May 9, 2021

LIVE RESULTS: First-term GOP Rep. Van Taylor is projected to win against Democrat Lulu Seikaly in Texas 3rd Congressional District

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First-term Rep. Van Taylor is projected to win against Democratic challenger Lulu Seikaly in Texas’ 3rd Congressional District. 

The candidates

Taylor is a businessman and veteran of the US Marine Corps Reserves, where he was deployed in Iraq. He is a former state senator and state representative, serving in the Texas state legislature from 2011 to 2019. Taylor was elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 following 13-term Republican Rep. Sam Johnson’s retirement. He currently sits on the powerful House Committee on Financial Services.

Seikaly is an attorney specializing in labor and employment law. She has received endorsements from the Dallas Morning News in her Democratic primary bid (the paper has not yet endorsed a candidate for the general election), the Texas AFL-CIO, and Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

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Seikaly’s campaign platform is focused on reforming the healthcare system, universal prenatal care, demilitarizing police forces, and repealing mandatory minimum charges in the judicial system.

A recent internal poll conducted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is backing Seikaly, found her leading Taylor by two points, 44% to 42%, while a previous Republican internal poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies in early August found Taylor ahead of Seikaly by 13 points, 48% to 35%. 

The district

Texas’ 3rd Congressional District is located in northeastern Texas, directly northeast of Dallas. The district is home to most of Collin County, which includes the cities of McKinney, Plano, Frisco, and part of Dallas. 

This wealthy, suburban district has seen steady population growth over the past several years, including a growing share of Asian-American and Latino residents. A Democrat has not represented the district since Rep. Joe Pool’s death in 1968, and it’s currently the most highly-educated congressional district in the country to be represented by a Republican. 

In the 2016 presidential election, the 3rd District voted for Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by nearly 14 points, 55% to 41%, according to the Daily Kos, after backing 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney by a much larger 30% margin over former President Barack Obama. 

In Texas’ 2018 US Senate election, the district backed Republican Senator Ted Cruz by a margin of three points, 51% to 48%, over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. 

The money race

According to Federal Election Commission filings, Taylor has raised over $2.6 million, spent over $1.9 million, and has around $892,000 in cash on hand while Seikaly has raised over $1.2 million, spent nearly $1 million, and has nearly $298,000 in cash on hand. 

What experts say

The race between Taylor and Seikaly was rated as “leans Republican” by the Cook Political Report and Inside Elections and “likely Republican” by Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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