Texas 24th District
The gigantic (larger than Manhattan Island) Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport, the third-busiest in the world, bisects the Metroplex and its two adjacent counties with its large terminals and the Texas-sized highway network that feeds them. DFW, as everyone calls it, also has been a focal point for the huge local development in both Dallas and Tarrant counties. “DFW is no longer solely an airport. DFW is our home,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote. New cities, with as many people as Dallas and Fort Worth had in the 1950s—Grand Prairie and Irving—grew up around the airport during the next two decades in these once-impoverished lands. For years, DFW and its supporters fiercely opposed efforts to repeal the Wright Amendment, which limited the number of cities that can be reached on flights out of the old Love Field in Dallas. In 2006, a political consensus in Texas and in Washington resulted in it being repealed, partly at the behest of locally based airlines seeking to throw off its anticompetitive shackles in a rapidly changing transportation world.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
North of DFW are newer and more upscale suburbs: Grapevine and Southlake, with huge shopping malls and resort centers, in northeast Tarrant County. Across the International Parkway in northwest Dallas County are Coppell, Farmers Branch and Carrollton. To the north are the fast-growing suburbs and exurbs of Denton County. The Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington Metropolitan Statistical Area has passed Philadelphia as the nation’s fourth-largest MSA. It is 44% African-American, Asian or Hispanic, compared with 30% in the Philadelphia MSA. The MSA has grown 22% since 2000, compared with a rate of 5% or less in the other MSAs in the top five. The area’s job growth from July 2007 to July 2008 was the highest in the nation.
The 24th Congressional District of Texas is based in this area and has three large spokes that reach out from DFW. The largest extends northeast through Dallas County and into Denton County, up to Route 121, including one-third of Irving and almost all of Farmers Branch, Coppell and Carrollton. To the west, another spoke reaches into Tarrant County out to Precinct Line Road and includes Grapevine, Bedford, Colleyville and Southlake. South of the airport it takes in Cedar Hill, part of Irving and almost all of Grand Prairie, where oil and gas drilling is common in residential neighborhoods. About half of the population is in Dallas County, a third is in Tarrant County and the rest is in Denton County. After its transformation by the 2003 redistricting, the new 24th District voted 65% for Bush in 2004 and 55% for GOP presidential nominee John McCain in 2008.