DCCC opens Texas office to protect House pickups, target vulnerable GOP seats

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) will open an office in Texas to protect two House seats gained in the 2018 midterms and target six seats where Republicans narrowly won, according to DCCC Chairwoman Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosGOP struggles with retirement wave DCCC names new head after mass staff departure The Hill's Morning Report - Trump ousts Bolton; GOP exhales after win in NC MORE (D-Ill.).

The office will focus on safeguarding Democratic Reps. Colin Allred and Lizzie Pannill FletcherElizabeth (Lizzie) FletcherDCCC opens Texas office to protect House pickups, target vulnerable GOP seats The Hill's Morning Report - Dems debate if Biden's conduct with women disqualifying MORE, while targeting Republican incumbents Reps. John CarterJohn Rice CarterCornyn faces toughest race yet in changing Texas Texas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges MORE, Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdGOP struggles with retirement wave Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Pelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House MORE, Kenny MarchantKenny Ewell MarchantHere are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Wave of GOP retirements threatens 2020 comeback Texas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state MORE, Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulHong Kong activists visit Capitol Hill Texas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state Overnight Defense: GOP grumbles after Trump delays military projects for wall | House panel hints at subpoena for Afghanistan envoy | Kabul bombing raises doubts about Taliban talks MORE, Pete OlsonPeter (Pete) Graham OlsonHere are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Texas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state Texas faces turbulent political moment MORE and Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyTexas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped Lawmakers mark anniversary of Martin Luther King 'I have a dream' speech MORE, all of whom had a margin of victory under 5 percentage points in 2018, according to the Texas Tribune.

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The operation will be led by Democratic operatives Roger Garza and Michael Beckendorf, according to Bustos, and will have its headquarters in Austin, parts of which Carter, McCaul and Roy represent.

“When it comes to places where House Democrats can go on offense, it doesn’t get any bigger than Texas,” Bustos said, according to the Texas Tribune. “In 2018, Texas Democrats proved that they can win in competitive districts. That’s why we are continuing our investments in the Lone Star State by opening a new DCCC:Texas Headquarters."

The office aims to replicate strategies the DCCC used in California in 2018, where an aggressive on-the-ground strategy flipped seven Republican House seats, according to the Tribune.

"If the socialist Democrats were serious about competing in Texas they wouldn’t have spent the past three months pushing far-left policies like the oil-and-gas-killing Green New Deal and banning private health insurance,” National Republican Campaign Committee spokesman Bob Salera told the Tribune. “Texans will reject the socialist Democrats and their zany ideas in 2020.”

But the Texas GOP has increasingly fundraised with warnings about the precariousness of Republican control in the Lone Star State. “Story after story from national news outlets are posting about how Texas is likely not reliably 'red' in 2020," state GOP Chairman James Dickey said in a February fundraising email, according to the Tribune. "We need your help – today – to defend Texas.”