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What Are The House Seats Targeted By Democrats To Defeat Vouchers?

Texas Democrats are planning to flip some state House seats using public education as a major issue, blaming GOP lawmakers for teacher shortages, school closures and pushing against Gov. Greg Abbott’s school voucher policy.

At the Texas Democratic Convention in El Paso, party leaders and House candidates criticized Abbott’s push for taxpayer-funded private school tuition. They touted the governor’s recent success in ousting anti-voucher Republicans and stressed the importance of winning competitive House races.

State Rep. Gina Hinojosa said that Democrats need to flip three more seats in the Texas House to defeat Abbott’s voucher proposal.

Abbott previously said that he has 77 Republican votes in the Texas House for school vouchers. Currently, that number is enough to pass the bill in the 2025 legislative session.

Historically, Democrats and rural Republicans have united against measures diverting state funds to private schools, arguing vouchers would further harm public schools already facing teacher shortages and budget deficits.

According to the Texas Tribune, Democrats have targeted state Rep. John Lujan, who won his Bexar County district by 4 percentage points in 2022. In the same district, Democrat Beto O’Rourke beat Abbott by 2 points in the last gubernatorial election.

Lujan’s opponent, Kristian Carranza, noted that public education is the top issue for voters, especially in districts like Harlandale ISD, which faced school closures due to funding deficits.

“For people, this is a lived reality when we talk about private school vouchers,” Carranza told the Tribune. “The way I talk about this is, the financial crisis schools are facing is due to massive budget deficits, and that’s the inevitable result of elected officials like John Luhan who have been choosing to toe the line with their party rather than stand up for their community.”

Republicans are trying to counter Democrat discourse by saying that parents deserve the options to remove their kids from the public system. They have also fought against public education, by saying it indoctrinates children by teaching them about sexuality, race and history.

Democratic candidate Averie Bishop is also hoping to unseat state Rep. Angie Chen Button, R-Richardson. She has emphasized her experience as a substitute teacher and that lawmakers have failed rural teachers and students.

Democrats are also targeting the seat held by Rep. Steve Allison, a Republican who was targeted by his GOP colleagues after voting against vouchers and who lost to Marc LaHood in the primaries.

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, argued Allison was a moderate and LaHood has more extreme views that are incompatible with the people from the district.

“Looking at the contrast between Steve Allison and Marc LaHood, and understanding and knowing the independent and educated voters in the [district’s] Alamo Heights area, there’s no doubt in my mind that our Democratic hopes just increased tenfold,” said Martinez Fischer.

For now, Democrats remain hopeful that they can flip the necessary seats.

“We have to fight,” Gilberto Hinojosa, chair of the Texas Democratic Party said.  “This is a fight we can win, if we go out and vote.”

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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