From Texas Political Almanac
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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
May 29th Democratic Primary
|Joseph Carlos Madden||391||21.8%|
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%|
|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%|
- Plan H358 - House District 137 - pending Governor's signature and Preclearance.
- Plan H309 - House District 137 - plan under which the 2012 elections were held
- Plan H303 - House District 137 - MALDEF/Abbott Compromise Plan
- Plan H302 - House District 137 - San Antonio court's original interim plan
- Plan H283 - House District 137 - plan passed by the 82nd Texas legislature
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.
- House District 137 - 2001 Map - Election History (2002-2010) and District Map
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Houston ChronicleAustin braces for Tesla lobbying blitzHouston ChronicleGene Wu, a Houston Democrat who also sponsored the Tesla bill, said Tesla sales would remain minute compared with the overall Texas market regardless of the number of storefronts. "The number of cars Tesla sells in Texas would be outnumbered by one ... and more »
- Texas loses bid for up to $120 million in federal pre-K funds - Houston Chronicle
Houston ChronicleTexas loses bid for up to $120 million in federal pre-K fundsHouston ChronicleGene Wu, D-Houston, is one of several Democratic lawmakers who have filed bills to expand tuition-free pre-K to all 4-year-olds in Texas. He said the federal grant denial increases pressure on the Legislature. "Thirty million dollars would have been ...Texas loses out on big pre-K grant Chron.com all 47 news articles »
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San Antonio Express-NewsA bienniel Austin tradition: the post-election dash for cashHouston ChronicleSome use the money to help subsidize office expenses during a legislative session. For others, the money will be used to erase lingering campaign debts. State Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, said his pitch to donors is simple this time of year. "We just tell ...Dash for cash as fundraising blackout approaches San Antonio Express-News all 2 news articles »
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