States & Candidates

States can change the direction of our country.

Texas 2020


Flip House

Chamber Makeup

State Senate

12 Democrats

19 Republicans

State House

67 Democrats

83 Republicans

Opportunity Assessment

What was once a Democratic pipe dream—a Blue Texas—is now a real possibility: Democrats picked up 12 seats in the Texas House, two seats in the Texas Senate and two seats in the U.S. House. And Beto O’Rourke won a 76-74 majority of Texas State House districts, pointing to a clear path to the seats needed for a new majority. This is the most crucial chamber up in 2020 for Congressional redistricting.

The Stakes

For decades, the Texas legislature has been swept up in racism and right-wing ideology. Today, the legislature is defined by its meanness and intolerance.

  • Demonstrated an open hostility to same-sex marriage and undocumented immigrants.
  • Revolutionized redistricting, drawing districts that decisively captured the state for the far right.
  • Zealously defunded women’s-health programs, ignoring skyrocketing rates of women dying in childbirth and living in poverty.
  • Denied tens of thousands of special needs kids the education they need.
  • Refused to expand Medicaid, despite having the highest rate of uninsured people in the country.

2020 Political Landscape

  • In 2020, the entire Texas House is up for election, and Democrats need to net nine of 83 Republican-held seats to flip the chamber.
  • In 2018:
    • Beto O’Rourke won a majority of State House districts (76), and came within 4 points of winning an additional nine districts.  
    • Democrats improved on their 2016 state legislative performance in all 18 of the Republican-held seats that O’Rourke won or came within four points of winning.  In 16 of them, Democrats improved by 9% or more.
    • Democrats had to contend with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s well-funded re-election campaign atop the ticket.  
    • In 2020, both the presidential and U.S. Senate races will be closer than the gubernatorial race, denying a similar coattail effect to down-ballot Republicans.  

Meet the candidates

  • Sarah DeMerchant

    A woman of color in tech, Sarah uses her own experience of discrimination to fuel her advocacy for pay equity. She is running to continue fighting for equal opportunity for all Texans.

  • Eliz Markowitz

    A native Texan raised by an oil worker and a teacher, Eliz helps teachers and students alike prepare for college. She is running to ensure her state government provides quality healthcare and a great education to every Texan.

  • Likeithia "Keke" Williams

    A member of a gold star family, Keke served our country in Iraq and at Fort Hood as a military captain. Keke’s commitment to service continues in her civilian life, as she recently organized the first march against violence in her community.

  • Angela Brewer

    Angela has been a civics instructor, helping teach others about the importance of public service. She knows exactly why her district should expect more from the legislature and Angela is running to bring a new generation of leadership to Austin.

  • Sharon Hirsch

    A community leader and education advocate, Sharon has been involved in local schools, working with the community to improve education. She is also a founding member and former president of a local organization that helps women run for office.

  • Lorenzo Sanchez

    A product of his district’s public schools and a current small business owner, Lorenzo deeply understands his community. After witnessing his mother’s fight against breast cancer, he is running to fight for quality, affordable healthcare for all Texans.

  • Jeff Whitfield

    A Mid-Cities native, Jeff is a veteran and advocate who is running to ensure quality affordable healthcare, fully-funded public schools, and good jobs for all Texans.

  • Lydia Bean

    Driven by an early exposure to injustice in her community, Lydia founded Faith in Texas, a nonprofit that organizes faith communities. Growing up in a family of preachers and teachers has led her to teach and serve in both the church and her community.

  • Alisa Simmons

    After spending two decades supporting the first responders in her community, Alisa is a small business owner who understands her community. She is running to fight for quality, affordable healthcare and good jobs.

  • Elizabeth Beck

    Elizabeth is a single mother, veteran of the Iraq war, lawyer, and community leader. Raised by parents who struggled with addiction, she is running to ensure that all Texans, regardless of their circumstances have a fair chance to succeed.

  • Joanna Cattanach

    Joanna is a former reporter who now teaches journalism at a local community college. Growing up in the foster care system, she saw the challenges that the most vulnerable Texans face. Now, she is running to ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

  • Brandy Chambers

    In 2018, Brandy ran for the House in one of the closest races in the state. Now she’s back to finish the job with a grassroots campaign focused on talking to voters in her community.

  • Celina Montoya

    A San Antonio native, Celina has been deeply committed to her community and helped create a nonprofit working to address the city’s rising illiteracy rates. She is running to ensure quality, affordable healthcare and education for every Texan.

  • Natali Hurtado

    Natali is the daughter of immigrants and was a single teen mother. Today, she credits the help of her family and hard work, for her accomplishments: graduating from University of Houston, earning a Master’s, and now running to give back to the community.

  • Ann Johnson

    Ann is a former chief human trafficking prosecutor, who now teaches and runs a small business. Ann has worked with members of both parties to find common sense solutions to help all Texans.

  • Akilah Bacy

    An advocate for victims of employment discrimination and children seeking asylum, Akilah fights for equal opporunity for all. She is running to advance quality public education and good jobs for Texans.