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In CD-33 Runoff, Garcia and Veasey Look to Widen Reach


The following ran in the June 21, 2012, edition of the Texas Tribune. Political Scientist Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.

June 26, 2012

By Emily Foxhall

In the race to represent the new Congressional District 33, which was drawn to give minorities in the area more control in deciding their U.S. representative, Democratic runoff rivals Domingo Garcia and Marc Veasey have conflicting opinions on how they view the district.

Garcia, a former state representative who co-chaired the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force, said that while he has reached out to every community in the district, he sees CD-33 as a “Latino opportunity district,” in which Hispanic residents could effectively choose who to put in office if they came together behind a candidate.

Veasey, a state representative, classifies the area as a “coalition style” district in which no one minority group would dominate the vote. Rather, for minorities to dictate the results of the district, voting groups would need to be drawn from Hispanic, black and other minority constituents.

“I knew that no one, single race was going to carry the district,” said Veasey, who was the top vote-getter in the May 29 primary. “You need to be able to get votes from all over the district.”

Garcia and Veasey will face off in the July 31 Democratic runoff for CD-33. Beyond the racial makeup of the district, both candidates have natural geographic bases in the district, which spans Dallas and Tarrant counties. Garcia, of Dallas, garnered the most primary votes in Dallas County. Veasey, of Fort Worth, led the way in Tarrant County. Both are hoping to encourage their initial supporters to return to the polls and to widen their reach to find success in the runoff....

Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said it was expected that the race would include a runoff because 11 Democratic candidates were running in the primary.

Asked whether race will factor into the election, Jillson said, “Well, all elections come down to race."

He added, "There is a lot of racial voting all over the country, particularly in Texas.”