HD137

HD137

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Overview

Who & Where
Southwest Houston is the most diverse region in Texas, and among the most diverse in the United States. Within Southwest Houston, District 137 serves as an entry point for new immigrants due to a vast array of inexpensive apartments in the area - namely, the Gulfton neighborhood. While there are still several established, single-family home neighborhoods such as Sharpstown, Briarmeadow, Shenendoah, Tanglewilde, and a small part of Alief that constitute the district, over 80% of the population within the district resides in apartments surrounding these neighborhoods.

Most of these voters are not eligible to vote, however. This is due to the recent immigrant nature of the district. That creates a unique dynamic of District 137 being majority-Hispanic by demographic, political, and legal definitions. But there is no functional majority for any demographic group among eligible voters, registered voters, or actual voters.

Gene Wu
Gene Wu succeeds outgoing State Representative, Scott Hochberg, who had represented the district since 2002. Hochberg had previously represented HD132 in an area adjacent to HD137, but with no shared geography. On December 2nd, 2011, Hochberg announced that he would not run for re-election in 2012.

Wu entered a 4-way Democratic Primary in 2012 as a former Prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney, highlighting his record as a neighborhood volunteer. The contest led to a runoff which favored Wu and then a General Election against former City Council Member, M.J. Khan, as the Republican nominee. Despite Khan's previous tenure on City Council being won with support of Democratic voters, there was not enough cross-over support to make the General Election close. Wu ultimately demonstrated cross-over support in key neighborhoods in the district, allowing him to be among the top performers in the district despite being a first-time candidate.

District Outlook
Southwest Houston continues to be shaped, politically, by changing demographics. As the Hispanic population grows due to both migration and a positive net birthrate, the older Anglo population continues to relocate and pass away. The electorates in Presidential and mid-term cycles should still continue to demonstrate significant differences in composition. But with the latest Presidential cycle peaking at around 65%, the dropoff in Democratic support during midterms may no longer be close enough to give Republicans hope of being competitive in this district.

For the 2014 cycle, Rep. Wu has drawn a Republican challenger in Morad Fiki, a first-time candidate.

District Map

Blue shading - Newly-passed Plan H358.
Red outline - Previous court-drawn Plan H309 used for 2012 elections.

2012 District Map

Population & Demographics

Total Pop. 18+ Pop. CVAP-10 CVAP-11 CVAP-12
Total 170,652 126,727 62,380 61,830 61,745
Anglo 14.5% 17.1% 33.9% 33.9% 32.1%
Hispanic 57.5% 53.3% 25.1% 25.3% 25.9%
Afr-Am 17.5% 17.8% 28.3% 27.2% 28.3%
Other 11.7% 12.9%
Asian 11.6% 12.1% 12.0%
  • Total and 18+ Population taken from 2010 Census data, provided by the Texas Legislative Council.
  • CVAP-10: American Community Survey data from 2006-2010, provided by the Texas Legislative Council.
  • CVAP-11: American Community Survey data from 2007-2011, provided by the Texas Legislative Council.
  • CVAP-12: American Community Survey data from 2008-2012, provided by the Texas Legislative Council.

2014 Election Analysis

50,649 Registered Voters
10,250 Spanish-Surnamed Registered Voters
12,544 Total Ballots

Contest Rep. Candidate R-% Dem. Candidate D-%
US Senate John Cornyn 45.5% David Alameel 49.6%
Governor Greg Abbott 42.6% Wendy Davis 55.3%
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick 41.6% Leticia Van de Putte 54.9%
Attorney General Ken Paxton 42.4% Sam Houston 54.0%
Comptroller Glen Hegar 42.3% Mike Collier 53.8%
Land Commish George P. Bush 45.1% John Cook 50.6%
Ag. Commish Sid Miller 43.8% Jim Hogan 51.4%
RR Commish Ryan Sitton 43.5% Steve Brown 51.6%
Supreme Court Nathan Hecht 44.5% Bill Moody 52.5%
Supreme Court Jeff Brown 44.9% Lawrence Meyers 51.9%
Supreme Court Jeff Boyd 42.7% Gina Benavides 53.6%
Supreme Court Phil Johnson 68.3%
Crt. of Criminal Appeals Bert Richardson 44.2% John Granberg 52.2%
Crt. of Criminal Appeals Kevin Patrick Yeary 65.7%
Crt. of Criminal Appeals David Newell
State Representative Morad H. Fiki 42.1% Gene Wu 57.9%

2012 Election Analysis

48,003 Registered Voters
10,348 Spanish-Surnamed Registered Voters
25,293 Total Ballots

Contest Rep. Candidate R-% Dem. Candidate D-%
U.S. President Mitt Romney 34.1% Barack Obama 64.2%
U.S. Senate Ted Cruz 35.0% Paul Sadler 61.6%
RR Commish Christi Craddick 35.0% Dale Henry 60.7%
Supreme Court Nathan Hecht 33.0% Michele Petty 63.2%
Crt. of Criminal Appeals Sharon Keller 33.9% Keith Hampton 63.4%
State Representative M.J. Khan 34.2% Gene Wu 65.8%
County Sheriff Louis Guthrie 31.5% Adrian Garcia 65.8%
County Attorney Robert Talton 34.1% Vince Ryan 65.9%
District Attorney Mike Anderson 37.4% Lloyd Oliver 62.6%
Tax Assessor Mike Sullivan 34.3% Ann Bennett 62.7%
County Brd. of Education Mike Wolfe 34.4% Diane Trautman 65.6%

July 31st Democratic Primary Runoff

Candidate Votes  %
Gene Wu 695 61.6%
Jamaal Smith 433 38.4%
Total Votes 1,128


May 29th Democratic Primary

Candidate Votes  %
Joseph Carlos Madden 391 21.8%
Gene Wu 773 43.1%
Jamaal Smith 431 24.1%
Sarah Winkler 197 11.0%
Total Votes 1,792

2010 Election Analysis

48,859 Registered Voters
9,715 Spanish-Surnamed Registered Voters
15,057 Total Ballots

Contest Rep. Candidate R-% Dem. Candidate D-%
Governor Rick Perry 37.4% Bill White 60.7%
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst 43.9% Linda Chavez-Thompson 52.5%
Attorney General Greg Abbott 46.3% Barbara Radnofsky 51.5%
Comptroller Susan Combs 71.6%
Land Commish Jerry Patterson 43.7% Hector Uribe 53.5%
Ag. Commish Todd Staples 43.0% Hank Gilbert 54.0%
RR Commish David Porter 41.8% Jeff Weems 54.2%
Supreme Court Debra Lehrmann 42.7% Jim Sharp 54.8%
Supreme Court Paul Green 42.0% Bill Moody 55.4%
Supreme Court Eva Guzman 44.6% Blake Bailey 52.5%
Crt. of Criminal Appeals Michael Keasler 43.4% Keith Hampton 54.2%

Redistricting

2013 Redistricting

2011 Redistricting

In the redistricting plan submitted by the 82nd Legislature and signed by Governor Perry, HD149 was primarily folded into the HD137 while the new nominal HD149 was placed in Williamson County. The court-ordered Plan H302 recreated HD137 and HD149 as distinct districts - a feature that was upheld in the court's redrawn plan H309.

2001 Redistricting

News Results

Man-Induced Earthquake Research Reverberates in Texas Legislature - Texas Lawyer
Texas Lawyer
Man-Induced Earthquake Research Reverberates in Texas LegislatureTexas LawyerRepresentative Gene Wu and study author Dr. Matt Hornbach agreed that the Azle quakes were the result of a "perfect storm" of risk factors. Geophysicist researchers testified that state seismic monitoring is needed to supplement efforts by the U.S ...and more »
[#]
House committee rejects bills to reduce pot penalties - Chron.com
San Angelo Standard Times
House committee rejects bills to reduce pot penaltiesChron.comThe committee also voted down House Bill 325 and 414, from Houston Democrats Gene Wu and Harold Dutton, respectively, each of which would reduce possession of a small amount of marijuana to a class C misdemeanor. The committee did not vote on ...Marijuana bills burn out in House panel voteSan Angelo Standard TimesTexas Committee Rejects 3 Bills to Reduce Marijuana PenaltiesThe Daily Chronicall 4 news articles »
[#]
Panel considers bills to loosen marijuana penalties - Chron.com
Chron.com
Panel considers bills to loosen marijuana penaltiesChron.comGene Wu, a Democrat from Houston, would create a new Class C misdemeanor penalty for possession less than .35 ounces. Wu's measure allows police to ticket the offender, though penalties could increase if someone is ticketed multiple times a year.Texas House Committee Takes Up Three Bills on Marijuana Reform. Don't ...Dallas Observer (blog)Push to decriminalize marijuana in TexasKHOUTexas House Mulls Lower Pot PenaltiesKERA Newsall 78 news articles »
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