Tribpedia: Texas Democratic Party

The Texas Democratic Party is the state branch of the Democratic party, generally considered to be center-left on the political spectrum.  It is one of the two major political parties in Texas, the other being the Republican Party of Texas.

The TDP raises money, organizes events, and campaigns for state Democratic candidates.

After many decades in the majority, Democrats have been in the minority in Texas since 1995 when they lost the governorship.  In 2003, they became the minority party in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate.

From the Handbook of Texas Online, a publication of the Texas State Historical Association:

State laws dictate the formal organization of the Democratic party in Texas and provide for both temporary and permanent organs. The temporary party organs consist of a series of regularly scheduled (biennial) conventions beginning at the precinct level and limited to persons who voted in the party primary. The chief function of the precinct convention is to choose delegates to the county convention or the senatorial district convention held on the third Saturday after the first primary. When a county has more than one senatorial district because of its large population, a separate senatorial district convention is held for each senate district in the county. The delegates who gather at the county and the senatorial district conventions are likewise chiefly concerned with choosing delegates to the state convention held biennially in June for the purpose of formally choosing the state executive committee, adopting a party platform, and officially certifying the party's candidates to be listed on the general election ballot. In presidential election years the state convention also chooses delegates to the national presidential nominating convention. 

The State Democratic Executive Committee includes one man and one woman from each of the thirty-one state senatorial districts, plus a chairman and a vice-chairman, formally chosen by the state convention but informally chosen by a caucus of the delegates from each senatorial district. Occasionally a governor and his advisers will decide that a caucus nominee is simply unacceptable and then will substitute his own choices. By law the state committee is responsible for overseeing the party primary and for canvassing the returns. It also undertakes fund-raising and campaign work for the party. Before Republican Bill Clements' election as governor in 1978, the committee's role was to serve as an adjunct of the governor's office, designed to help the governor as best as it could with political and policy problems. However, after Clements was elected, the party and its machinery developed a new degree of independence from the governor.

The Democratic party has played a central role in the political development of Texas since white Americans first settled the region. The majority of early settlers came from the American South and brought their past political allegiances with them. Texas Democrats evolved over the years from a very loose association into an organized party. This evolution was slow because the lack of a second party in Texas throughout much of the state's history caused Democrats to be less concerned with developing a unified, centralized party organization and more inclined to engage in factional strife. Throughout much of its existence, the Democratic party has been protective of the status quo.

Images

Hillary Clinton supporters watch election night coverage at the Hidalgo County and Hillary for America Headquarters in McAllen.
Guests watch the election coverage during the Dallas County Democratic watch party in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 8, 2016.
State Rep. Allan Ritter Robert Stephenson, dressed as the donkey, tried to keep the mood light at the Democratic watch party at the Driskoll Hotel in downtown Austin. Travis County's Democratic Coordinated Campaign Headquarters, days before the 2010 general election. Democrats and Republicans have started their efforts to register voters for the 2010 election in Texas. Texas Railroad Commissioner Jeff Weems at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. Texas Land Commissioner candidate Hector Uribe at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. San Antonio's Texas State Reps. Joaquin Castro, Michael Villareal, Jose Menendez, and Joe Farias at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, D-Laredo, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Rep. Lon Burnham, D-Ft. Worth, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Rep. candidate Borris Miles, D-Houston, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Rep. Robert Miklos, D-Mesquite, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Rep. Carol kent, D-Dallas, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Rep. Veronica Gonzales, D-McAllen, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Ft. Worth, at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. State Rep. Alma Allen D-Houston, at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. Democratic State Reps.  Herrero, Ortiz and Allen (left to right), at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. State Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. State Rep. Stephen Frost, D-Atlanta, at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. State Rep. Alma Allen, D-Houston, at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. State Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, at the Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi, on June 26, 2010. State Rep. Abel Hererro, D-Robstown, at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. State Sen. José Rodríguez, D-El Paso, on June 26, 2010, at the Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi. State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. Democratic Party Chair candidate Michael Barnes speaking at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. Linda Chavez Thompson, running for Lt. Governor, at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. State Sen. Royce West D-Dallas at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26. State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, at the Texas Democratic convention on June 26, 2010. Jack Tucker, from Decatur, Tex., wears some his favorite pins from the Texas Democratic Convention. Lone pretester, Gilberto Balero Michel of Corpus Christi, Tex., has been out protesting both days of the Texas Democratic Convention for conservative causes. Democrats dancing at the state convention, Corpus Christi, June 25, 2010. Democrat dancing at the party's state convention Corpus Christi, June 25, 2010. Democrats gear up for their state convention. Corpus Christi, June 25, 2010. Democrats at the state convention. Michael Barnes, candidate for Texas Democratic Party chairman, speaks to El Paso Democrats at the party's state convention. State Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, speaks to El Paso Democrats at the party's state convention. Linda Chavez-Thompson, Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, speaks to El Paso Democrats at the party's state convention. State Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, leads a Tweet-up session at the Democratic State Convention in Corpus Christi. Michael Barnes Ed Martin Photograph of Boyd Richie chairman of the Texas Democratic party

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