Until 2010, Texas' 27th congressional district had been represented by Democratic Congressman Solomon Ortiz (D). Rep. Ortiz lost his seat in 2010 to one of the more unusual Republicans who ran that cycle: Blake Farenthold (R). It was Farenthold's first run for political office, and he prevailed by a surprising 799 vote victory after raising an unimpressive $618,312.85 through the 2010 election cycle. Farenthold was best known for his attendance at a birthday party a year before running for congress where he was seen wearing ducky pajamas while in the company of several scantily clad women. After the 2012 redistricting cycle, District 27 changed from a district that went from Corpus Christi south to the border into one that went from Corpus Christi north to Bastrop.
With a little more than a week left until the filing deadline, Democrats may have found a quality candidate to take on Rep. Farenthold.
Former State Representative Solomon Ortiz Jr. (D) has reportedly gone to Washington D.C. and met with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee about a potential run against Congressman Farenthold.
After the jump, we will take a look at the new District 27 and how you can encourage Rep. Ortiz Jr. to run.The new District 27 only shares two counties with the previous version of District 27 that existed until the 2012 election; Nueces and San Patricio. The 2010 version of District 27 was won by President Obama in 2008 by seven point margin, 53-46, but after 2012's redistricting Senator John McCain won the same district by nineteen points; a 59-40 spread. The district only got worse in 2012 when Mitt Romney carried the seat by a spread of 61-38, or a twenty-three point spread.
While Ortiz Jr. has the kind of name ID that would make this race interesting and hopefully competitive, it would still be an uphill climb because of the district's Republican lean. However, if anyone could pull off a win against a candidate as flawed and loud mouthed as Rep. Farenthold, Ortiz Jr. would be the person to do so.
After meeting with the DCCC, Rep. Ortiz Jr. tweeted:
Great to visit with the DCCC in Washington today! Exciting stuff happening!
— Solomon Ortiz, Jr. (@solomonortizjr) November 13, 2013
Twitter has been a great way to communicate with elected officials and activists across the country and Texas! While Rep. Ortiz Jr. has not reached a final decision on if he will run for congress, he could use all the encouragement we have to offer! Feel free to send him a message on twitter at @SolomonOrtizJr, especially if you live in the current District 27, telling him that you have his back should he run and what you would do to help!
Democrats will need strong candidates in every district in Texas to put Republicans on defense throughout the state to help Sen. Wendy Davis in her race against Greg Abbott next year. Rep. Solomon Ortiz Jr is just the kind of candidate we need running for congress if we really want to change Texas!