HOUSTON – Voters in Bellaire – the 7th district – are hugely responsible for Democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher’s congressional win beating out Republican Rep. John Culberson.
Fletcher took 52 percent of the vote and flipped a Houston House district that has been GOP-controlled since first sending George H.W. Bush to Congress over 50 years ago.
Crowds at Fletcher’s watch party erupted into cheers after the race was called, and despite the closeness of the race she was confident she’d win.
“The truth is I am not surprised. Because, after all, this is Houston, this is our town,” Fletcher said. “And if I know one thing, it’s that this city is filled with people who are caring, and committed, and innovative, and creative, and problem-solving and hardworking. And that is what this campaign has done, that is the message we are bringing to Houstonians. That we need a little bit more of that in Washington, D.C.”
Fletcher is a prominent corporate attorney and outspoken defender of abortion rights who argued that President Donald Trump was trying to hurt advances in women's equality.
She was backed by national Democratic groups, while GOP organizations and a visit by Vice President Mike Pence tried to save Culberson.
Culberson had represented the wealthy and well-educated district since 2001 but has seen its demographics shift to become less white and more heavily Hispanic and black.
Democrats took more than the 23 seats needed to regain control of the House after Tuesday night.
Fletcher's victory marks the party's second pickup in deep-red Texas.
Fletcher released the following statement:
“We are at a critical moment in our history. Tonight’s results have shown that we have the power to change the direction of our country -- that’s what we did with this race. I am amazed and humbled by the support we have received but I am not surprised. This is Houston. This is our town. If I know one thing it’s that this city is filled with hardworking and caring people. We need more of that in DC.
Thank you all for supporting me and our campaign. Tonight we proved that our country is worth it, our democracy is worth it, and we are worth.”