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2020 Congressional Campaign Updates is a new feature of USRESIST NEWS. Written by  reporter William Bourque, the updates will help our readers follow key races in the House and Senate that are key to the ability of democrats to gain control of both houses of Congress.

July 13, 2020

Targeted Districts

Texas 22nd

Florida’s 16th

Our continuing coverage of battleground house elections brings us to Texas’s 22nd district, rated as a toss-up by the Cook Political Report.  This district covers a significant portion of the southern suburbs of Houston and is currently held by Republican Pete Olson.  Olson announced in mid-2019 that he wouldn’t be seeking reelection.  This prompted the largest primary race in the state on the republican side, with 15 candidates throwing their names into the hat.  The race has now come down to a runoff between Troy Nehls, the former Fort Bend County Sheriff, and Kathaleen Wall, who has worked in the private sector for the majority of her professional life.  Nehls received 40.5% of the vote in the primary, leading experts to believe that he will win the runoff to take on Sri Preston Kulkarni, the democrat. Kulkarni’s most recent job in politics was as a policy and defense advisor to New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.  He has been the challenger for this seat before, in 2017 where he lost to incumbent Pete Olson by a margin of about 20,000 votes.  Kulkarni certainly has the experience in policy making and has had a significant amount of time to run a strong campaign, and the Cook Political Report ranks this race as a toss-up.  Kulkarni does have a head start in not having to take part in a primary runoff, so this could bode well for his chances in the general.  It is also worth mentioning that a libertarian candidate, Joseph LeBlanc, is running in the general election and may take a small portion of votes from Nehls.  This race looks to be a tossup through the finish and may have implications in maintaining democratic control of the house.

In Florida, the 16th district has been under republican control since 2007, with Representative Vern Buchanan finishing up his 13th year in office.  Buchanan is one of the 5 wealthiest members of Congress, boasting over 100 million dollars in assets.  Buchanan faces democrat Margaret Good, an attorney who served in the Florida House of Representatives representing District 72.  This district covers South Sarasota and Siesta Key, one of the more populated areas of District 16.  Good has been endorsed by Vice President Joe Biden and has been linked to support from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.  Buchanan has become a staunch supporter of the President and Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott.  In Buchanan’s most recent race for the seat he beat David Shapiro by about 30,000 votes, but many see Good as the best chance since Buchanan was initially elected to unseat him.  As support of the President in Florida begins to fall because of response to the Covid-19 pandemic there is bound to be Buchanan supporters who simply decide enough is enough.  This may be the key to Good winning the election, as Buchanan has more money raised, due mostly to the fact that he is ultra-rich himself.  The race has the potential to garner national attention and, with the right dominos falling, could lead to a massive win for the Democrats.

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