WHAT THEY’RE SAYING “…Culberson’s accomplishments for the 7th Congressional District, which covers west Houston neighborhoods from West University through the Energy Corridor, seem pretty thin. That historically weak record, combined with a district that went for Hillary Clinton in 2016, has attracted a strong group of Democratic challengers for the general election.” [Houston Chronicle Editorial Board, 2/18/2018]
“Culberson was again outraised by two Democratic challengers… The two Democrats not only raised more than the incumbent during the period, but they also emerged from the quarter with larger war chests.” [Texas Tribune, 10/16/2018]
Headline: “Harvey’s Shadow Hangs Over Culberson’s Reelection Hopes” [Houston Public Media, 2/19/2018]
Headline: “GOP Rep. John Culberson Gets An Earful From Angry Voters” [Houston Chronicle, 3/27/2017]
Headline: “Culberson stock asset may prove political liability” [Houston Chronicle, 6/27/2017]
JOHN CULBERSON: A CAREER POLITICIAN OUT FOR HIMSELF, NOT HOUSTON
Culberson’s Inaction on Infrastructure Left Houston Unprepared
Houstonians, some of whose houses are still underwater after Hurricane Harvey, are paying the price for Culberson’s career in politics and his repeated votes opposing critical investments in Houston’s dams that were deemed to be at “high risk” of failure as early as 2004. Beyond voting with his party and against repairing deficient dams, Culberson has repeatedly undermined emergency response and preparedness in flood zones across the country. That shows how far John Culberson will go – since the beginning of his days in Washington – to stand with his political party, not the needs of Houstonians.
Self-Dealing Washington Insider
Culberson implicated himself in an insider-trading scheme, led by a fellow Republican Congressman, to make pharmaceutical stock purchases based on insider tips. As a reminder, this is the same scandal that dogged former Congressman Tom Price’s nomination to be President Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. Culberson’s apparent use of insider knowledge for his trading is consistent with his record on ethics. Culberson voted against establishing the Office of Congressional Ethics in 2008. On this note, stay tuned…
98.5% with Trump, Not With Houston
Even when it hurts Houstonians, Culberson stands with Speaker Ryan over 90% of the time and President Trump a mind-boggling 98.5% of the time. That vote record is deeply out of step with TX-07, which swung against Trump by more than 22-points between 2012 and 2016. Culberson’s support for the Republican agenda, backed by President Trump, includes voting to jack up healthcare costs and jeopardize access to coverage for 62,800 of his constituents, and voting to raise taxes on millions of middle class families.
John Culberson has a long record of being anti-worker and anti-union. He has repeatedly co-sponsored legislation – the Davis-Bacon Repeal Act – to end the requirement that workers receive a prevailing wage on federally funded construction contract. Culberson has also co-sponsored Right-to-Work legislation in 7 different Congresses (107th, 108th, 109th, 110th, 113th, 114th, and 115th). On top of his decades-long record of hostility to labor, Culberson has also thumbed his nose at workers earning the lowest wages, having voted against raising the minimum wage 5 times, despite the fact that his Congressional salary has increased quite a bit since Culberson came to Congress.
THE PATH TO VICTORY
TX-07’s big primary turnout reflects a state-wide swell in early voter engagement and energy on Democrats’ side. That increase in grassroots engagement does not bode well for Congressman Culberson, whose net negative favorability, recorded in a DCCC-conducted poll from November, puts him 13-percentage points underwater. On top of that, among modeled-Republican voters, Culberson’s weak personal brand leads him to underperform a generic-Republican by a full 11-percentage points.
The bad news does not stop there for John Culberson. TX-07’s makeup is more than 58% suburban, reflecting the kind of district that has shifted dramatically towards Democrats under Trump. That shift is evident in the more than 22-point swing at the Presidential level between 2012 and 2016, leading Hillary Clinton to win TX-07 by 1.4 points. Since 2016, the deeply unpopular, Washington Republican and Trump backed agenda on healthcare and taxes have made the President even more toxic, with the same DCCC poll showing Trump’s net-negative un-favorability to have grown to 7 points.
That’s a big problem for a Representative who is disliked and whose most distinguishing characteristics are his 94% Speaker Ryan and 98.5% Trump voting record.