Texas 26th District
Until the Texas Land and Immigration Company settled this portion of northeast Texas with a land grant from the Texas Congress in 1841, settlers were scarce and Indian raids were common. The area now known as Denton County takes its name from John Bunyan Denton, a Methodist pioneer preacher and lawyer killed in a skirmish with Indians. Today, this area on the northern edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is teeming with new arrivals, filled with young, well-educated, middle-class families. The University of North Texas, with nearly 35,000 students, is the fourth-largest in the state. The county’s chief cities are Denton and Lewisville, Carrollton and Flower Mound, all north of the DFW Airport. And there is plenty of room for more growth along Interstates 35E and 35W. Truck manufacturer Peterbilt Motors Company in Denton is one of the largest private employers. Near Justin, in the southwest corner of Denton County, nearly 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas are produced daily. With sophisticated imaging and drilling technology, other natural-gas wells operate within 10 miles of downtown Fort Worth. In 1940, there were 33,000 people in Denton County, and they voted 88% Democratic for president. In 2008, there were 636,000 people in the county, and they voted Republican by 62% for John McCain.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 26th Congressional District of Texas is at the heart of the northern expansion of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. It includes three-quarters of suburban and exurban Denton County, most of rural Cooke County on the Oklahoma border, and a large slice of urban Tarrant County dipping south of the DFW airport. The Tarrant County portion was designed in the 2003 redistricting to include Fort Worth’s African-American neighborhoods, and it also takes in booming new subdivisions north of Fort Worth’s downtown district and the Alliance Airport business parks, founded and operated by Ross Perot Jr. and employing more than 27,000 people. Since 2000, the district’s population has grown 26%, the second-largest increase of any Texas district, behind only the 10th. Under the previous boundaries, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush won 73%-27% in 2000. With the new boundaries, he won 65%-35% in 2004. GOP nominee John McCain won the district 58%-41% in 2008.