Montgomery County Democratic Party energized with hopes of turning purple

Experts say population growth may help their mission

Courtney Carpenter Image
Saturday, February 19, 2022
Democrats fight for spots in Montgomery County
ABC13 is following the big races impacting Montgomery County, and one resident said she became more outspoken about her political beliefs after the 2016 presidential election.

CONROE, Texas (KTRK) -- Montgomery County is solidly red right now. In the 2020 presidential election, more than 70% of the county vote was for former President Donald Trump. As we near the March primary election, ABC13 takes a look at the minority party of the county and how population growth may eventually help their mission.

"I'm an insurance agent and most of my book was Republican. When I came out of the proverbial closet as a Democrat, I lost my book. It's very, very one way or the other out here," said Jennifer Majors Baca, a Democratic Montgomery County voter and volunteer with the local party.

Baca said she became more outspoken about her political beliefs after the 2016 presidential election. That's when she decided to start a Liberal Ladies who Lunch group in the very red county.

"I've always thought that there weren't any Democrats out here, and I was wrong. I'm glad that I was wrong," said Baca.

On the March primary ballot, there are many uncontested races on the Democratic side. Amy Hamrick Lewis, the party's Montgomery County chair, said they are doing the work now to build up their base.

"We really want to increase our primary voter numbers because that's going to show potential candidates, larger donors, PACs, and things like that, that this is how we've grown the Democratic party in Montgomery County," explained Lewis.

The population of the county is growing, too. Census data shows that in 2010 there were more than 455,000 people living in the county. A decade later, there were more than 620,000, a 36% increase, which experts say may eventually help the politically blue.

"Democrats like to say that demographics are destiny, and to some degree they are. Texas is changing in part because of an influx of new people, and you've got kind of homegrown Texans who are becoming of voting age. Those changes are going to manifest in places like Montgomery County where you are having booms of population," explained Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston.

While likely several election cycles away, the Democrats of Montgomery County remain hopeful that their efforts will pay off.

"Right now, we are in a battle for democracy. We want to make sure that nothing stops that democracy from staying in place, not only for ourselves, but for our children and our grandchildren," said Claretna Vaxter, a Democratic Montgomery voter and volunteer with the local party.

SEE RELATED STORY: Proxy war plays out in race for Texas' 8th Congressional District

For more news updates, follow Courtney Carpenter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.