One of the wealthiest districts in the state, District 7 includes several upscale areas of western Houston, wealthy enclaves of Houston, one incorporated suburb, large areas of unincorporated suburbs, and the heavily Democratic Neartown area.
The district was one of the state's first to elect a Republican to office and is now one of the most Republican districts in Texas. It has not elected a Democrat to office since 1967, before districts of equal population were required. Republican John Culberson has represented the district since 2001.
Texas received a seventh congressional district through reapportionment in 1881 as a result of population growth reflected in the 1880 Census and in 1883, Thomas P. Ochiltree, an Independent, was elected its first representative. From 1882 to 1902 the district was located in North Central Texas and was represented by Wacoan Robert L. Henry. After the redistricting of 1902, the district shifted eastward and was represented Congressmen from Palestine and Galveston. After 1952, the district again shifted to Waco.
The district was redrawn mid-decade in 1966 after the Supreme Court ruled in Wesberry v. Sanders two years earlier that congressional district populations had to be equal or close to equal in population. As a result, Houston, which had been located entirely in District 8, was divided into three districts, one of which was District 7. Prior to 1966, the district was represented by a Wacoan, John Dowdy. From 1885 to 1966, the seventh congressional district elected only Democratic representatives to Congress.
Since the district has been located in Houston, it has only elected Republican representatives, including former PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush, who now lives in the district.