By Sahar Chmais
Update: According to the Federal Election Commission, four candidates have already filed a financial report for House District 35, all of which are from the Democratic party. These include: David Anderson, Eduardo Rodriguez, James Sasinowski and Claudia Zapata.
Redistricting plans after the 2020 Census means that U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D) will no longer be on the Hays County ballot.
With the booming population in the Central Texas area, districts are being redrawn. U.S. congressional districts have approximately 700,000 residents each.
Doggett’s new District 37 would be entirely in Travis County. The new map takes effect in 2022. The congressional map proposal was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in late October.
Austin Councilman Greg Casar (D) has announced that he will be running for District 35. No other candidates have made a similar announcement as of press time. Official filing for this office opens Nov. 13 and ends Dec. 13.
Casar is campaigning as a progressive leader.
“I believe working Texans deserve a progressive leader who will deliver on reproductive rights, Medicare for All, good jobs, and a functional power grid,” Casar said. “That’s why I’m running for Congress. Our communities are struggling because people like Gov. Abbott are looking out for themselves, instead of everyone else.”
Doggett will be running to represent the newly drawn Congressional District 37, centered in Travis County, and Casar is campaigning to win Congressional District 35 in the newly proposed redistricting map, which runs from Austin, through the I-35 corridor and into San Antonio.
During the redistricting period, Texas gained two congressional districts this year due to population growth. In particular, people of color contributed to 95% of the population boom in Texas. Hays County’s Hispanic population makes up 40% of its residents, according to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau.
In the 2020 general elections, Hays County elected a majority of Democratic party politicians. This differed from the 2016 elections, a time when the county predominantly elected Republican party politicians.
During the 2020 elections, 62% of District 35 votes in Hays County went to Doggett.
Casar has received the support of other Democrat leaders, including Texas Senator Wendy Davis, San Marcos City Council member Alyssa Garza, several Austin City Council members and the Mayor, San Antonio City council members and other Travis County leaders.
Additionally, Casar’s campaign has secured more than $100,000 from more than 700 individuals during the first 72 hours of the campaign.
Throughout his career, Casar has worked with Hays County officials and groups and coordinated COVID vaccine access for working families in Hays County.
Elections for Congressional Districts will take place in 2022.