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Dallas County Commissioners Now All Democrats

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Dallas County Commissioners Court | Image by NBC DFW

The Dallas County Commissioners Court will soon be composed entirely of Democrats.

Incumbent Commissioner J.J. Koch, the last remaining Republican on the court, was defeated in the November 8 midterm elections by Democrat Andrew Sommerman, who captured 54% of the vote to Koch’s 46%. Koch, who held the seat for District 2, has served on the commissioners court since 2018.

Redistricting in 2021, which made District 2 significantly more Democratic, was reportedly a significant factor in the outcome of the election.

“The biggest thing was the way that the lines were drawn,” Koch said in an interview, according to The Dallas Morning News. “It just changed the composition of the district very dramatically.”

Gerrymandering refers to a process in which lines are drawn to manipulate the boundaries of districts to predetermine the outcome of elections.

Redistricting of court precincts contributed to District 2 turning blue, according to NBC 5. The old District 2 was drawn in the 2011 redistricting process to consolidate a Republican-voting segment in the county, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Koch previously opposed the new lines reducing Republican-leaning areas in his district. Democrats on the court argued that the new lines were supported by trends set by previous elections.

“It’s a piece of history, of course it is. But we knew that last year when I authored the redistricting plan. I mean, we saw this trend coming,” said Commissioner John Wiley Price, a Democrat.

The district map for 2018 indicated that District 2 was primarily red. In the 2018 election, Koch maintained his seat, capturing nearly 52% of the vote.

After the redistricting done before the midterm election in 2021, the district map indicates a shift to the Democratic party.

Commenting on the dramatic drop in the percentage of votes — around 6% — that he captured, Koch said, “If we were talking about a race that was, you know, 2%, 3%, I could say image factored into it. This was just straight up people checking the box with a ‘D.’”

Others welcome the dramatic shift.

“It’s the first time we’ve had this sort of progressive, all welcoming, all progressive court. But we’re going to focus on representing everyone, Republicans, Independents and Democrats,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, according to NBC DFW.

Koch and Jenkins have historically been at odds with one another.

Koch filed a lawsuit against Jenkins in August 2021 over Dallas County’s COVID-19 mask mandate. Koch argued that the mandate violated a prohibition put in place by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Koch filed the lawsuit after Jenkins ordered all people in the commissioners’ courtroom to wear a mask, which led to a bailiff escorting Koch out of the court.

Sommerman defended Jenkins and Dallas County in that lawsuit.

The commissioner-elect has claimed that he intends to set partisan politics aside.

“I am not a Democrat anymore once I’m elected. Once I’m elected, I have to represent Democrats and Republicans both and make sure that my district is properly represented,” said Sommerman.

Koch’s term ends on December 31, 2022, and Sommerman will assume the office the following day.

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Bret
Bret
1 month ago

All democrats in the Dallas county commission. People, this will be fun to watch. Dallas will only get worse not better.

Wrath
Wrath
1 month ago

We will know who to blame.

Pap
Pap
Reply to  Wrath
1 month ago

We will know but the dems will still try to blame republicans.

Linda Klinger
Linda Klinger
1 month ago

Ah, yes, the perpetual promise to represent “all” in the district. I heard the same from congressman Colin Allred.

JNW
JNW
Reply to  Linda Klinger
1 month ago

Absolutely dead on! Just another empty promise that goes unfulfilled.by the Democrats when they get elected. Why even say it when you know how hollow it rings. Dallas will become just another of Uncle Sam’s plantations of Democrat voters but they are going to see what happens under a one party system.

Zulia
Zulia
1 month ago

If no one will do something about it, this would be the beginning of democrats taking over Texas in years to come.

CITIZEN
CITIZEN
1 month ago

Time will tell if the people are well represnted and all being done is for the benefit of all not just those who voted them in.

Serpico1950
Serpico1950
1 month ago

The districts in Dallas county need to be designed to represent ALL VOTERS. Arranging any district to favor just one side is bad for all.
Won’t someone please step up and do the RIGHT thing for all of us!

Keepin it real!
Keepin it real!
1 month ago

I’m a Democrat, but I think that ALL Gerrymandering is bad. Both parties do it with impunity and it’s wrong. WE should be choosing our representatives, not the other way around.

DFW Citizen
DFW Citizen
1 month ago

There should be a term limits on how long these commissioners “represent” constituents

Ron
Ron
1 month ago

Part of the reason I want out of Dallas anything now

AP in TX
AP in TX
1 month ago

I saw a local TV segment a couple years ago with 5 of Dallas’s top officials: Police Chief, Mayor, Fire, etc. and guess what no racial diversity whatsoever. So this news seems par for the course. I also expect D. Caraway to be elected back into office once out of prison too.

Last edited 1 month ago by AP in TX
Steve Shockley
Steve Shockley
1 month ago

they are accelerating the demise of society,I thought that up ,but anyone is welcome to use the term

Bugabuga
Bugabuga
1 month ago

We will now see the total implosion of Dallas County. The people who voted and live there will face the consequences of their ill-fated decisions.

DemTodayDemTomorrow
DemTodayDemTomorrow
1 month ago

Great! Now it’s time to takeover the senate, ag, and the governor’s seats.

JNW
JNW
Reply to  DemTodayDemTomorrow
1 month ago

Socialist today socialist tomorrow … what is next after the destruction of the state?

Janet
Janet
Reply to  JNW
1 month ago

You can always move to Russia, China, North Korea, or Brazil! I am sure you will be happy under any of those regimes!