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Texas's 7th congressional district

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Texas's 7th congressional district
Texas US Congressional District 7 (since 2021).tif
Texas's 7th congressional district.
Representative
  Lizzie Fletcher
DHouston
Distribution
  • 99.99% urban[1]
  • 0.01% rural
Population (2019)762,826[2]
Median household
income
$73,730[2]
Ethnicity
Cook PVID+1[3]

Texas's 7th congressional district of the United States House of Representatives comprises a small area of western Harris County. As of the 2000 census, the 7th district comprises 651,620 people. Since 2019, it has been represented by Democrat Lizzie Fletcher. One of the wealthiest districts in the state, the 7th district includes wealthy enclaves of western Houston, ten incorporated suburbs and large areas of unincorporated suburbs. The district’s best known congressman was George H. W. Bush, who later became the 41st President of the United States.

Election results from statewide races

Year U.S. President U.S. Senator[4] Governor
2000 Bush (R): 70 – 26%
2004 Bush (R): 64 – 36%
2008 McCain (R): 59 – 40% Cornyn (R): 59 – 39%
2012 Romney (R): 60 – 39% Cruz (R): 60 – 38%
2014 Cornyn (R): 67 – 38% Abbott (R): 61 – 39%
2016 Clinton (D): 49 – 47%
2018 O'Rourke (D): 53 – 46% Abbott (R): 52 – 46%
2020 Biden (D): 54 – 45% Hegar (D): 49.2 – 48.6%

Cities within the district

Cities wholly within the district

Cities partially in the district

History

Texas received a seventh congressional district through reapportionment in 1881 as a result of population growth reflected in the 1880 Census and in 1883, Thomas P. Ochiltree, an Independent, was elected its first representative. From 1882 to 1902 the district was located in north central Texas and was represented by Wacoan Robert L. Henry. After the redistricting of 1902, the district shifted eastward and was represented by Congressmen from Palestine and Galveston. After 1952, the district again shifted to Waco. From 1885 to 1966, the seventh congressional district elected only Democratic representatives to Congress.

In 1966 the district, then represented by John Dowdy of Waco, was redrawn after the Supreme Court ruled in Wesberry v. Sanders two years earlier that congressional district populations had to be equal or close to equal in population. As a result, the old 7th essentially became the new 2nd district, while a new 7th was created in the western portion of Harris County, home to Houston. Previously, Harris County had been divided between the 8th and 22nd congressional districts. The new 7th stretched from downtown Houston through its fast-growing west side (including the Memorial Villages) out to what were then mostly rural western sections of Harris County including the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, the Katy Prairie and FM 1960. These were among the first areas of Greater Houston to turn Republican as Texas began to gradually shift towards the GOP.

The mid-decade redistricting resulted in the election of George H. W. Bush, a former Chairman of the Harris County Republican Party and the son of former Connecticut U.S. Senator Prescott Bush, and who unsuccessfully sought the state's Class 1 Senate seat against Democrat Ralph Yarborough in 1964. Bush would go on to hold the district for two terms before making an unsuccessful run for the United States Senate in 1970, losing to Lloyd Bentsen who defeated Yarborough in an upset in the Democratic primary. Bush would eventually go on to become Vice President under Ronald Reagan and in 1988 would be elected President. After losing the 1992 election to Bill Clinton, Bush would retire to the 7th where he continued to reside until his death in 2018.

Bush was succeeded by fellow Republican Bill Archer, who would go on to represent the district for 15 terms. Archer would never drop below 79% of the vote as the 7th district, now stretching from the prosperous west side of Houston, including such neighborhoods as River Oaks, Tanglewood, Briargrove, the Energy Corridor and the Memorial Villages, to fast-growing suburbs in the Cypress-Fairbanks and Katy areas and along FM 1960, became reckoned as the most Republican district in the Greater Houston area and arguably one of the most Republican districts in the nation. Archer would rise to prominence in 1994 following the Republican Revolution in which Republicans gained control of the House for the first time in 40 years, with Archer serving as chairman of the influential House Ways and Means Committee for his final three terms.

In 2000, Archer retired from Congress, leading to a highly competitive Republican primary - traditionally the real contest in the heavily Republican district. In the ensuing runoff, State Representative John Culberson, who represented much of the congressional district's western portion, defeated opponent Peter Wareing to win the Republican nomination. By 2002, the district was further reduced in size, now taking in the west side of Houston as well as much of the unincorporated vicinity of the Barker and Addicks reservoirs in west Houston.

Following a controversial 2004 mid-decade redistricting, the district lost Katy and the immediate Barker Reservoir, while also gaining some neighborhoods surrounding Jersey Village and (most penultimately) a southwest section of Houston that encompassed Rice University, the center-right inner suburbs of Bellaire and West University Place, the historically Jewish neighborhood of Meyerland and the historically liberal Montrose area. The latter portion made up the political base of freshman Democratic congressman Chris Bell's 25th district, and historically had not been associated with the 7th during Archer's tenure. While the 7th remained heavily Republican, its dominance was not as strong as in previous elections because of the redistricting. Meanwhile, the bulk of Bell's district had been renumbered as the 9th district and reconfigured as a majority-minority district. Instead of running against Culberson, Bell ran in the Democratic primary for the reconfigured 9th losing to Al Green. Meanwhile, Culberson would go on to win reelection in the 7th against a nominal Democratic challenger in 2004, and won again with under 60 percent of the vote in 2006 in what was considered a bad year for Republicans who lost control of the House for the first time in 12 years.

In 2008, Culberson defeated wind energy executive Michael Skelly to win a fifth term with 56 percent of the vote, despite being vastly outspent by the latter in a surprisingly competitive race–the first that the district had seen in four decades. He was likely helped by John McCain winning the district with 58 percent of the vote in the presidential election. Culberson would go on to win a sixth term in 2010 unopposed.

After the 2012 redistricting process, the 7th lost some of its territory to the adjacent 2nd district of Republican Ted Poe, losing a stretch of territory stretching from north of Jersey Village through Memorial Park to Rice University.[5] In exchange, Culberson gained much of the Greater Katy area south of Interstate 10, as well as a stretch of middle-class suburban areas along the western edge of Highway 6 that had growing Hispanic populations, which also existed in the Sharpstown and Gulfton areas of southwest Houston that were also added to Culberson's district.

Despite the changes, Culberson continued to win reelection in his three successive elections, beating Democratic opponent James Cargas in three consecutive elections from 2012 to 2016. However, the district was one of 23 congressional districts that voted for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 after voting Mitt Romney in 2012, due in part to backlash from some constituents of Republican Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric and stances on such issues as trade and immigration. District residents' favoritism towards free trade and comprehensive immigration reform clashed with Trump's populist stances on these issues. The district swung 23 percent to the left from 2012, more than any other in the nation outside of Utah. Combined with demographic changes in parts of the district as well as the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which caused catastrophic damage to many parts of the district in 2017, some political analysts argued the district could be vulnerable to a Democratic takeover in a wave election.

In 2018, Culberson ran against corporate litigator Lizzie Fletcher, who prevailed out of a crowded and well-funded Democratic primary that gained national attention when supporters of Fletcher's primary runoff opponent, journalist and progressive activist Laura Moser, cried foul over the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's supposed preference for Fletcher over Moser in the primary. Despite this controversy, Fletcher prevailed by a comfortable margin in the primary runoff later that May. The race was one of the most closely watched in the nation that year, with Fletcher consistently outraising Culberson throughout the general election. Despite Culberson's proactive leadership in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Fletcher defeated Culberson to become the first Democrat to represent the district since its realignment as a Houston-based seat in 1966, as the 7th became one of 43 Republican seats (over 1/6th of the Republican conference) to flip Democratic in the 2018 election. Culberson held his own in his longtime base of west Houston and Memorial, areas that have been the district's core for its entire existence in its present configuration; he'd represented much of this area for over three decades at the state and federal levels. However, Fletcher swamped him in the portions of southwest Houston that were added in the 2004 redistricting, as well as in the Hispanic-plurality Bear Creek area near the Addicks Reservoir that was heavily affected by flooding from Harvey. As a measure of how Republican this district had historically been, Fletcher was only the fourth Democrat to even garner 40 percent of the vote in the district.

Fletcher was reelected in 2020 with 50 percent of the vote, likely helped by Joe Biden winning the district with 54 percent of the vote.

Today, the 7th district remains centered on the west side of Houston between Interstate 10 and Westheimer Road, stretching westward from Uptown through the Memorial area and its surrounding villages to the Energy Corridor, encompassing The Galleria, CityCentre and Memorial City Mall. The district also includes much of the Greater Katy area and the Barker Reservoir, the Buffalo Bayou watershed between Memorial Park and Katy, the communities of Jersey Village and Bellaire, and several neighborhoods along a five-mile-wide stretch of the western edge of Highway 6 (including the Bear Creek and Copperfield areas), as well as large portions of southwest Houston centered on the Meyerland, Sharpstown and Gulfton areas.

Until recently, the district tended to vote Republican, with a sizable Hispanic population largely concentrated in the areas along Highway 6 and in southwest Houston adding to the 45 percent Anglo plurality in the district.

For the 2022 elections, the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature redrew the 7th into a heavily Democratic district connecting northern portions of Fort Bend County (including western parts of Sugar Land with largely Asian-American populations) with much of the Westpark Tollway corridor of southwest Houston and Harris County (including the Alief and Mission Bend areas), along with much of inner western Houston inside Loop 610 including portions of the Heights, Midtown, Montrose, Meyerland, Braeswood Place and Timbergrove Manor neighborhoods, as well as The Galleria, Greenway Plaza and the "island suburbs" of Bellaire, West University Place and Southside Place. Most of the 7th's longtime constituency in west Houston, including Memorial City, the Energy Corridor and its entire stretch of the Katy Freeway, as well as the Memorial Villages, Memorial Park, the River Oaks neighborhood and its share of the Greater Katy area, have been moved over to the newly drawn 38th District that is expected to strongly favor Republicans, while many of the areas near the Addicks Reservoir (home to large numbers of middle-class Hispanics) were moved into the 8th District. While the new 7th is not as heavily Democratic as the nearby 9th, 18th and 29th districts, Joe Biden won over 60 percent of the vote in the new 7th in 2020 (even though much of the new district was friendlier to Republicans in past elections), securing the district as a safe seat for Fletcher barring any future redistricting challenges.

List of members representing the district

Name Party Years Cong
ress
Electoral history District location
District created March 4, 1883
Thomas P. Ochiltree, sitting.jpg

Thomas P. Ochiltree
(Galveston)
Independent March 4, 1883 –
March 3, 1885
48th Elected in 1882.
[data unknown/missing]
1883–1887
[data unknown/missing]
William H Crain.jpg

William H. Crain
(Indianola)
Democratic March 4, 1885 –
March 3, 1893
49th
50th
51st
52nd
Elected in 1884.
Re-elected in 1886.
Re-elected in 1888.
Re-elected in 1890.
Redistricted to the 11th district.
1887–1889
[data unknown/missing]
1889–1893
[data unknown/missing]
George Cassety Pendleton.jpg

George C. Pendleton
(Temple)
Democratic March 4, 1893 –
March 3, 1897
53rd
54th
Elected in 1892.
Re-elected in 1894.
[data unknown/missing]
1893–1897
[data unknown/missing]
Robert Lee Henry in 1917.jpg

Robert L. Henry
(Waco)
Democratic March 4, 1897 –
March 3, 1903
55th
56th
57th
Elected in 1896.
Re-elected in 1898.
Re-elected in 1900.
Redistricted to the 11th district.
1897–1903
[data unknown/missing]
AlexanderWGregg.jpg

Alexander W. Gregg
(Palestine)
Democratic March 4, 1903 –
March 3, 1919
58th
59th
60th
61st
62nd
63rd
64th
65th
Elected in 1902.
Re-elected in 1904.
Re-elected in 1906.
Re-elected in 1908.
Re-elected in 1910.
Re-elected in 1912.
Re-elected in 1914.
Re-elected in 1916.
Retired.
1903–1911
[data unknown/missing]
1911–1919
[data unknown/missing]
Clay Stone Briggs.jpg

Clay Stone Briggs
(Galveston)
Democratic March 4, 1919 –
April 29, 1933
66th
67th
68th
69th
70th
71st
72nd
73rd
Elected in 1918.
Re-elected in 1920.
Re-elected in 1922.
Re-elected in 1924.
Re-elected in 1926.
Re-elected in 1928.
Re-elected in 1930.
Re-elected in 1932.
Died.
1919–1935
[data unknown/missing]
Vacant April 29, 1933 –
June 24, 1933
73rd
Clark W. Thompson.jpg

Clark W. Thompson
(Galveston)
Democratic June 24, 1933 –
January 3, 1935
Elected to finish Briggs's term.
Retired.
Nat Patton
(Crockett)
Democratic January 3, 1935 –
January 3, 1945
74th
75th
76th
77th
78th
Elected in 1934.
Re-elected in 1936.
Re-elected in 1938.
Re-elected in 1940.
Re-elected in 1942.
Lost renomination.
1935–1959
[data unknown/missing]
TomPickett.jpg

Tom Pickett
(Palestine)
Democratic January 3, 1945 –
June 30, 1952
79th
80th
81st
82nd
Re-elected in 1944.
Re-elected in 1946.
Re-elected in 1948.
Re-elected in 1950.
Resigned to become Vice President of the National Coal Association.
Vacant June 30, 1952 –
September 23, 1952
82nd
John Dowdy.jpg

John Dowdy
(Waco)
Democratic September 23, 1952 –
January 3, 1967
82nd
83rd
84th
85th
86th
87th
88th
89th
Elected to finish Pickett's term.
Re-elected in 1952.
Re-elected in 1954.
Re-elected in 1956.
Re-elected in 1958.
Re-elected in 1960.
Re-elected in 1962.
Re-elected in 1964.
Redistricted to the 2nd district.
1959–1967
[data unknown/missing]
George H. W. Bush 91st Congress.jpg

George H. W. Bush
(Houston)
Republican January 3, 1967 –
January 3, 1971
90th
91st
Elected in 1966.
Re-elected in 1968.
Retired to run for U.S. Senator.
1967–1973
[data unknown/missing]
William Reynolds Archer Jr Official Photo.jpg

Bill Archer
(Houston)
Republican January 3, 1971 –
January 3, 2001
92nd
93rd
94th
95th
96th
97th
98th
99th
100th
101st
102nd
103rd
104th
105th
106th
Elected in 1970.
Re-elected in 1972.
Re-elected in 1974.
Re-elected in 1976.
Re-elected in 1978.
Re-elected in 1980.
Re-elected in 1982.
Re-elected in 1984.
Re-elected in 1986.
Re-elected in 1988.
Re-elected in 1990.
Re-elected in 1992.
Re-elected in 1994.
Re-elected in 1996.
Re-elected in 1998.
Retired.
1973–1975
[data unknown/missing]
1975–1983
[data unknown/missing]
1983–1985
[data unknown/missing]
1985–1993
[data unknown/missing]
1993–1997
[data unknown/missing]
1997–2003
Harris
John Culberson official portrait (cropped).jpg

John Culberson
(Houston)
Republican January 3, 2001 –
January 3, 2019
107th
108th
109th
110th
111th
112th
113th
114th
115th
Elected in 2000.
Re-elected in 2002.
Re-elected in 2004.
Re-elected in 2006.
Re-elected in 2008.
Re-elected in 2010.
Re-elected in 2012.
Re-elected in 2014.
Re-elected in 2016.
Lost re-election.
2003–2005
Harris
2005–2013
TX07 109.gif

Harris
2013–present
Texas US Congressional District 7 (since 2013).tif
Harris
Lizzie Fletcher, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg

Lizzie Fletcher
(Houston)
Democratic January 3, 2019 –
present
116th
117th
Elected in 2018.
Re-elected in 2020.

Recent election results

2004

United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2004: District 7
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Culberson (incumbent) 175,440 64.1 -25.1
Democratic John Martinez 91,126 33.3
Independent Paul Staton 3,713 1.4
Libertarian Drew Parks 3,372 1.2 -9.5
Majority 84,314 30.8
Turnout 273,651
Republican hold Swing -29.2

2006

United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2006: District 7
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Culberson (incumbent) 99,318 59.2 -4.9
Democratic Jim Henley 64,514 38.5 +5.2
Libertarian Drew Parks 3,953 2.4 +1.2
Majority
Turnout 167,785
Republican hold Swing

2008

United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2008: District 7
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Culberson (incumbent) 162,205 55.9 -3.3
Democratic Michael Skelly 122,832 42.3 +3.8
Libertarian Drew Parks 5,036 1.7 -0.7
Majority
Turnout 290,073
Republican hold Swing

2010

United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2010: District 7
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Culberson (incumbent) 143,665 81.9 +26
Libertarian Bob Townsend 31,704 18.1 +16.4
Majority
Turnout 175,369
Republican hold Swing

2012

United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2012: District 7
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Culberson (incumbent) 142,477 60.8 -21.1
Democratic James Cargas 85,253 36.4
Libertarian Drew Parks 4,654 2 -16.1
Green Lance Findley 1,811 0.8
Majority
Turnout 234,195
Republican hold Swing

2014

United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2014: District 7
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Culberson (incumbent) 90,606 63.3 2.5
Democratic James Cargas 49,478 34.5 -1.9
Libertarian Gerald Fowler 4,654 2.2
Majority
Turnout 143,219 39.05
Republican hold Swing

2016

United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2016: District 7
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Culberson (incumbent) 143,542 56.17 -7.13
Democratic James Cargas 111,991 43.83 +9.33
Majority
Turnout 264,267 67.04 27.99
Republican hold Swing

2018

United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2018: District 7
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Lizzie Pannill Fletcher 127,959 52.5
Republican John Culberson (incumbent) 115,642 47.5
Total votes 243,601 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican

2020

United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2020: District 7
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (incumbent) 158,019 50.76 -1.77
Republican Wesley Hunt 147,802 47.47 0
Libertarian Shawn Kelly 5,514 1.77 +1.77
Majority 10,217 3.29 -1.77
Turnout 311,335
Democratic hold Swing

See also

References

Citations

  1. ^ "Congressional Districts Relationship Files (State-based)". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "My Congressional District". Center for New Media & Promotion (CNMP). US Census Bureau.
  3. ^ "Introducing the 2021 Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index". The Cook Political Report. April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  4. ^ "Texas 2018 Senate and governor by Congressional District". Google Docs.
  5. ^ "DistrictViewer". dvr.capitol.texas.gov.

Sources

This page was last edited on 1 August 2022, at 01:32
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