A fourth round of “progressive” candidates in local non-partisan races has been endorsed by the Texas Democratic Party. This brings to 32 the total number of local Democrats on May 6 ballots throughout the state the TDP is actively supporting as part of a program to push progressive policies in cities and schools.

Shut out of statewide office for nearly 20 years – the longest losing streak for Democrats in any state – and with a minority of seats in both chambers of the Texas Legislature since 2003, the TDP concocted Project LIFT (Local Investment in the Future of Texas) to focus its resources on nominally non-partisan city council and school board races.

According to TDP Chair Gilberto Hinojosa, the Party’s goal is to elect local Democrats who will “deliver progressive solutions” in municipalities and school districts across the state.

An indication of the kinds of “progressive solutions” these Democrat candidates plan to “deliver” if elected might be found in the TDP’s 2016 Platform.

Democrats are using Project LIFT in the upcoming May elections to target six school districts and 20 cities – including mostly-conservative enclaves like Allen, Frisco, and Plano in Republican-dominated Collin County.

Allen city council candidate Tabassum “Munia” Ahmad, for example, was among the first round of progressive candidates enrolled in the Project LIFT program. Voters have been seeing a multitude of her full-color four-by-eight-foot campaign signs posted around the city.

“We’re proud of these great Democrats running for seats on city councils and school boards,” Hinojosa said in a statement. “The fight to push Texas in a progressive direction is active and in full force.”

The Republican Party of Texas doesn’t have any comparable program to promote conservative Republican candidates in non-partisan local elections.

Election Day for local elections across the state is Saturday, May 6. Early Voting starts April 24.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.


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