The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Democrat Dan Barrett won the runoff election for Texas House District 97, a mostly suburban district which covers southwest Fort Worth, Benbroook, and Edgecliff Village. This victory closes the gap to 5 seats for a Democratic majority in the Texas House.
The folks over at Lone Star Project say it best:
Dan Barrett won 52.2% of the vote yesterday in a special election runoff for Texas State Rep. District 97. District 97 was a Republican stronghold that gave George W. Bush 63.9% of the vote in 2004.
Anyone who met Dan Barrett and observed his campaign immediately recognized his talents as a candidate and was impressed by the discipline and efficiency of his campaign. No observer outside of Tarrant County, however, including the Lone Star Project, was willing to predict that Barrett could pull off a win in the special election. Dan Barrett’s smart campaign combined with outstanding support from organized labor, teachers and local activists resulted in an important victory for Texas Democrats and a sound rejection of the failed leadership of Texas Republicans Tom Craddick, Rick Perry and others.
It’s worth noting that…
…TX-97 was gerrymandered to be a Republican stronghold district, but Dan Barrett won anyway.
…Gov. Perry moved the runoff election date to a week before Christmas in an effort to help the Republican candidate, but Dan Barrett won anyway.
…the prevailing opinion around the state was that Dan Barrett would lose, but Dan Barrett won anyway.
Congratulations, Dan! Make us proud.