After Texas State Rep. Tracy King (D– Uvalde) announced he would not run for re-election, two Republicans are hoping to flip the district in the 2024 election cycle. 

Two new candidates, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin and Pleasanton Mayor Clint Powell, are running in the Republican primary, hoping to flip House District 80 from Democrat to Republican. 

McLaughlin, who has served as the Uvalde mayor since 2014, issued a declaration of emergency due to the invasion at the southern border, which he says has adversely affected his town. According to McLaughlin, out-of-touch members have blocked issues important to his constituents, such as border security and school choice.

“Entering this race was a no-brainer for me. I have and will always protect and serve the people of Uvalde. We have a crisis in Austin. Out of touch members of the establishment class have been ignoring the concerns of everyday Texans,” explained McLaughlin. “I am entering this race to be a strong voice for the people of District 80. I have fought them before, I am fighting for them today and I will continue to fight for them and the issues they care most about.” 

Powell has served as the mayor of Pleasanton for 10 years. He previously served in the U.S. Air Force during Desert Storm/Shield. 

“I have dedicated my life to serving my community and the people of South Texas. I have worked tirelessly with local civic and philanthropic organizations to make our area a better place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Powell. “The good people of our area have elected and reelected me repeatedly. This campaign for State Representative is the next logical step in my public service to Texas.” 

As of publication, no Democrat has announced their candidacy. 

The Republican primary election is slated to take place on March 5, 2024.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.