Incumbents have a huge edge in races for Congress


An American flag flies over Capitol Hill last month in Washington, D.C.
An American flag flies over Capitol Hill last month in Washington, D.C. AP

Say this about the people running to unseat six Tarrant County members of Congress in the Nov. 8 general election: They’ve got guts and passion.

Unfortunately, there’s little else to recommend them and little reason to believe they can prevail. The most junior incumbents (Marc Veasey, District 33, and Roger Williams, District 25) have been in office since 2013, and the most senior, District 6’s Joe Barton, has been there since 1985.

Gallup reports that only 20 percent of Americans approve of what Congress has been doing — which might be high after years of congressional gridlock. Still, individual members usually get re-elected.

Texas congressional districts have been drawn to give one party an advantage — Republicans, mostly, with a few Democrats thrown in when it couldn’t be avoided.

Early voting runs Oct. 24-Nov. 4. Here are the matchups, with incumbents listed first:

District 6 — Republican Barton, 67, takes on Democrat Ruby Faye Woolridge, 68, an Arlington activist and volunteer; and the Green Party’s Darrel Smith Jr., 33, a media coordinator from Arlington.

District 10 — Republican former Fort Worth Mayor Kay Granger, 73, is matched against Democrat Bill Bradshaw, 32, a machinist; and Libertarian Ed Colliver, 49, a Fort Worth systems engineer.

District 24 — Republican Kenny Marchant, 65, of Coppell faces Democrat Jan McDowell, 63, an accountant; Libertarian Mike Kolls, 53, an IT project manager; and the Green Party’s Kevin McCormick, 61, a retiree.

District 25 — Republican Williams, 67, of Austin is challenged by Democrat Kathi Thomas, 63, a special event planner and designer from Hays County; and Libertarian Loren Marc Schneiderman, 58, a businessman from Austin and Wimberly.

District 26 — Republican Michael Burgess, 65, a physician from Pilot Point, is running against Democrat Eric Mauck, 40, a Fort Worth retail store manager; and Libertarian Mark Boler, 56, a software and hardware engineer from Oak Point.

District 33 —Democrat Veasey, 45, a political activist from Fort Worth, is running against Republican M. Mark Mitchell, 60, a physician and home builder from Dallas-Fort Worth.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends incumbents Joe Barton, Kay Granger, Kenny Marchant, Roger Williams, Michael Burgess and Marc Veasey for Congress.

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