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5 Lawmakers in 10 Elections Makes TX-23 Most Volatile District in State

by Eric Robinson, published
Democratic congressman Pete Gallego is facing a potentially tough fight to maintain his House seat in Texas's infamously volatile 23rd Congressional District, where five different officials have been elected over the course of ten election cycles. After winning the district from Republican incumbent Francisco Canseco back in 2012 by 5 percentage points, Gallego faces Canseco again as he attempts to reclaim his former seat.

Congressman Gallego, who is ranked the number one bipartisan freshman by due to 49 percent of his bills being sponsored by Republicans, is a moderate-liberal whose conservative views include an opposition to same-sex marriage and advocacy for increased border security. His support of the Affordable Care Act is likely to be his biggest liability in the upcoming election.

So far, holding a large fundraising lead and being the clear frontrunner in the race, Gallego has decided not to attack Canseco as the Republican is already facing a tough primary fight. Recent fundraising reports place Canesco behind Republican primary contender Will Hurd, who ran against Canesco in 2010, but lost the nomination. With Canesco behind Hurd in cash, it's entirely possible that Hurd could win the upcoming March 4 primary election.

Canesco, who previously worked in the financial sector, won the seat in 2010, only to lose it in 2012 despite redistricting efforts that reportedly benefited Canesco. He would refuse to concede due to allegations by him that voter fraud was involved in his 9,000-vote loss. He declared his intention to run again in December 2012 and after a soft start, began to build momentum in September 2013. Having voted with his party 96 percent of the time, Canseco is a rank and file Republican who has described himself as a "limited-government conservative."

Hurd, a former CIA officer and rising GOP star, is similarly conservative, but is running on a platform that is considerably more anti-establishment. With Canesco receiving no help from national Republicans this time around, the race presents a golden opportunity for Hurd to jump start his political career, assuming he is given support from national Republicans in order to beat Gallego.

Trailing a distant fourth in the race is Republican Robert Lowry, a former physician with an ultra-conservative platform. Pro-gun, anti-Obamacare, and even anti-moderate -- as evident by an article written by him, titled The Ignored Foundation of Just Consent -- Lowry certainly is the most conservative candidate in the race. However, with very little cash on hand, it's extremely unlikely that Lowry will even compete in the primary.

Congressman Gallego is likely to win, but certainly not without a fight. A $200,000 ad buy from the conservative PAC, Hispanic Leadership Fund, has slammed Gallego for his support of Obamacare and while Gallego might be leading in contributions, there is a chance that national Republicans could begin throwing their money and weight behind a candidate once the GOP nominee has been chosen. Everything may seem positive for Gallego now, but the narrative could certainly change with months until the election.

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