The Question Mansfield Wants To Know: Will David Cook Run Unopposed Again?
HD96 will see a political shift before 2030, but how soon should we expect it?
There are 17 days until the filing deadline to run against Texas House Representative David Cook (HD96). Cook, the former mayor of Mansfield, ran unopposed in 2022 and only won by five points in 2020.
Check out this 2020 report from the Lone Star Project, which outlines how he withheld information from taxpayers, only looked out for his donors, and embraced dismantling access to healthcare.
Cook has had two entire sessions in office. What has he done?
He was a co-sponsor of the bill to ban abortions in Texas. He also co-sponsored the bill that penalizes cities if they cut their police budget. David Cook was a co-sponsor of the bill that banned so-called “Critical Race Theory” in Texas schools.
We won’t call David Cook a supervillain, but we can say that he votes like one. Why else would he vote to prohibit local governments from establishing employment processes, like increasing the minimum wage above the federal minimum or establishing paid maternity leave?
Here’s the thing. HD96 is mostly just Mansfield. It includes small parts of Arlington, Fort Worth, and all of Kennedale. This part of Tarrant County is turning rapidly blue. The map below was from the 2022 election.
The red you see sandwiched between the blue gets smaller and smaller with each election.
Cook only one by five points in 2020. Then, in 2021, redistricting happened. HD96 went from 44.1% Anglo to 52.6% Anglo.
The idea was if they could keep the majority in the district Anglo, they could keep it Republican. Considering that 95% of our population growth is from people of color and how fast Tarrant County and Mansfield have been growing, why did the GOP only make it 52.6%? Why not 60%? Or 70%?
It’s because they can’t. They’ve crafted these maps like a pie, cracking and packing BIPOC communities into large swaths of white rural farmlands. They’ve cut up the pie as far as they can. That’s why their strategy during redistricting was to keep the incumbents instead of making more Republican districts. They’re all out of pie.
Mansfield’s population has doubled every decade. In 2000, the population was 28,000. In 2020, the population was 72,778.
This city is diverse, with only 52.7% of the population being white and not Hispanic.
Mansfield is rapidly changing, and because of that, this seat will be blue by the 2030 elections. Will it flip in 2024? Since Cook ran unopposed under the current maps last time, we only have the presidential elections to compare it to.
We always want Texas Democrats to perform better than expected. Even though Beto lost in 2018, we flipped a dozen House seats and countless down-ballot judges. Democrats didn’t have that big win, but 2018 down-ballot Democrats all performed better than expected.
So, what happens if Texas Democrats again perform better than expected? It would all be speculation at this point. The entire globe has been on fire, and no one knows what’ll happen between now and November 2024.
It could be another disaster like 2022.
Who would be perfect to run against David Cook?
An attorney, a teacher, a janitor, it’s essential that they are active and involved in the political process. Maybe a union leader or a grassroots activist. Maybe a stay-at-home mom. Someone willing to put in this work and has a vision of a better Texas.
📣There are only 17 days left until the filing deadline. If you or someone you know in Mansfield has been mulling a run for office, now is the time.
Here are some more resources to help you get started:
The Texas Democratic Party’s new program for training and candidate resources is Lone Star Rising.
If you’re young and progressive (I love you), Run For Something will help you with all stages of your campaign.
Blue Horizons Texas will help you every step of the way if you’re considering running in a red or rural district.
If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, make sure to reach out to the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund.
Are you a woman? You can get help running for office from Emily’s List.
And as soon as possible, contact your County Party to get them on board with your campaign.
Even if running for office isn’t something for you, share this because perhaps someone you know was considering this. We can flip Texas, but it will take all of us. Voter turnout is the most important thing, but we have to have the candidates for voters to vote for in the first place. Let’s do this!
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