HOUSTON — On Friday former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Houston-area Democrats she sees a path to record turnout in 2020 that she believes could turn the Texas House blue.
During a speech in Houston, the former U.S. Senator, First Lady, and recent presidential candidate also took jabs at President Donald Trump and called the upcoming election one of the most critical in the nation’s history.
"If Texans voted at the same percentage as Californians, this state already would be blue," Clinton told a sell-out crowd of 1,400 at the Johnson, Rayburn, Richards Luncheon at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
During a 25-minute speech, Clinton laid out stark policy differences between Democrats and Republicans on key issues like abortion, health care, and immigration.
“We also are the party that will stand up and protect the Constitution and address what is a very real constitutional crisis that this president has put us in,” she said.
Clinton also criticized President Trump and others for spreading a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“It is sexist trash,” said Clinton to cheers. “It is also a sign that Trump is running scared.”
Though she lost Texas in 2016, Clinton beat Trump by 12 percentage points, or more than 161,000 votes, in Harris County, which saw a blue wave during that year’s elections and those in 2018.
“If Democrats win in Texas, wow, we will sweep the nation in 2020!” exclaimed Clinton to a roaring crowd.
In the 2019 Houston Area Survey, researchers at Rice University’s Kinder Institute found “Harris County, which has long been evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, is now increasingly aligned with the Democratic Party.”
“I’m confident Texas is gonna stay Republican in 2020,” said Paul Simpson, Chair of the Harris County Republican Party, on Friday afternoon in response to Clinton’s speech.
Simpson called the crowded field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates “unqualified” and accused Congressional Democrats of playing politics and not delivering solutions.
“We have a booming economy, plenty of jobs going on,” said Simpson. “It’s a great time to be in America, and there’s a good future ahead and the Republicans are bringing that.”
Simpson also praised state Republicans in Austin for delivering on school finance and tax relief during the 2019 Legislative session, which ends Monday.
Simpson said Harris County has always seen a tight political battle during elections. He credited straight ticket voting, which won’t be around in 2020, with giving Democrats a push in 2018.
► Make it easy to keep up-to-date. Download the KHOU News app now.