DALLAS — George W. Bush improved his 2000 win in his home state by 3 percent. He won Texas with 62 percent, although he did not do as well in the major cities. Dallas County went for Bush by 53 percent in 2000, but his margin was 50-49 in 2004.

Four of the five Democratic congressmen who had been put into difficult districts by the redistricting of 2003 went down in flames. Only Rep. Chet Edwards was able to get re-elected.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay took 60 percent of the vote, despite pending legal and ethical problems concerning the way that he maneuvered the state’s redistricting. The Houston Chronicle endorsed DeLay’s opponent because he “promises to place the district’s interests above grasping for partisan power in Washington.”

The powerful Dallas Morning News had endorsed Democratic Rep. Martin Frost, backed by the labor movement, against Republican Pete Sessions in a newly created district, but Sessions beat Frost, who had been the “dean” of Texas’ once-powerful Democratic delegation.

Not all of the races followed this pattern, however. Dallas Democrats picked up three judgeships and chose Lupe Valdez as Dallas County’s first female and first Latino elected sheriff, edging out a three-decade veteran of the sheriff’s department. She also became the first new sheriff in 20 years and the first Democrat to hold the post since the mid-1970s.

The authors can be reached at pww@pww.org.

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