Texas 14th District
Retreating east from the Alamo, the ragtag army led by Sam Houston passed over what would become, after their bloody and conclusive victory at San Jacinto, some of the prime cropland in the Republic and later the state of Texas. The hilly and river-crossed land between Houston and Austin, named after Texas’ first two leaders, was settled early. The first capital of the Republic of Texas was in Brazoria County. The flat coastal plains, steamy and humid so much of the year, were settled later, when the railroads came in. Rice is grown along the coast, with cotton and cattle production inland. The Gulf of Mexico coastline, though it has plenty of inlets, never had any important ports in the stretch between Houston and Corpus Christi until the discovery of oil here made it worthwhile to build channels to ship the oil out.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
This is the land of the 14th Congressional District of Texas. With rural countryside and the cities of Victoria and El Campo, it runs along the Gulf coast between Corpus Christi and Port Arthur. Victoria is a rail hub that serves Gulf ports, and it also includes large industrial plants, such as DuPont, Union Carbide, Alcoa and BP Chemicals. Galveston, on a barrier island on the Gulf, was an immigrant port known as the Ellis Island of the West until a 1900 hurricane killed thousands. The city is now guarded by a 17-foot seawall and connected to the mainland by a hurricane-resistant bridge. In September 2008, Galveston feared a direct hit from Hurricane Ike, which would have been its first since 1900. Although the storm caused billions of dollars in damage and left thousands of people temporarily homeless, it veered north just before striking land and Galveston escaped the worst-case scenario. This district is mostly small-city Texas, but much of it now surrounds the suburban fringes of metropolitan Houston. The region is ancestrally Democratic, but it has trended Republican since the 1980s. The district voted 67% for Republican President George W. Bush in 2004 and 66% for Republican presidential nominee John McCain in 2008.