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District Profile from Politics in America
Anchored by Corpus Christi in the north, the 27th runs south to the Rio Grande River, with the Gulf of Mexico on its eastern coast. Ranches and industries tied to the coast are the mainstays between the two largest cities, Corpus Christi and Brownsville. North of Corpus Christi, it also takes in more than half of San Patricio County's population.
Corpus Christi relies on tourism, oil and gas. Petrochemical refining, also found up and down the coast, is more common here, as is the storing and shipping of wind turbines out of the port. The area's military bases are key to the region's economic health.
In the Rio Grande Valley, the port city of Brownsville struggles with illegal immigration, drug smuggling and poverty. Manufacturing plants and maquiladoras -- sites in Mexico that use low-cost labor and import parts from the United States -- help. Wetland ecotourism and visitors from Mexico boost Brownsville's economy.
The Hispanic-majority district (73 percent) had elected the same Democrat to the U.S. House since its creation prior to the 1982 election. But GOP support in Neuces and San Patricio counties was just enough to give the seat to Republican Blake Farenthold in 2010.
Manufacturing, trade, tourism, military, petrochemicals
Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, 1,542 military, 2,700 civilian; Corpus Christi Army Depot, 5 military, 3,760 civilian (2009); Naval Air Station Kingsville, 586 military, 204 civilian (2011)
Corpus Christi, 305,215; Brownsville, 175,023; Kingsville, 26,213
Padre Island National Seashore runs most of the district's length.
|2010||general||Blake Farenthold (R)||51,001||47.8%|
|Solomon Ortiz (D)||50,226||47.1%|
|Edward Mishou (LIBERT)||5,372||5%|
|2008||general||Solomon Ortiz (D)||104,864||58%|
|William Vaden (R)||69,458||38.4%|
|Robert Powell (LIBERT)||6,629||3.7%|
|2006||general||Solomon Ortiz (D)||62,058||56.8%|
|William Vaden (R)||42,538||38.9%|
|Robert Powell (LIBERT)||4,718||4.3%|
|2004||general||Solomon Ortiz (D)||112,081||63.1%|
|William Vaden (R)||61,955||34.9%|
|Christopher Claytor (LIBERT)||3,500||2%|
|2002||general||Solomon Ortiz (D)||68,559||61.1%|
|Pat Ahumada (R)||41,004||36.5%|
|Christopher Claytor (LIBERT)||2,646||2.4%|
|2008||Barack Obama: 53%||John McCain: 46%|
|2004||John Kerry: 45%||George W. Bush: 55%|
|2000||Al Gore: 50%||George W. Bush: 50%|