Activist Laura Moser fell far behind rival Democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher in a suburban Houston congressional district that could portend the direction of the party ahead of the midterm elections.
Progressives had rallied around Moser, who is Jewish and has written for the Forward, after she endured an opposition research dump by her own party’s campaign committee.
Fletcher was ahead by a commanding 2-1 margin with about a third of the votes counted in the 7th District, and some analysts called the race for Fletcher.
Moser all but conceded in a speech to supporters.
“The key objective here is to beat John Culbertson … if this night turns out like it looks like it’s going to turn out, I encourage everyone to support [Lizzie Fletcher],” Moser says, to applause #TX07— Alexis Levinson (@alexis_levinson) May 23, 2018
The two candidates did not vary widely on the issues, but Moser helped bolster her anti-establishment bona fides after garnering an endorsement from the Bernie Sanders-aligned group Our Revolution and advocating for single-payer healthcare.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee made the unusual move in February of releasing potentially damaging information on Moser including referencing a magazine piece in which Moser jokingly disparaged the idea of moving to Paris, Texas, where her grandparents lived.
The district is more Jewish than the national average, with more than 20,000 living in the area, or a little over three percent of the total population.
The winner will seek to unseat Republican incumbent Rep. John Culberson in a race that Democrats have targeted because Donald Trump lost the district in 2016.