Texas's 22nd congressional district
|Texas's 22nd congressional district|
|Current Representative||Pete Olson (R–Sugar Land)|
|Ethnicity||71.3% White, 9.4% Black, 8.0% Asian, 20.3% Hispanic, 0.4% Native American, 0.6% other|
|Cook PVI||R+15 (2012)|
Texas's 22nd congressional district of the United States House of Representatives covers a largely suburban south-central portion of the Greater Houston metropolitan area. The district includes the majority of Fort Bend County, including most of the cities of Sugar Land, Missouri City, Rosenberg, Needville and the county seat of Richmond, as well as the county's share of the largely unincorporated Greater Katy area west of Houston. In addition, the district also contains portions of northern Brazoria County including Pearland and Alvin, as well as a small portion of southeast Harris County centered on Friendswood.
The district is currently represented by Republican Pete Olson, who has represented the district since defeating one-term incumbent Democrat Nick Lampson in the 2008 elections. Before 2006, the district had been represented by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay since 1985, and before that, former Congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul briefly in 1976 and again from 1979 to 1985. In 2006, 52% of poll respondents identified themselves as Republicans, 32% as Democrats, and 16% as independents.
It is also the most self-described "Evangelical Christian" congressional district.
The district was originally created following the 1950 United States Census, as an at-large district represented by Democrat Martin Dies, Jr. from 1953 to 1959. At the time, each of Texas's 254 counties were represented by one member of Congress. Beginning with the 1958 election, Harris County, home to the city of Houston and previously represented in its entirely by the 8th District of Democrat Albert Thomas, became the first county in Texas since World War II to be separated into more than one congressional district. The new 22nd District would be won by Democrat and former Harris County Judge Robert R. Casey. Both the 8th and 22nd districts were separated by a boundary consisting roughly of what is now U.S. 290, the western and southern portions of Loop 610, and the portion of Buffalo Bayou east of downtown Houston including the Houston Ship Channel, with the 22nd comprising all points south of this boundary and the remainder continuing to be represented by Thomas. These boundaries would remain effective until the 1964 elections.
After a federal court in Houston ruled Texas' congressional redistricting practices as unconstitutional in Bush v. Martin, effective with the 1966 elections Harris County was realigned into three separate congressional districts — the existing 8th and 22nd districts, plus the newly realigned 7th district on the west side of Houston and Harris County that would elect future President George H. W. Bush. Casey's 22nd district would become the most compact of the three, stretching from southwest Houston to southeast Harris County including Pasadena and Clear Lake City, and also encompassing the Johnson Space Center. The district would not be realigned until following the 1970 Census.
Beginning with the 1972 elections, the district lost some largely African-American portions to the newly realigned, majority African-American 18th District (which would elect Democrat Barbara Jordan), as well as some areas along the Houston Ship Channel to the 8th District, now represented by Democrat Bob Eckhardt. These areas would be replaced by rapidly growing Fort Bend and Brazoria counties (and beginning in 1974, southern Waller County), both home to growing Republican constituencies of upper-middle class families — natives and transplants alike — moving to jobs in Houston's growing energy sector as well as at the Johnson Space Center and the Texas Medical Center, and drawn to affordable housing and top-rated schools in the area's burgeoning master-planned communities. As with most growing exurban areas in the Southern United States, these new areas also had large blocs of conservative Democrats disenchanted with their party's support for integration policies pushed forth by the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson and the national Democratic Party. While Casey continued to win reelection in 1972 and 1974 without significant opposition, his resignation following his appointment to the Federal Maritime Commission in 1976, combined with increased suburban growth in the aforementioned counties, opened the door for a Republican upset in the special election that followed.
Months after Casey's resignation, on April 3, 1976, Republican physician and Air Force veteran Ron Paul, who transplanted from the Pittsburgh area in the previous decade with his wife and settled in Brazoria County, won a special election to fill the remainder of Casey's unexpired term. Paul would lose the general election that year to Democratic State Senator Bob Gammage by fewer than 300 votes, before defeating Gammage in a 1978 rematch by a 1,200-vote margin, and narrowly winning a second full term in 1980 against Democratic attorney and former Harris County prosecutor Mike Andrews. Following the 1980 Census, rapid growth in the Houston area resulted in the creation of the new 25th District, which elected Andrews in 1982 and consisted of much of Paul's former Harris County constituency.
The redistricting left Paul with a heavily Republican remainder consisting of three major portions. The first portion comprised all of Fort Bend County, by this time a booming suburban county anchored by the development of the First Colony master-planned community in Sugar Land. The district also contained much of Paul's political base in Brazoria County, except for a tiny western portion around the communities of Sweeny and West Columbia located in the adjacent 14th District. Completing the district was most of southwest Houston and Harris County along the Southwest Freeway including the Westwood, Sharpstown and Fondren areas of Houston. This portion also included the Richmond Avenue entertainment corridor, The Galleria and the adjacent Transco Tower, the inner suburbs of Bellaire and West University Place, Houston Baptist University, and Greenway Plaza including The Summit (then the home of the NBA's Houston Rockets). Much of the area's retail activity, centered on Sharpstown and Westwood malls along with most of southwest Houston's automotive dealerships (some of them among the top dealers in the nation), was also concentrated in the Harris County portion of the district and extended as far south as Stafford. The district would remain in effect through the entire decade, including the first four terms of Republican Tom DeLay's tenure after Paul unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the United States Senate in 1984 against eventual winner Phil Gramm.
Following the 1990 Census, the 22nd district had now comprised all of Fort Bend County, Brazoria County save for its western and southern edges, and a small portion of southwest Houston in Harris County around the Alief, Westchase and Sharpstown areas. The district was further realigned after the 2000 Census, taking effect after the 2002 elections which also saw DeLay become House Majority Leader. The district maintained its share of both Fort Bend and Brazoria counties (save for the former county's share of the city of Houston), while also gaining a large portion of southeast Harris County including portions of Clear Lake City, Pasadena, La Porte, Deer Park and Seabrook.
In 2003, the Texas Legislature engineered a mid-decade redistricting, aided in part by DeLay and a new Republican majority in the Texas House of Representatives, which resulted in the loss of much of the district's share of Brazoria County except for Pearland, as well as communities on Fort Bend County's northern and western edges, to the 14th District now represented by Ron Paul who had returned to Congress in 1997 after a 12-year absence. The 22nd District now included Pearland, almost all of southeast Harris County, including the Johnson Space Center, and a largely working-class western portion of Galveston County including Santa Fe and La Marque, in addition to much of DeLay's political base in Fort Bend County including Sugar Land, Missouri City and Rosenberg.
The district would remain unchanged through the rest of the decade, but its district changed incumbents three times after Tom DeLay resigned on June 9, 2006 in the wake of corruption allegations related to the 2003 redistricting. Republican Shelley Sekula-Gibbs would fill the remainder of DeLay's term in late 2006, having lost the general election to Democratic former Congressman Nick Lampson, whose Beaumont-based district was dismantled in the 2003 redistricting and who benefited from Republicans being forced to run a write-in campaign (DeLay had resigned earlier in 2006 after winning a contentious Republican primary). Lampson ultimately lost the seat to Republican Pete Olson in 2008, who has held the seat ever since.
Since 2013, the district has included most of Fort Bend County save for most of the communities of Stafford, Mission Bend, Fresno, northern Missouri City and the Fort Bend Houston "super neigborhood" in far southwest Houston. Also within the district lie northern parts of Brazoria County including Pearland and Alvin, and portions of southeast Houston and Harris County running along Interstate 45 south of the Sam Houston Tollway. The district tends to vote heavily Republican and has an average median household income of $82,899 as of the 2012 American Community Survey, making it the wealthiest congressional district in Texas. It is also a diverse district with sizable minority constituencies, an unsurprising fact given that the district's core county of Fort Bend is considered one of the most diverse counties in the United States.
Despite the district's diversity, Mitt Romney won the district with 62% of the vote in 2012, and Republicans hold the overwhelming majority of elected offices in the district. Democratic strength within the district is largely concentrated in heavily Hispanic communities in Rosenberg, along with some parts of Missouri City where the African-American population exceeds one-third and western precincts in Pearland which favored Barack Obama with around 50-60% of the vote. However, these voting blocs are no match for the strong Republican tilt in much of the district, including a moderate-leaning Asian vote centered on Sugar Land that largely votes Republican on economic issues but is more inclined to vote Democratic on social issues, along with some conservative-leaning Hispanic and even African-American voters in more affluent parts of the district. Overall, given the district's ethnic diversity and Fort Bend County's status as a "swing county" in Texas and national politics, some observers hint the district may become more competitive over time as the county's demographics continue to evolve.
List of representatives
When President Gerald Ford appointed Casey to head the Federal Maritime Commission, Paul won a 1976 special election to fill the empty seat, against Democrat Robert Gammage; Paul was sworn in on April 3. Paul had decided to enter politics on August 15, 1971, when President Richard Nixon closed the "gold window" by implementing the U.S. dollar's complete departure from the gold standard.
Paul was the first Republican elected from the area since Reconstruction, and the first from the state since Bill Guill was elected from the 14th congressional district in 1950. He led the Texas Reagan delegation at the national Republican convention. His successful campaign against Gammage surprised local Democrats, who had expected to retain the seat easily following the Watergate scandal of President Richard Nixon. Gammage underestimated Paul's support among local women.
Gammage defeated Paul some months later in the general election, by fewer than 300 votes (0.2%).
Paul defeated Gammage in a 1978 rematch.
Paul won a new term in 1980.
Paul won a new term in 1982.
|U.S. House election, 2004: Texas District 22|
On January 2, 2006, Nick Lampson, a Jefferson County tax assessor-collector, filed as a Democrat to challenge incumbent Tom DeLay for the 2006 general election. Lampson had represented the adjacent ninth district until DeLay engineered the 2003 Texas redistricting, after which Lampson lost his seat to Republican Ted Poe in 2004.
DeLay won the Republican primary on March 7, 2006, taking 62% of the vote in the four-way race. It was DeLay's weakest showing in a primary election, which prompted questions about whether he could win the general election. On April 3, 2006, three days after his former aide Tony Rudy pleaded guilty to various charges of corruption relating to the Jack Abramoff scandal, DeLay announced that he would withdraw from the race.
Under Texas law, it was too late for the Republican Party to select another candidate for the 2006 general election. DeLay announced on August 8, 2006 that he would withdraw in order to allow the party to organize a campaign for a write-in candidate. Texas Governor Rick Perry announced on August 29, 2006 that a special election would take place for the remainder of DeLay's term (November 2006 to January 2007).
The Texas Republican Party supported Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs as their write-in candidate. Lampson chose not to run in the special election. Sekula-Gibbs won and was sworn in on November 13, 2006. She represented the district for the remaining few weeks of the 109th United States Congress. Sekula-Gibbs promised to fix health care, taxes, and immigration.
Due to DeLay's late announcement, no Republican was listed on the ballot for the two-year term that began in January 2007.
The special election was held concurrently with the general election on November 7, 2006. Voters cast votes twice on that date, once for the special election, once for the general election. This arrangement ensured that Sekula-Gibbs's name appeared on a November 7 ballot.
Lampson won the general election, and was sworn in on January 4, 2007.
|U.S. House election, 2006: Texas District 22|
|Republican||Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (write-in)||59,914||42.8||-12.4|
|Republican||Don Richardson (write-in)||408||0.3|
|Independent||Joe Reasbeck (write-in)||86||0.1|
|Democratic gain from Republican||Swing|
In addition to Sekula-Gibbs, the following candidates ran in the Republican primary:
- Pete Olson, who won the primary. Former Navy pilot and former Senate liaison officer. Assistant to Phil Gramm. Chief of staff for Senator John Cornyn from 2002 to 2007.
- Kevyn Bazzy, Army Reservist. Graduate of the University of Houston who served in Iraq as a civilian intelligence officer for U.S. Central Command in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- Cynthia Dunbar, graduate of Regent University School of Law, former director of governmental affairs for Fort Bend County Precinct 3, and member of the Texas State Board of Education District 10.
- Dean Hrbacek, former councilman and mayor of Sugar Land. A business attorney, board certified in tax law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and a Certified Public Accountant.
- Brian Klock, naval reserve commander. President of the Greater Houston Council of the Navy League and former president of the Military Officers Association of America, Houston Chapter. Formerly financial advisor with Merrill Lynch. Twice deployed to the Balkans in support of Naval and Marine forces, and recalled to duty after the September 11, 2001, attacks to support U.S. forces in Operation Enduring Freedom.
- John Manlove, former councilman and mayor of Pasadena, who resigned to run for Congress. Businessman and former missionary to Latin America.
- Ryan Rowley, computer professional, NASA and Department of Defense contractor, oil industry consultant, and military veteran.
- James D. Squier, Harris County Family District Court Judge for 20 years.
- Robert Talton, state representative since 1992. Former police officer, prosecutor, city attorney, municipal court judge, and attorney in private practice.
Pete Olson won the general election on November 4, 2008, and was sworn into office in January 2009.
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- Meck, Kristen (October 30, 2006). "Write-in for DeLay spot has a shot". Houston Chronicle.
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- Goodwyn, Wade (October 7, 2007). "Paul Has Long Drawn Support from Unlikely Places". the '08 Candidates' First Campaign (National Public Radio). Retrieved October 23, 2007.
- Rudin, Ken (July 26, 2007). "Ron Paul, George and Ringo". Political Junkie (National Public Radio).
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- "2006 Republican Party Primary Election". Texas Secretary of State.
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- Bash, Dana (April 3, 2006). "Sources: DeLay to leave House re-election race". CNN. Retrieved April 19, 2006.
- Lozano, Juan A (August 18, 2006). "Texas GOP Back Houston Councilwoman: Texas Republicans back Houston councilwoman as write-in nominee over DeLay". CBS News. Archived from the original on February 11, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2008.
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- "Biography of Cynthia Dunbar".
- "District 22 Dems go for Rogers". Retrieved March 3, 2010.
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- Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present