Democrats give Fletcher vote of confidence to challenge Culberson for Congress
By Charlotte Aguilar
In a runoff that drew national attention but a meager 4 percent turnout, Lizzie Pannill Fletcher soundly defeated West U resident Laura Moser Tuesday to win the Democratic nomination to challenge nine-term incumbent John Culberson for the District 7 seat in Congress.
Fletcher, a 43-year-old attorney who lives in River Oaks, led out of the gate, with a 69-31 percent edge in absentee and early voting, revealed shortly after the polls closed at 7 p.m. She held that lead straight into the finish with 11,423-5,605 votes, a 67-33 percent tally.
She greeted supporters in Moser’s backyard, so to speak — at a joyful but restrained party at the Buffalo Grille. Moser, who had hoped to be celebrating at a gathering at a Montrose cafe, said she would have no comment Tuesday night, according to media on site. UPDATE: Moser posted a message on her Twitter and Facebook accounts late at night: “I want to congratulate Lizzie Fletcher for running a great race and encourage everyone to unite behind our nominee. Looking forward to doing everything I can to flip this district! Big huge thank yous to all the incredible people who gave their all to this campaign. More on this when I’ve had some sleep. For now – all love and gratitude.”
The candidates, both alumna of St. John’s School, had made several joint appearances and largely avoided confrontation, instead focusing on Culberson’s 17-year record representing District 7, which includes Bellaire and West University west to the Memorial area and out to Cy Fair.
“I’ve been on the campaign trail now a year with my campaign team, and I feel great about where we wound up in March,” Fletcher told ABC-13, “and I think it’s a great indication for November.”
The race has been pegged as one to watch by national analysts looking for GOP vulnerabilities. Hillary Clinton carried the district against Donald Trump in 2016, and Culberson has been a dedicated supporter of the president on Capitol Hill. He has come under fire during the Democrats’ campaigning for what they claimed was indifference toward flooding in Houston, which has worsened since 2001 when Tropical Storm Allison hit.