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Democrats Make Last Stand in Texas Runoffs

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Edward A. Ornelas/San Antonio Express-News/ZUMApress.com
Former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (above) and state Rep. Pete Gallego are enmeshed in a runoff for the Democratic nomination for the 23rd district.

Some Democrats are hopeful that Gallego has put his campaign on track, although others are skeptical. He recently picked up the endorsement of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and that could be an asset when voters decide the runoff one week from today.

But Democrats are of mixed opinion on whether Castro’s popularity will translate to Gallego.

Democrats insist that Gallego will be a serious threat to Canseco if he can win the runoff. But if not, party officials say they will help Rodriguez in his bid to return to Congress for a third time.

“The [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] can’t think of it so much as working in partnership with the campaign,” Angle said. “They’ll have to put Ciro on their shoulders and carry him. And with Pete, it will be more of a symbiotic relationship.”

In a state where Democratic heartbreak has become a way of life, the 23rd means more than a single House pickup. It is one of the few bright spots for Texas Democrats, period.

Much rides on this runoff and how the party adjusts to whoever is the nominee.

“We need that seat,” Strother said. “It’s going to take everybody rowing their boat in the same direction.”

In New 33rd District, Runoff Could Be as Much About Dallas-Fort Worth Rivalry as Candidates

The motto at a barbecue restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas, is: “Life’s Too Short To Live in Dallas.”

That sentiment sums up the tension in the Democratic primary runoff for the new, open 33rd district, which contains and pits against each other Hispanic parts of Dallas’ Dallas County and African-American precincts of Fort Worth’s Tarrant County.

For generations, Dallas and Fort Worth have engaged in economic and tribal rivalries. In recent years, though, local leaders from both cities have made an effort put their differences aside and work together on economic issues.

But much of that goodwill has been undone in the past six months by the competitive Democratic primary in the 33rd district, which will come to a head in next Tuesday’s runoff, when voters choose between former state Rep. Domingo Garcia and state Rep. Marc Veasey.

“There’s obviously a desire in Tarrant County for this to be held by a Tarrant County person, and likewise the same thing in Dallas,” former Fort Worth Mayor Kenneth Barr said.

A prominent advocate for cooperation between Dallas and Fort Worth, Barr is backing Veasey.

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