Dan Grant Not Seeking Election to CD-10 Under These Maps

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More negative fallout from the San Antonio panel's gerrymandered five-way split of Travis County: Austin-based foreign policy expert Dan Grant is no longer running against incumbent Republican Michael McCaul. The initial interim maps by the San Antonio panel made the 10th Congressional District a legitimate toss-up. That map drew out Tomball and added a chunk of southern Williamson County. Grant had a legitimate shot of winning, which clearly made McCaul nervous, as the Republican submitted his own version of an alternate map that was much safer for him.  

However, the San Antonio panel's revised, Abbott-and-MALDEF-approved non-compromise maps hacked Travis into five districts, and made the 10th even more Republican than it is now. The district would have been a tough uphill climb at R+13 even for Grant, a strong campaigner with broad support and a populist message.

The new CD-10: West Austin, Central Austin, Tomball, Houston, and points in between.

In a statement released by his campaign, Grant said, “In the latest version of Congressional maps the 10th District has been redrawn to solidly protect Congressman McCaul.  This latest iteration of CD-10 is the same as in the illegal map drafted by the Republican-controlled state legislature last year whose primary goal was to disenfranchise minority voters, dilute Democratic voting strength, and protect Republican incumbents.

Grant's campaign had done an excellent job bringing national attention to McCaul's massive and frequent ethical lapses, from engaging in insider trading before voting to ban it, to hosting schmooze-fests with fat cat one-percenters on the taxpayer's dime. It's very telling that McCaul, the second-richest and perhaps most out-of-touch member of Congress, was protected by Abbott & Friends in this process. But then again, maybe it was just a favor to McCaul's father-in-law.

Quality candidates like Grant don't come along that often, and given that his wife gave birth to their second child just a few weeks ago, it is understandable that Grant doesn't want to spend the next 10 months away from his family, toiling in an unwinnable race. We wish Dan and his campaign staff the best of luck as they figure out their next steps.

The full statement from Grant is below the jump.

Previously on BOR:

Dan Grant Will Not Seek Election in TX-10 Under New Interim Map

Austin, TX – Today, Dan Grant, Congressional candidate in the 10th District of Texas, announced he will withdraw from the race citing the most recent changes to the district lines made by the San Antonio Federal Court.

“In the latest version of Congressional maps the 10th District has been redrawn to solidly protect Congressman McCaul.  This latest iteration of CD-10 is the same as in the illegal map drafted by the Republican-controlled state legislature last year whose primary goal was to disenfranchise minority voters, dilute Democratic voting strength, and protect Republican incumbents,” Dan Grant said.

“I will continue to do all that I can to support the principles of our campaign: real representation for all Americans, a government that is focused on the people and not on personal politics, and working for the future of our great country. The support that our campaign received shows that all Texans are hungry for these principles, and I'll continue to work for them,” he added.

“I cannot thank enough all the people who have made this effort possible: my family, friends, supporters and allies. This rested on their shoulders, and I'm deeply grateful for and humbled by what they've given.”


About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.


  1. 48 hours to find a candidate
    I agree that winning in the currently drawn 10th is unrealistic.  However, the residents of CD10 still need somebody to vote for! Elections with only one candidate aren't democracy.

    Here's hoping that somebody steps forward between now and 5PM Friday. Even a token candidacy, a name on a ballot without any real campaigning, would be infinitely better than a blank line.

    I also don't see anybody who has filed for CD25. Again, the chances of winning are tiny, but voters (like me) need somebody to vote for!

    Elsewhere, 3 cheers for Elaine Henderson, running in CD21, and Jim Riley, running in CD11 — way to step up to the plate.  

      • John Courage filed for SD25 today.
        I was hoping either he or Kathi Thomas would file since Wentworth is being tea bagged this election cycle. Hopefully someone will step up for CD10. Really glad to see CD21 and CD25 covered.

  2. Rahm McDaniel on

    Oh, hell no.
    I'm addressing this post to Dan, because he's probably going to read it (everybody reads BOR), and it makes more sense to me than directing random complaints into cyberspace.


    Late last summer I had decided that it was time to leave my very secure  corporate job and join a software startup that had been a dream of mine for several years. I gave my employers a pretty long heads up, but as the final day drew near I started to get scared and shaky, because the truth was that as a small business in a competitive field, we had a pretty fair chance of failure.  

    My wife Laurie (your classmate at McCallum, as it happens) reminded me, though, that while the chance of failing was significant, if I didn't do it my chance of failure was 100%.

    Here's the point: without a Democratic challenge, the chance of CD10 re-electing Mike McCaul is now 100%.

    I don't want to kick you when you are down, Dan. I got your email and I dig it. I know this wasn't an easy choice. You've got mouths to feed and a new baby, and this was definitely an uphill climb. But it's what you signed up for, isn't it? The new version of CD10 isn't much worse than Texas as a whole, and we want to compete for that too, don't we? Isn't that what we are always saying we want?

    What, exactly is the powder we are keeping dry, Democrats? We can't wait for the other party to fail and we can't wait for some magical demographic abstraction to come and make us competitive despite ourselves. If we want to be competitive in Texas, it starts with competing, and that starts with running guys like Dan in districts like CD10.

    Get back in, Dan. I'll write your campaign a check. It won't be much, but it will be what I can afford. More to the point, I bet a lot of other people will, too.

    You may lose. Shit, you probably will. But the resources it takes to fend you off are resources that won't be redirected to the tight races around this state where our chances are good.

    We complain a lot about losing races as Democrats. I say we lose when we preemptively surrender, and we win when we decide to contest every race, if only to legitimize the process by giving the voters real alternatives.

    People say we can't win CD10? I say when we decide to make it competitive, we already won.

    You've got until Friday, Dan. Forget about the maps, the only thing that matters about that map is that your house is in it.  Do it. You will never regret giving this your best shot.

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