party employs a full-time Communications Director who is responsible for the organization's communications strategy, which includes speaking with established state and national media. Press releases regarding current issues are often released through the by permanent staff. The party also maintains a website with updates and policy briefs on issues pertinent to its ideological base. Its online presence also includes Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, each of which has thousands of followers and is used to update followers on the most recent events affecting the party. The Party also oversees several e-mail and text messaging groups that send periodic updates to millions of followers.
A major function of the Texas Democratic Party is to raise funds to maintain the electoral infrastructure within its organization. Funds are used to provide for a permanent staff, publish communication and election material, provide training to candidates, and to pay for legal services.
The organization hosts biennial conventions that take place at precinct, county, and state level. The purpose of the precinct convention is to choose delegates to the county convention, and the delegates who gather at the county conventions are mainly concerned with selecting delegates to the state convention. The purpose of the state convention is to appoint the state executive committee, adopt a party platform, and officially certify the party's candidates to be listed on the general election ballot. The State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) includes one Committeeman and one Committeewoman from each of the 31 districts, plus a chairman and a vice-chairman. The SDEC members are elected by the convention's delegates. In presidential election years, the state convention also chooses delegates to go to the Democratic National Convention. Delegates also elect a state party chair. At the 2012 Texas Democratic Party Convention in Houston, delegates elected Gilberto Hinojosa as the new chair of the state party. Hinojosa is a former school board trustee, district judge, and county judge from Cameron County. Hinojosa replaced retiring chair Boyd Richie, who had been chair since April 22, 2006.
The State Democratic Executive Committee adopted the 2020 Delegate Selection Plan for submission to the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee. Texas sends the second largest delegation to the Democratic National Convention. Texas’ delegation is 281 persons, 262 delegates and 19 alternates. The delegates selected are in three categories: 149 District-Level delegates selected by attendees at the state convention by senate district caucuses of the supporters of each candidate who wins delegates. A candidate must have won at least 15% of the vote in the senate district to win district delegates. While looking at the statewide votes, the Texas Democratic Party also examines how each candidate performed in each of the 31 state senate districts. The same rule applies that a candidate must have won at least 15% of the vote in the senate district to win district delegates.
Current elected officials
The Texas Democratic Party holds 13 of the state's 36 U.S. House seats, 12 of the state's 31 Texas Senate seats, and 64 of the state's 150 Texas House of Representatives seats.
Members of Congress
Both of Texas's U.S. Senate seats have been held by Republicans since 1993. Bob Krueger was the last Democrat to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. Appointed in January 1993 by then Governor Ann Richards to fill the vacancy left by Lloyd Bentsen after Bentsen’s appointment as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Krueger lost his bid for a full term to Republican challenger Kay Bailey Hutchison. Lloyd Bentsen was also the last Democrat to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate in 1988 and the last Democrat to represent Texas for a full term in the U.S. Senate from 1983 to 1989.
U.S. House of Representatives
- TX-07: Lizzie Fletcher
- TX-09: Al Green
- TX-15: Vincente Gonzalez
- TX-16: Veronica Escobar
- TX-18: Sheila Jackson Lee
- TX-20: Joaquin Castro
- TX-28: Henry Cuellar
- TX-29: Sylvia Garcia
- TX-30: Eddie Bernice Johnson
- TX-32: Colin Allred
- TX-33: Marc Veasey
- TX-34: Filemon Vela
- TX-35: Lloyd Doggett
Texas has not elected any Democratic candidates to statewide office since 1994, when Bob Bullock, Dan Morales, John Sharp, and Garry Mauro were re-elected as lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, and land commissioner, respectively. In 1998, Bullock and Morales both opted to retire instead of seeking third terms while Mauro and Sharp unsuccessfully ran for governor and lieutenant governor, losing to Republican challengers George W. Bush and Rick Perry.
- House Minority Leader: Jose Rodriguez
- Speaker Pro Tempore of the House: Joe Moody
- House Minority Leader and Caucus Chair: Chris Turner
During the 2018 Texas Democratic Convention, Gilberto Hinojosa was re-elected as Chairman by an overwhelming margin. Joining Hinojosa in leadership were newly elected Vice-Chair Carla Brailey, Treasurer Mike Floyd, and Vice Chair of Finance Chris Hollins. Brailey, Floyd, and Hollins were elected by voice vote in margins similar to Hinojosa. Secretary Lee Forbes was re-elected in an uncontested race.
- Chairman: Gilberto Hinojosa
- Vice Chair:
- Treasurer: Mike Floyd
- Vice Chair of Finance: Chris Hollins
- Secretary: Lee Forbes
- Sergeant at Arms: Donna Beth McCormick
- Parliamentarian: Rick Cofer
- Parliamentarian: Ross Peavey
- Parliamentarian: Marty Galindo
- Carol Alvarado, District 6
- Beverly Powell, District 10
- Borris Miles, District 13
- Kirk Watson, District 14
- John Whitmire, District 15
- Nathan Johnson, District 16
- Roland Gutierrez, District 19
- Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, District 20
- Judith Zaffirini, District 21
- Royce West, District 23
- Jose Menendez, District 26
- Eddie Lucio, Jr., District 27
- José R. Rodríguez, District 29
Texas House of Representatives
- Joe Deshotel , District 22
- Ron Reynolds (politician), District 27
- Ryan Guillen, District 31
- Abel Herrero, District 34
- Oscar Longoria, District 35
- Sergio Muñoz (politician), District 36
- Alex Dominguez, District 37
- Eddie Lucio III, District 38
- Armando Martinez (Texas politician), District 39
- Terry Canales, District 40
- Robert Guerra (politician), District 41
- Richard Raymond (Texas politician), District 42
- Erin Zwiener, District 45
- Sheryl Cole, District 46
- Vikki Goodwin, District 47
- Donna Howard, District 48
- Gina Hinojosa, District 49
- Celia Israel, District 50
- Eddie Rodriguez (politician), District 51
- James Talarico, District 52
- Michelle Beckley, District 65
- Poncho Nevárez, District 74
- Mary Gonzalez, District 75
- Cesar Blanco, District 76
- Lina ortega, District 77
- Joe Moody (politician), District 78
- Tracy King, District 80
- Ramon Romero Jr., District 90
- Nicole Collier, District 95
- Eric Johnson, District 100
- Chris Turner (politician), District 101
- Ana-Maria Ramos, District 102
- Rafael Anchia, District 103
- Jessica Gonzalez, District 104
- Terry Meza, District 105
- Victoria Neave, District 107
- Carl Sherman, District 109
- Toni Rose (politician), District 110
- Yvonne Davis, District 111
- Rhetta Bowers, District 113
- John Turner, District 114
- Julie Johnson (politician), District 115
- Trey Martinez Fischer, District 116
- Philip Cortez, District 117
- Leo Pacheo, District 118
- Roland Gutierrez (politician), District 119
- Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, District 120
- Diego Bernal, District 123
- Ina Minjarez, District 124
- Alma Allen (politician), District 131
- Gina Calanni, District 132
- Jon E. Rosenthal, District 135
- John Bucy III, District 136
- Gene Wu, District 137
- Jarvis Johnson, District 139
- Armando Walle, District 140
- Senfronia Thompson, District 141
- Harold V. Dutton, Jr., District 142
- Ana Hernandez, District 143
- Mary Ann Perez, District 144
- Shawn Thierry, District 146
- Garnet F. Coleman, District 147
- Jessica Farrar, District 148
- Hubert Vo, District 149
State Board of Education
- Georgina Perez, District 1
- Ruben Cortez Jr., District 2
- Marisa Perez, District 3
- Lawrence A. Allen, Jr., District 4
- Aicha Davis, District 13
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- DeGrave, Sam. "Texas Democrats Push For At Least $10.10 Minimum Wage". Texas Observer. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
- Waller, Allyson. "As most states raise their minimum wages, Texas refuses to budge". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
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- "Article from the Washington Post". The Washington Post. 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
- Engel, John. "Eyeing a majority in the Texas House, Democrats prioritize Medicaid expansion". KXAN. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
- Ramirez, Fernando. "Texas House Democrats reveal healthcare plan for 2021". The Texas Signal. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
-  Texas State Historical Association: Texas Democratic Handbook. Retrieved December 5, 2011
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2011-12-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Texas Democratic Party Official Website: Media Staff. Retrieved December 5, 2011
- Ramsay, Ross; Aguilar, Julián (2012-06-09). "Texas Democrats Elect Their First Hispanic Chairman". Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- U.S. House of Representatives Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 16, 2015
- U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved June 16, 2015
- Wallace, Jeremy (2018-06-23). "Pearland 19-year-old Mike Floyd becomes part of Texas Democrats leadership team". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
- Elected Officials Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 16, 2015
- "The Texas State Senate – Members of the Texas Senate". www.senate.texas.gov. Retrieved 2021-02-09.
-  TexasDemocrats.Org Retrieved June 25, 2019
- State Board of Education Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 16, 2015
the Texas Democratic Party were elected at the 2018 State Convention in Fort Worth, Texas and will serve