BREAKING: Lamar Smith will not seek re-election

TX-21 Candidate Elliott McFadden calls on Democrats focus on flipping seat in wake of Lamar Smith Retirement

 AUSTIN— Congressional candidate Elliott McFadden, a progressive activist and the non-profit CEO of Austin B-cycle, reacted today to the news that Lamar Smith will not seek re-election to the U.S. House in the Texas 21st District by calling on Democrats to keep focus on picking up this winnable seat in 2018.

“Lamar Smith was an out of touch career politician who saw the writing on the wall, and threw in the towel in TX-21,” McFadden said. “We knew one way or another Smith was going to be retired next year, and he was smart to get out when he did.”

The Texas 21st Congressional District was gerrymandered by Republicans to elect their candidates by 60 plus percent, yet Trump only received 52 percent of the vote in 2016 and Smith received his lowest win percentage ever. The website FiveThirtyEight has reported Democrats are outperforming the 2016 Presidential vote by an average of 14 points in off-year elections to date.

“While I am glad to see Smith go, Democrats need to stay focused on this winnable district which will be a critical part of gaining back control of the U.S. House next year,” McFadden said. “We cannot swap one out of touch, corporate backed politician for another. We need real representation in Central Texas.”

McFadden is a 25-year Austin resident who has been a leader on big issues like healthcare, affordable housing, and transportation and has been endorsed by over 200 community leaders throughout Central Texas.

“I remain committed to building on the vast community support I have received in this race to run a winning campaign, and fight for a fair economy and government reform once I am elected,” McFadden said.

Elliott McFadden is the non-profit CEO of Austin B-cycle, one of the most successful bike share systems in the United States. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of the Travis County Democratic Party, was part of the leadership team that created the Travis County Healthcare district, and led the campaign that passed a $65 million affordable housing bond.

McFadden is calling for the creation of a Medicare for All program, free college tuition at public schools, and a real infrastructure bill that will invest in roads, transit and green energy. He supports a 12-year term limit for Congress, a ban on corporate money in federal elections and the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions. He was the first candidate in TX-21 to call for the beginning of impeachment hearing on Donald Trump over possible obstruction of justice in his firing of James Comey.