Texas GOP rep predicts heavy Democratic presence in state ahead of 2020

Texas GOP rep predicts heavy Democratic presence in state ahead of 2020
© Greg Nash

Texas Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyBudget watchdogs howl over deficit-ballooning deals Democrats launch bilingual ad campaign off drug pricing bill Congressional Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses two Texas Democrats MORE (R) pointed out the presence of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in the state and his district earlier this month, predicting that the campaign arm will pour money into Texas in 2020. 

"They are active. There are eight DCCC staffers — that’s the Democratic congressional political arm — eight of them in Austin right now. Probably half of those targeting Texas 21,” Roy told an audience at a campaign meet-and-greet fundraiser put on by the Republican Women of Kerr County earlier this month in audio obtained by The Hill. 

“Do you know how many we have from the NRCC? Zero," he continued, referring to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the GOP's counterpart to the DCCC. "They are motivated, they are organized, and they are going to pour money into Texas because they believe if they can stick a stake in the heart of Texas, they can stick a stake in the heart of conservatism and limited government and their socialist dreams can come true."

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The comments were made during his opening remarks to the group.

Democrats have paid closer attention to Texas in recent years in hopes of making inroads in the state, which has long been dominated by Republicans. The move comes after the DCCC scored a couple of key wins in the Lone Star State in 2018, ousting former GOP Reps. Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsTenth Congressional Black Caucus member backs Biden Giuliani held phone call with Maduro amid Venezuela crisis Texas GOP rep predicts heavy Democratic presence in state ahead of 2020 MORE and John CulbersonJohn Abney CulbersonEx-Tea Party lawmakers turn heads on K Street George H.W. Bush grandson to enter Texas congressional race Texas GOP rep predicts heavy Democratic presence in state ahead of 2020 MORE

Democrats were also enthused by former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rouke's (D) statewide performance against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSunday shows - All eyes on Senate impeachment trial Cruz: Hearing from witnesses could extend Senate trial to up to 8 weeks Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial MORE (R), in which he lost by only roughly 2 points. 

The DCCC is targeting six Texas seats ahead of 2020, including the 21st District, which is held by Roy. 

The Cook Political Report rates Roy's seat, as well as Texas's 10th and 31st districts, "Lean Republican." 

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The DCCC’s headquarters in the state are located in Austin, but the group has organizers throughout the state.

Roy told The Hill on Tuesday that voters will respond negatively to Democrats' messages in the Lone Star State. 

“The DCCC is targeting Texas and Texans will respond by telling them to sell crazy somewhere else," Roy said. "If they want to put a big pile of money in TX21 and light it on fire, be our guest.”

Meanwhile, the NRCC maintained that the group was working closely with the Republican National Committee and the Texas Republican Party ahead of 2020. 

“The NRCC is working hand in hand with the RNC and Texas GOP to ensure the state has the best ground game in the country,” NRCC spokesman Bob Salera said in a statement to The Hill. “Texas is and will remain a Republican state.”

A Republican official pointed out that the NRCC works more closely with the Republican National Committee, which runs the ground game in the state.