Tan Parker: Texas Democrats have lost longer for statewide office than Republicans anywhere

State Rep. Tan Parker reacted to a Truth-O-Meter article with a comparable claim (Parker campaign photo).
State Rep. Tan Parker reacted to a Truth-O-Meter article with a comparable claim (Parker campaign photo).

Joaquin Castro, the San Antonio legislator nominated for a U.S. House seat, recently declared: "We are the state that has now gone the longest without electing a Democrat statewide. It has been since 1994 that a Democrat has been elected in Texas."

True, we concluded. The state closest to Texas for Democratic futility appears to be Utah where Democrat Jan Graham won her second term as attorney general in 1996, serving to 2001, according to a biographical entry on her law firm’s website.

On Twitter, state Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, reacted to our Truth-O-Meter article by saying: "Texas Ds also shut out of statewide office longer than Rs in all 50 states, giving them the nation's longest losing streak."

We did not fact-check this, though Parker’s chief of staff, Rick Dennis, shared what appears to be a solid methodology.

Dennis told us he researched the losing-streak angle, starting from state profiles on the Politics1.com website indicating 40 states now have at least one Republican elected to a statewide post. He said he then checked on the remaining states in which, he told us, Democrats hold every statewide office. And, he said, each of them -- California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and West Virginia -- has elected at least one Republican to statewide office since 1994.

Peruse his breakdown below which includes a Republican victor who subsequently became an Independent.

California Arnold Schwarzenegger - elected governor in 2003
Connecticut Jodi Rell - elected governor in 2006
Hawaii Linda Lingle - elected governor in 2002
Maryland Bob Ehrlich - elected governor in 2002
Minnesota Norm Coleman - elected U.S. senator in 2002
Montana Judy Martz - elected governor in 2000
New York George Pataki - elected governor in 1998
Oregon Gordon Smith - elected U.S. senator in 2002
Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee - elected U.S. senator in 2000, before later switching his party affiliation to Independent
West Virginia Cecil H. Underwood - elected governor in 1996


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