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Dems flip Collin County state house district as Plesa defeats Polly

Thursday Morning Newscast Graphic
Lindsey Wiley
/
Texas A&M University-Commerce

Despite losing District 70, Republicans statewide gained one seat to bolster the GOP majority in the Texas House.

The rural Northeast Texas delegation to the state legislature next year will be the same lawmakers from the 2020 session. However, in suburban districts near the metro Dallas area, one new face will be headed to Austin.

Texas House District 70 includes much of Collin County, including Princeton. Incumbent Republican Scott Sanford chose not to run for re-election. The competition to replace him featured Republican Jamee Polly against Democrat Mihaela Plesa. In a close race, Plesa ended up winning. As KERA’s Caroline Love reports, local Democrats say Republican lawmakers who redrew District 70 might have been too confident in Collin County delivering strong Republican majorities.

House district 70 used to be a Republican seat in McKinney but was redrawn during redistricting to include parts of Plano, Allen and Richardson. Plesa won by about eight hundred votes.

Caleb Milne is with the Collin County Democratic Party. He says the Republican led Texas legislature didn't account for Democratic growth in Collin County like they did in other North Texas counties.

MILNE: THEY WERE, FOR LACK OF A BETTER TERM, MUCH MORE ARROGANT WITH HOW THEY APPROACHED US, RIGHT? AND THEY TRIED TO CREATE THESE MORE EVEN DISTRICTS INSTEAD OF CREATING A TRUE SAFETY VALVE.

More than half of Collin County voted for Greg Abbott. I'm Caroline Love.

Other districts on the northeast side of DFW remained in Republican hands. Justin Holland defeated his Democratic challenger to represent District 33 again in the Texas House. That district includes Rockwall and eastern Collin County. In District 89, another Collin County district that includes Nevada Lavon, Republican Candy Noble was unopposed.

Despite losing District 70, Texas Republicans increased their majority in the House by one lawmaker in yesterday’s elections. The GOP has a 86-to-64 advantage in the Texas House of Representatives.