Democrat Diane Trautman will challenge incumbent Republican Joe Crabb in the 127th House district, the core of which is Kingwood. “This district has changed vastly in the last 15 years and requires a leader who is in touch with current community needs,” Trautman said in her release. She and her husband and their three children have lived in the district for 23 years.

I heard some Harris County Ds talk about this race early in the summer. This is one of those urban fringe districts where the Democrats believe that demographic and political change provide an opportunity to gain seats. Their hope is that an all-out effort to win key Harris courthouse races will raise voter participation enough to turn a couple of legislative races in Harris County. It will be a hard nut to crack. These were the results in 2006:

Crabb 20,773 (57.87%)
Trautman 14,305 (39.85%)
Libertarian (2.26%)

By all accounts, Trautman, an assistant professor of education at Stephen F. Austin State University, was a very good candidate in ’06 but the district was just too Republican. The question isn’t how much the district has changed in the past 15 years; it’s how much it has changed in the last 2 years. Trautman needs to switch 3,300 votes compared to 2006. A presidential election turnout could help, but that’s still a lot to ask.

Just an aside: I bet the lobby hated to hear that Crabb will have an opponent. They hate contested races, and they’re already moaning and groaning about how much this election year is going to cost them.