The Democratic candidate in the November general election for the 30th U.S. Congressional District will be decided by a runoff. State Representative Jasmine Crockett will face off against longtime Democratic party worker Jane Hamilton in the May 24 runoff. The district is considered a virtual lock for Democrats in November, so the winner of this primary will likely take the seat.
Crockett almost won the primary outright, as she was the top vote-getter among a field of nine Democrats with more than 48% of the vote. Hamilton was a distant second-place finisher with 17% of the votes.
The 30th Congressional district covers much of the city of Dallas, primarily the southern portion and other parts of Dallas County. It includes downtown, Dallas Love Field, Deep Ellum, and the southern suburbs.
Jasmine Crockett, 40, is considered the favorite to win the runoff, especially since she received the endorsement of the 30th Congressional District’s outgoing Representative, Eddie Bernice Johnson.
Rep. Johnson, 86, is retiring after serving for 30 years as the District’s Congresswoman. Her endorsement of Crockett came as somewhat of a surprise as Johnson is considered a moderate Democrat. In contrast, Jasmine Crockett has branded herself as more in the mold of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
“One of the things that she said about me is that the district really would benefit from young energy,” Crockett, 40, said of receiving Johnson’s endorsement.
Crockett has praised Johnson for her work on voter and economic empowerment as a Congresswoman. However, Crockett has also been critical of Johnson, especially for her vote in favor of the 1994 crime bill, as she believes it led to mass incarceration.
Jasmine Crockett is a former civil rights attorney. She gained prominence last year when she was one of the Texas Congressional Democrats who fled to Washington D.C. in an attempt to block the passage of a controversial voting bill.
“The people of District 30 supported our unifying message focused on the bread and butter issues that keep us up late into the midnight hours and the hopes and aspirations that get us out of bed in the morning,” Jasmine Crockett said in a statement on election night. “We focused on opportunity, equality, and justice for all.”
“I’m going to continue to focus on the issues because the issues are great, and that’s what the people deserve,” Crockett said at her election watch party in Dallas. “So I think that we can hopefully refocus people and get back to just kind of focusing on them and the work that needs to be done.”
Jasmine Crockett expressed confidence that she would win the runoff.
“I will take this time to continue to meet more and more constituents and truly get prepared for the next leg, which is getting transitioned into D.C.,” Crockett said. “We have all of the tools to get it done, so I absolutely believe that we will.”
Jane Hamilton is also confident in her chances of winning as an underdog.
“I look forward to this head-to-head runoff where voters will get to decide,” she told The Dallas Morning News. “When you compare my professional experience to her newcomer status and my record to her rhetoric, I am confident my vision for strong jobs and protecting voting rights will resonate with voters.”
Hamilton, 43, was the campaign manager for the successful runs of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and U.S. Representative Marc Veasey (R-Fort Worth). In 2006, she also led the successful campaign of Democrat Craig Watkins, who became Texas’ first Black district attorney.
After helping Veasey get elected, she served as his chief of staff and received his endorsement during her primary run. Hamilton also picked up the endorsement of former U.S. Trade Representative and Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk and Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, among other Texas Democrats.
Jane Hamilton was with dozens of her supporters at her election watch party Tuesday night.
“I want to thank every single person who trusted me with their vote. Voters responded to my lived experience as a mother and my professional experience as a longtime congressional staffer. I have walked the path of commitment to our community for over 20 years,” Jane Hamilton said.
“I plan on getting things done. And that’s what I have always done, delivered results,” Hamilton said.
There is also a runoff in the Republican race in the district between James Rodgers and James Harris. It was a tight race between the two as Harris received 32.9% of the vote, and Rodgers trailed just behind at 31.3%.
However, the total votes show just how overwhelmingly Democratic the district is. Around 12,000 voted in the Republican primary, while approximately 55,000 voted in the Democratic primary.
Early voting for the runoff begins on May 16.