AUSTIN — With the filing deadline to run for office in 2018 just hours away, Democratic leaning groups have a blunt message for their supporters.
“Run for something,” declares the headline on Progress Texas’s website.
Progress Texas, a non-profit group that says it advocates for progressive ideals and policies, pushed out a list of uncontested races for the Texas Legislature in which Republicans currently hold the seats.
“Texas progressives are energized and running for office in record numbers across the state,” the group states on the website. “We have candidates to challenge Republicans in every statewide office and congressional seat, but there are still uncontested Texas House and Senate and judicial races.”
The group then lists out the uncontested seats — largely heavily conservative districts, many held by Tea Party affiliated Republicans. It also includes a list of steps for a candidate to take to get on the ballot to encourage more people to get in before Monday night’s filing deadline.
There are 21 Texas House Districts that still have only Republicans running in them. Only one Texas Senate seat is uncontested by Democrats — a Texas Panhandle District held by Amarillo Republican Kel Seliger.
There is no shortage of candidates running for other races, especially for Congress. In the Houston-based 2nd Congressional District, four Democrats and eight Republicans had qualified for the ballot as of noon on Monday. Those 12 candidates are hoping to replace U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, a Republican from Humble who announced he is not seeking re-election in 2018. That district includes parts of West Houston and ropes around to pick up northern sections of Harris County including Humble and Atascocita.
In the 29th Congressional District, five Democrats and two Republicans have qualified for the ballot in a bid to replace U.S. Rep. Gene Green, a Houston Democrat, who announced he too is retiring in 2018.
No congressional race has drawn more attention than the 21st Congressional District in the San Antonio area. Thirteen Republicans had already qualified for the ballot and one former Congressman was vowing to enter the race to bring that list to 14. There are also three Democrats who have qualified so far to run for that district.