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With House Election, It's Independent's Day in San Antonio

In a low turnout election, San Antonio voters elect an Independent to serve out the remainder of the retired Ruth Jones McClendon's term in the House.

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In San Antonio, voters in House District 120 elected (by just 50 votes) an Independent, Laura Thompson, becoming the first Independent to serve since Fort Worth state Rep. Howard Green in the 1959 Legislature.

Thompson, though, didn’t qualify for the general election ballot so her time in office will most likely conclude before lawmakers return next session.

The Legislative Reference Library of Texas lists 31 legislators who were “unaffiliated” with any major party.

Meanwhile, here’s some more information on Green.He served from 1957 until 1966, most of those years as a Democrat. But he identified as an Independent for the 1959 Legislature. And here’s another bit of trivia you probably didn’t know about Green: his grandson is actor Ethan Hawke.

Looking back further, Boerne’s Bodo Holekamp served a singled session as an Independent in the 1933 Legislature. Homer LaKirby Leonard of McAllen, meanwhile, was elected in 1930 as write-in candidate for the Good Government Party. He served as an Independent for as many as four Legislatures before affiliating with the Democrats for his final four terms in office.

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National Democrats are targeting U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-San Antonio, over the attacks by his party's presidential nominee, Donald Trump, on a fallen Muslim soldier's family.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Thursday it is launching a digital ad campaign tying Hurd to Trump's war of words with the Khan family, whose patriarch, Khizr Khan, blasted Trump in a speech last week at the Democratic National Convention. Trump responded by saying Khzir Khan had "no right" to criticize him the way he did and questioning why his wife, who stood alongside him on the convention stage, did not speak.

"Trump attacked a Gold Star family, and he’s Will Hurd's standard-bearer. What happened to Hurd's standards?" reads the Twitter ad, which also includes a link to an anti-Trump commercial the DCCC is already airing in vulnerable incumbents' districts.

In an interview Tuesday with the El Paso Times, Hurd denounced Trump for attacking the Khans, saying the billionaire "should be like the rest of Americans and respect the sacrifice that the Khan family has made on behalf of this nation." Hurd is currently not supporting Trump as the nominee.

Hurd is up for re-election in November. Pete Gallego, an Alpine Democrat, is running to take back the seat in Texas' 23rd congressional district that he held until Hurd won it two years ago.

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On the final day of the Democratic National Convention last week, Texas Democrats hosted a powerful out-of-state congressman whose sole purpose was to stress to them the importance in picking up the state's only competitive U.S. House district: the Texas 23rd.

U.S. Rep. Steve Israel of New York impressed upon the Texans how pivotal the rematch between Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of San Antonio and Democratic former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego of Alpine is to the Democrats' national landscape.

Israel formerly ran the House Democratic campaign arm and currently serves in House leadership. He will retire early next year but said he stopped by the Texas breakfast to impress the consequences of the race.

"I'll tell you, DCCC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, we're going to invest big in this district," he said. "We're going to invest throughout Texas because Texas is so important. But one of the reasons we're going to invest big in this district is the candidate is worth the investment. He is worth the investment."

However, Israel said the DCCC will share ownership of the seat's fate with the state party.

"We need to be your partners. We're not going to drive this from Washington, D.C," he said. "You're going to drive it from Texas. We need you to help with the ground game."

Last week during the Republican National Convention, the National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden similarly praised Hurd in an interview with the Tribune.

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