The Agenda

All eyes on Eliz Markowitz as early voting begins in Texas

Texas could gain another openly LGBTQ legislator if educator Eliz Markowitz wins what is seen as the state’s most important election of 2019.  

Early voting began Monday and runs through November 1 in Texas, where Eliz is the only Democrat on the ballot in House District 28 in the southeastern part of the state. She faces six Republicans vying for this open seat that has been trending blue in recent elections. Election Day is November 5.  

From Flippable  

Although HD 28 has voted Republican historically, the GOP’s margin of victory in federal races has diminished significantly over the last seven years: in 2012, President Obama lost the district by 29%; in 2016, Hillary Clinton lost by 10%, and in 2018, Beto O’Rourke lost by 3%. These decreasing margins indicate that HD 28 has significant potential to flip blue, and a successful flip here would give Democrats invaluable momentum for flipping the entire state House in 2020.

For her part, Eliz has earned the endorsement from numerous local, state and national groups, including Annie’s List, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Run For Something. Forward Majority—a Democratic group focused on winning majorities in state legislatures—announced it’s spending $200,000 in the district, and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee has invested $25,000. Democrats need to flip nine seats to win control of the Texas House, and Eliz’s race in District 28 gives them their first crack at the majority.  

Texas is home to 930,000 LGBTQ individuals, according to The Williams Institute, and is the largest state lacking legal protections covering sexual orientation and gender identity. There are just 27 openly LGBTQ individuals currently serving in elected office in Texas; five are members of the Texas House. 

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