Fort Bend County, Texas, is home to a majority of Republican Party voters. In the last presidential election, 54.6% of voters cast their ballots for Democrats, 44.0% for the Republican Party, and the remaining 1.4% for Independents. This county has been a Republican stronghold for a long time, but now the state's 22nd congressional district is competitive and most analysts consider it a toss-up. The Fort Bend Independent School District elections are unique in that the candidate with the most votes wins, regardless of whether they have a majority or not. PBS NewsHour requested an interview with Kulkarni's Republican opponent, Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls, but received no response. Keri Schmidt, president and CEO of the Fort Bend County Chamber of Commerce, noted that 21% of Fort Bend County is Asian, 22% African American, 25% Latino and 33% Anglo-Saxon according to demographic expert Stephen Klinberg.
In the races for the board of directors of the Fort Bend Independent School District, Angie Hanan, who was ranked 1st, defeated her rival Oscar Saenz with 58.19 percent to 41.81 percent. Candidates from both sides will need to find a message that resonates with an engaged, growing and diverse population in Fort Bend County. One example is the diverse county of Fort Bend, Texas - a former Republican stronghold that is now competitive.