Anti-Establishment Dem Laura Moser Goes Down In Flames In Texas

HOUSTON, TX -- MAY 22, 2017: Laura Moser picking up her campaign materials at a print shop in Houston, Monday May 22, 2017.  Moser is returning to Houston from Washington where her husband worked for the Obama Whitehouse, and is starting her effort to run for the 7th Congressional District in Texas currently occupied by Republican John Culberson. (Photo by Michael Stravato/For the Washington Post)
The Washington Post/The Washington Post

An anti-establishment progressive who emerged as a bête noire of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has fallen far short in her runoff bid for Congress.

Democratic activist and writer Laura Moser has lost her primary runoff in a key House district in suburban Houston, Texas to attorney Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D). Fletcher led Moser by 68 percent to 32 percent with 63 percent of precincts reporting. The Associated Press has called the race.

Moser drew national headlines when she was the target of aggressive attacks from the DCCC, who before the March primary highlighted controversial statements she’d made about her home state.

The attack is the only time the committee has taken a public swipe at one of their own candidates this election cycle — and in any recent cycle — and it seemed to backfire, helping Moser pull in some big dollars from national Democratic groups and possibly cementing her position in the runoff.

Tuesday’s results let national Democrats breathe a sigh of relief; groups like the DCCC had made clear that they saw Moser as a fatally flawed candidate who would have taken a winnable race against Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) off the map. Culberson’s district is historically very Republican but Hillary Clinton narrowly won it last election cycle, and Democrats are hopeful they can beat him with the more moderate Fletcher as their nominee.

“Born and raised in Houston, Lizzie Fletcher has dedicated her life to service and protecting economic opportunity for the people of this community,” DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) said in a statement. “Lizzie is in a very strong position for the general election, and her inclusive message will strike a powerful contrast with her Republican opponent’s record of undermining investment in critical infrastructure and disaster preparedness, and raising the cost of health care for thousands of families across Texas.”

Moser essentially conceded the race in a Tuesday night speech, urging her supporters to back Fletcher if the results held.

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