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Texas's 8th congressional district
TX08 109.gif
Current Representative Kevin Brady (R)
Population (2000) 651,619
Median income $40,459
Ethnicity 85.0% White, 8.8% Black, 0.8% Asian, 9.0% Hispanic, 0.5% Native American, 0.3% other
Cook PVI R+25

Texas District 8 of the United States House of Representatives is a Congressional district that stretches from the northern part of Harris County and much of Montgomery County to the Louisiana border. It includes much of the outlying areas of metro Houston and Beaumont. As of the 2000 census, District 8 represents 651,619 people. The current Representative from District 8 is Kevin Brady and has been since 1997.

History of Texas' 8th District

Texas received an eighth congressional district through reapportionment in 1881 as a result of population growth reflected in the 1880 Census and in 1883, James Francis Miller, a Democrat, was elected its first representative. From 1882-1892 the district was located in South Central Texas between Houston and San Antonio and was represented by Democrats. After 1893, the district was located in North Texas and was represented by a Republican representative from Fort Worth and then a Democrat from Weatherford. After the redistricting of 1902, the district shifted to Southeast Texas and the area outside of Houston and was represented by Congressmen from Huntsville, Hempstead and Richmond. From 1910-1966, the 8th district comprised all of Harris County, Texas and the city of Houston.

The district was redrawn mid-decade in 1966 after the Supreme Court ruled in Wesberry v. Sanders two years earlier that congressional district populations had to be equal or close to equal in population. As a result, Houston, which had been located entirely in District 8, was divided into three districts, the 7th, 8th and 9th.

By the 1970s, the 8th district was beginning to move away from its traditional Democratic roots, and in 1980 it elected a Republican congressman, Jack Fields, over liberal 12-term incumbent Bob Eckhardt. After the 1980 Census, the 8th district was adjusted to include conservative areas of northern Harris County such as Humble, where Fields resided. The 8th district's borders changed drastically in the 1990s round of redistricting, which was orchestrated by the Democratic-controlled state legislature as well as then-Congressman Martin Frost (D-Arlington). The new 8th district was designed to pack in as many Republicans as possible and was described by some critics as the "dumbell district" because of its strange shape. The western half of the district contained parts of Waller, Austin, and Washington counties, as well as much of Brazos County, which is home to the conservative bastion Texas A&M University. The eastern half of the district took in nearly all of heavily-Republican Montgomery County, as well as Republican areas in northern Harris County. The two halves were joined together by a thin strip of land located in between them. Fields continued to represent the district until his retirement in 1996, when he was succeeded by fellow Republican Kevin Brady.

The 8th district maintained similar boundaries after the 2000s round of redistricting, but it changed dramatically during the 2003 redistricting plan engineered by then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Republican from Texas' 22nd district. DeLay wanted to dislodge 4-term Democratic Congressman Jim Turner from the neighboring 2nd district, who represented a district located in East Texas that was predominantly rural, and was Republican leaning, although not overwhelmingly so (Bush received 63% of the vote there in 2000). Brady's 8th district absorbed most of the territory in the old 2nd district, but maintained Brady's base in Montgomery County, which now held roughly half of the district's population. The new 8th district was so heavily Republican (Bush won 69% of the vote in 2000 here), that Turner declined to run for reelection and Brady was reelected easily in 2004, 2006, and 2008.

Representatives

District borders are periodically redrawn and some District residences may no longer be in the 8th District.

Representative Party Term District Residence Note
District created 1883-03-04
James Francis Miller Democratic 1883-03-04 - 1887-03-03 Gonzales Declined renomination
Littleton W. Moore Democratic 1887 - 1893 La Grange
Charles K. Bell Republican 1893 - 1897 Fort Worth
Samuel W.T. Lanham Democratic 1897 - 1903 Weatherford
Thomas Henry Ball Democratic 1903-03-04 - 1903-11-16 Huntsville Redistricted from the 1st district
Resigned
Vacant 1903-11-16 - 1903-11-17
John M. Pinckney Democratic 1903-11-17 - 1905-04-24 Hempstead Died
Vacant 1905-04-24 - 1905
John M. Moore Democratic 1905 - 1913 Richmond
Joe H. Eagle Democratic 1913 - 1921 Houston
Daniel E. Garrett Democratic 1921 - December 13, 1932 Houston Died
Vacant December 13, 1932 - January 28, 1933
Joe H. Eagle Democratic January 28, 1933 - January 3, 1937 Houston
Albert Thomas Democratic January 3, 1937 - February 15, 1966 Houston Died
Vacant February 15, 1966 - March 26, 1966
Lera Millard Thomas Democratic March 26, 1966 - January 3, 1967 Houston Did not seek nomination
Bob Eckhardt Democratic January 3, 1967 - January 3, 1981 Houston Lost re-election to Jack Fields
Jack Fields Republican 1981-01-03 - 1997-01-03 Humble Retired
Kevin Brady Republican 1997-01-03 - present Unincorporated Montgomery County (The Woodlands) Incumbent

Election results

US House election, 2004: Texas District 8
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Kevin Brady 179,599 68.9 -24.2
Democratic James Wright 77,324 29.7 +29.7
Libertarian Paul Hansen 3,705 1.4 -5.4
Majority 102,275 39.2
Turnout 260,628
Republican hold Swing -26.9

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