Marc Veasey will likely be the first congressman for the new U.S. House District 33 in Texas after defeating Domingo Garcia in the Democratic party primary runoff election Tuesday, a contest filled with sharp attacks.
Veasey defeated Garcia 53 percent to 47 percent, with all precincts reporting. The new congressional district in Dallas and Tarrant counties was created as a minority opportunity district.
During the campaign Garcia called Veasey an “errand boy,” arguing Veasey would cast votes for big business and special interests. Several local and state officials condemned the comment. Additionally, Garcia said a couple of neighborhoods in the district “look like ghettos.” Garcia also rebuked the management of General Motors, American Airlines and Lockheed Martin, which collectively produce more than 40,000 jobs in the Metroplex.
These kind of comments compelled the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to write that Garcia had “foot-in-mouth” disease. However, the election between Veasey, the state representative from House District 95 in Fort Worth, and Garcia, the Dallas County lawyer, social justice activist and former state representative, focused on who would be the better Democrat.
Veasey touted his endorsements, which include U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, former Democratic U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, who represented the area for many years, and the Congressional Black Caucus PAC. Garcia made his case in an Internet ad on his website, contending that Veasey acted like a Republican and is beholden to special interests.
The ad says Veasey voted “to fund Republican programs” in 2007 when he voted for House Bill 2683, a bill allowing the state to pursue programs aimed at building “healthy marriages and strengthening families.” The money came from existing federal funds via the Temporary Aid for Needy Families program. (Veasey’s vote is recorded on page 1844.)
The ad also highlighted Veasey’s vote in 2011 for a low-level nuclear waste site in Andrews County, northwest of Midland. (See page 4099 in the recorded vote on SB 1504).
Cal Jillson, a Southern Methodist University political science professor, predicts District 33 will safely be represented by a Democrat for many years.
Veasey faces poorly-financed Republican Chuck Bradley in November.
Editor's Note: This story was updated as election results were updated.
Contact Curt Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.
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Photo of the Capitol via the website of Congresswoman Betty McCollum.