Democrat Christy Smith knows she’ll lose her congressional race. She blames her own party and Trump for it.
Two weeks before Election Day, she announced she won’t face Republican incumbent Mike Coffman in a year when Democrats may reclaim one or both of their seats in House contests across Texas.
Smith is in a tight race in her House District 12, which covers parts of Dallas, Fort Worth and Irving.
But her campaign has been dogged by recent controversies. Late last week, her campaign released a “fact-check” that criticized Coffman’s record as a state representative.
It came after Coffman’s staff released their own fact-check last week that criticized Smith’s campaign’s record claims.
The debate over who’s to blame could have significant implications in races across Texas, where Democrats are already running neck-and-neck with Republicans in the leadoff contests.
In Texas, Republicans have a supermajority in the state House of Representatives. Democratic candidates have largely struggled against the party in both the primary and the general election.
The Democrat’s decision not to run for office could make it more difficult for some conservative Republicans to make gains in the House.
House Speaker Joe Straus of Houston said the Republican majority in the House allows the other chamber to focus on solving problems other than partisan squabbles.
“We have our own house to run and our districts to represent,” Straus told the House last week. “All the noise that’s been going on in the House over the last eight months has done nothing to move it forward on its agenda. Those of us who support the agenda will continue to do so, but it’s going to have to be in different ways and we’re moving forward on that, and that’s where we got to.”
Coffman is trying to put a damper on the issue.
Rep. Matt Rinaldi, Coffman’s campaign spokesman, told NBC News in an email that Smith’s decision was “a political choice” and