No, Domingo Garcia Does Not Live 33rd District. But Neither Do Many of His Rivals.

Categories: Politics

When the polls close on the Democratic primary for Texas' new 33rd Congressional District, surprisingly few of the nearly dozen candidates will have cast a vote for themselves.

We received a note from a Friend of Unfair Park that Domingo Garcia, one of the two legitimate contenders for the Democratic nomination, does not live in the district, so I poked around a bit.

On campaign reports, he lists the office of his campaign headquarters on Zang Boulevard, which is in the district. But the $1.5 million Oak Cliff home where he lives with his wife, Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia, is a half block shy of the border of the tortuously gerrymandered district. For further proof, I took a peek at his voter registration information, which states pretty clearly that he lives in Texas' 30th Congressional District, longtime fiefdom of Eddie Bernice Johnson.

One can see why Garcia would opt for the open seat rather than go head-to-head with the EBJ juggernaut (though Taj Clayton's giving it a go). Still, you can't just choose a House district and run for Congress, right?

Actually, yes. You can. According to the Secretary of State's office, you have to be at least 25 years old, a U.S. citizen for at least seven years and a Texas resident in order to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. Residency in the actual district, however, is optional.

Silly, ignorant me. I had always just assumed that, this being a representative democracy and all, a Congressional candidate would be required to live amongst the people he or she is hoping to represent.

I called Garcia, who readily admitted that, yep, his home is a half block from the district boundary but that he's lived, worked, and gone to church in the neighborhood for more than 30 years. Besides, he said, the current map is an interim plan handed down by a federal court and his home could very well be included in a final draft. And isn't it just a bit arbitrary that Jason Roberts, OC's favorite hipster and Garcia's neighbor, lives one step within the 33rd lines? And that Garcia's main competitor, Marc Veasey, only purchased a home within the district in March?

More to the point, Garcia said, he's not the only person running for the district who's a non-resident.

He's right. Chrysta Castenada lives in Kessler Park in a peninsula of the 30th Congressional District wedged, phallus-like (seriously, look at the map), into the 33rd.

But she and Garcia are relatively minor offenders if property records are correct. David Alameel, the man dumping millions of his own cash into a laughable campaign, lives in Preston Hollow. And J.R. Molina? He lives on the Johnson County side of Burleson. The 33rd doesn't even come close to Johnson County.

So: Of the two front-runners, you can vote for Veasey, who apparently just moved into the district, or you can vote for Garcia, who lives a half-block away. Or, if you're committed to a U.S. House member who has lived in your district for more than a month, you can cast your ballot for someone like Carlos Quintanilla or Jason Roberts. But then your candidate will probably lose and you'll be stuck with Veasey or Garcia. Ah, democracy in action.



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36 comments
WatchingSouthDetroit
WatchingSouthDetroit

I would hate think that minorities have fought for another district and end up sending someone like Domingo Garcia to congress.  It is not good that someone who was named one of Texas' worst legislators might end up in congress.  It says a lot that many (most) Dallas hispanic leaders are endorsing Veasey and NOT Garcia.  When those that know him the best pick the other guy, that is a big statement.

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

I'm much more disturbed by DG's poor reputation and lack of ethics than I am about what district he lives in.

Darrel
Darrel

As I understand, congressional districts don't have a residency requirement until after elected. Bizarre.

But if you're stupid enough to vote for someone who doesn't live in your district, you deserve a crappy representative.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Wow. He brags about BEING ABOUT the lawsuit for redistricting, brags about going to Washington before the Supreme Court--did he really? You would think his cronies would have penciled his house in....

FWRep
FWRep

This is a great election to watch.  There are good hispanic and African-American candidates from Fort Worth.  However, somehow Garcia is a front runner even though everyone knows he is not remotely trustworthy or honorable.  The republican in me wants Garcia to win for the comedy of the situation, but I do think that Fort Worth deserves better than him.  He needs to be Dallas's problem, not ours.  Observer:  keep up the coverage, this is the best political theater this year.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

I find it interesting that in the minority voting history of this city that this could be happening.  We moved away from at-large council positions to ensure district representation on the City council.  The purpose of this District was to give minorities representation.  However, do voters not deserve someone who really just shares a similar cultural heritage and surname?  I do not currently live in this District, but members of my family have since 1911. I have an interest in the area, but as a non-resident I really do not have any skin in the game.

Just because something is legal doesn't make it right. Leave it to a scumbag lawyer to exploit a loophole.  Grow a pair and face Eddie Bernice. 

Sharon Boyd
Sharon Boyd

I hate being in Dist 33.  NW Dallas has nothing in common with West Dallas, Oak Cliff, Grand Prairie or Ft Worth.  The thought of Domingo Garcia going to Congress is embarrassing and terrifying at the same time.

Eyes Wide Open
Eyes Wide Open

Why should US representatives have to live in the district they represent?  We have a president who isn't a US citizen.  We have a US attorney general who decides which laws he will enforce.  We surrender our rights under the Fourth Amendment just to fly in an airplane.  The Tenth Amendment is no longer enforced.  Maybe Donald Trump will run for the 33rd District next time.

dfw75208
dfw75208

The interesting part of this story is that many people believe that Dominga pretty much drew that map himself, with the the ab$solute control he had over MALDEF in their selling out to the Republicans.  So, he intentionally drew a map that excluded his home. What does that say about his relationship with his neighbors?

Paul
Paul

Who would have ever thought that Dallas and Ft. Worth would be united by a gerrymandered Congressional District?

Surely, Mayor Carter and Mayor Thornton are spinning in their graves.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Again I say, I'm not a Garcia fan, but I must also say that Domingo definitely has a pair.  A pair that always finds himself on the loosing side.  Multiple times to Steve Woolens for State Rep. Once to Roberto Alonzo on his re-election to State Rep. Twice for Mayor of Dallas.  Need I go on...

tarrahist
tarrahist

 So Congressional districts are supposed to be homogenous?!  NW Dallas elitism is what this comment sounds like.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

Btw jackass, thanks for derailing this blog with this birther shit. I hope you live in this district and get stuck with Domingo because you had to put your hillbilly Sarah Palin loving two cents in.

MattL1
MattL1

They SHOULD have to, but they don't have to. Everything else you wrote is so obviously ridiculous that it doesn't even warrant a response. 

CTRL+ALT+DEWAYNE
CTRL+ALT+DEWAYNE

Doesnt matter if he was born in Mecca, children born to US citizens abroad are natural born citizens.

MaxEdison
MaxEdison

The President is a US citizen born in Hawaii. To insist otherwise is to be a moron.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

BIRTHERS ARE STILL AT IT I SEE!!! Now I'm not a Garcia fan by any means so this comment goes to all of them. District residency doesn't matter, bc the majority of the time they live in DC.  So hell, not having a house at all would be the smart route, so you don't have to pay double rent/mortgage.

T. Erickson
T. Erickson

Should we blame the gays or the absence of prayer in schools?

Cliff Dweller
Cliff Dweller

 This is the same strategy that has been used for years in the Oak Cliff council districts: divide the richer, whiter neighborhoods from the "other" neighborhoods.  It's made for pretty comfortable and safe seats for politicians on both sides.  That arrangement failed in the recent council redistricting, but continues in the Congressional.  It'll be fascinating to see what happens.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

Agreed, I will retract my absence of balls statement. If I remember correctly, it also took a lot of balls to play the address games in his state rep attempts you mentioned. It has always been hard for him and Elba to find a single address to satisfy both of their political aspirations.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

To answer your question, yes they should be homogenous, at lease to the point of shared interests.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Ideally they should be compact, otherwise you have a district with constituents with wildly conflicting interests.  For example, if there's a choice to fund highway improvements to either 35W or 35E, which one should Dist 33 fight for?

Salty
Salty

 Except his father was not a US citizen

Albert
Albert

He evidently just pretended to be Kenyan-born when it worked to his advantage, kinda like that squaw woman in MASS.

JS
JS

I blame the French. Only Freedom Fries for me!

tarrahist
tarrahist

I agree the gerrymandered districts are ridiculous, but we aren't talking about hundreds of miles in the CD33 and I still don't understand your argument that NW Dallas is so different from West Dallas or Fort Worth.  Can you state why they are different besides just making such a ridiculous claim?  And, yes it's possible to champion both projects.  I don't understand why that's seen as not making up one's mind and now you're changing the rules of your hypothetical situation by stating there is only money for one project.  I thought we were talking about maintenance.  Half this year, half next year.  In the end, it's still a win-win.  Please come back and enumerate the differences between NW Dallas and the rest of the district.  I'm curious.  

Dallas_Joe_Schmo
Dallas_Joe_Schmo

you ridiculously make the point Titus makes by stating that urban districts are full of diverse people.  If they are, then they can be compact and still represent lots of points of view without gerrymandering the district between  hundreds of miles that have nothing in common.  However, to claim that the congressman should champion both projects when there is only money for one is why nothing ever gets done.  Thinking you are entitled to both causes neither to get built because the congressman can't make up his mind and some backwater congressman from another town gets all the money because he's only got one project to worry about.  Remember that Congress votes on what they think should get priority.

tarrahist
tarrahist

You fight for funding for both highway projects and champion them both. That's easy. There's already going to be wildly conflicting interests in the 33rd. Some people in NW Dallas aren't happy with the thought of being represented by a Democrat. Urban congressional districts are always full of a diverse group of people.

Salty
Salty

Not true at the time Obama was born, but the point is moot, he was born in HI.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

Fun game to play with crazy right wing friends. Regardless of where he was born, it is pretty well known he was conceived in Hawaii based on his parents marriage license several months prior to his birth. Therefore, if life begins at conception then ..... Start that riddle and stand back and watch the fun.

Rtgolden
Rtgolden

And?  It only takes one US citizen parent to grant citizenship to the baby.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Or when Goerge Bush pretended he was a Texan? Born in Massachusetts, schooled in Connecticut, educated back east?

Paul
Paul

 Blame the French-Canadians

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