"And Now, Marchant" - by Jim Ellis 
August 6, 2019
The string of House retirements continued yesterday as eight-term Texas Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Coppell/DFW area) announced that he, too, will leave the House at the end of the current term. Combined with his time in the Texas legislature, Mr. Marchant will have served 34 consecutive years in elective office.
The 24th District has been a focal point of the Texas congressional scene since Democrats position the seat high on their conversion opportunity list because of its 2018 close result. Despite Democratic nominee Jan McDowell spending less than $100,000 on her campaign, she came within a 51-48% margin of upsetting the veteran Congressman, a difference of approximately 8,100 votes. 
The vote drop-off from the 2016 presidential year, as it relates to turnout, was only 4% in 2018 compared to 42% when contrasting the 2014 midterm to the 2012 presidential election year, thus partially explaining why the latest results are so different.
The 24th District is the region surrounding DFW Airport, and contains parts of Dallas, Tarrant, and Denton Counties. President Trump carried the seat with a 51-44% margin, down from Mitt Romney's 60-38%, and the 58-41% margin that John McCain recorded back in 2008. Then-Rep. Beto O'Rourke slipped past Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in the November election by the same margin that Rep. Marchant won re-election, 51-48%, however.
Over his eight elections, Mr. Marchant averaged 61.8% of the vote, but 58.2% since the district was drawn in its present fashion from as part of the 2011 redistricting process.
Area-wise the CD is small and surrounds DFW Airport, encompassing the cities of Grapevine, Carrollton, Coppell, Farmers Branch, and Euless. The district touches four state Senate districts and nine House seats, but the vast majority of the population resides in four of the latter districts.
Republicans represent two of the affected Senate districts while Democrats control the remaining two. The district with the largest overlap, SD-16 with approximately 320,000 constituents in common, is now represented by Democrat Nathan Johnson who first won the seat this past November. On the Republican side, perhaps the most logical option is Sen. Kelly Hancock, but he only represents slightly more than 21% of the congressional constituency.
From the state House, freshman Democrat Julie Johnson represents CD's the largest section. The Republican with the largest overlapping constituency is state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, but he has already announced that he is not seeking re-election to the legislature. Former Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne (R) immediately made public her intention to jump into the open congressional race per Mr. Marchant's announcement, but her city is no longer in the 24th.
Ms. McDowell, the '18 Democratic nominee, had announced her intention to run again, and she was joined by former state Agriculture Commission nominee Kim Olson, two local school board members, two attorneys, and a research scientist in what was already becoming a crowded Democratic primary. Ms. Olson was recruited into the congressional race because she fared well in a losing statewide effort this past November. 
The House open list now grows to 16, up from ten when Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI) began the retirement parade on July 24th. The list includes the two vacant North Carolina seats that will be filled in respective September 10th special elections. Majority Democrats are only risking three of these open CDs.

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September 25-29, 2017

Employee Voter Registration Week is an effort to make a dent in the number of unregistered citizens across the country. During this week, companies and associations will join together in an effort to encourage voter registration among private sector employees. The initiative will not tell employees how to vote or who to vote for, but instead aims to serve as a resource to help employers educate their employees about the issues that are important to their industries and provide key deadlines, voter registration, and polling location information.

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