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Rebecca Viagran, former San Antonio City Councilwoman, may make a bid for open congressional seat

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Joey Palacios
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Texas Public Radio
Rebecca Viagran (center) is considering a bid for Congressional District 35.

San Antonio’s former South Side city councilwoman Rebecca Viagran is “seriously considering” a run for congress, she said on Thursday.

Viagran is considering a bid for Congressional District 35, a long and narrow district that runs from Austin to San Antonio taking in the cities along Interstate 35. She represented San Antonio’s District 3 from 2013 until this summer when she was termed-out after holding the seat for four consecutive terms — the maximum allowed by the city charter. The city council seat is now held by her sister Phyllis Viagran.

Viagran is currently the director of workforce development and community partnerships at Texas A&M San Antonio. She said she is considering the run because Bexar County needs to have a voice in the race.

“This congressional district is extremely, extremely unique, and it is part of a great economic hub throughout central and South Austin. And we, as Bexar County, cannot just stand by and not step forward and step up to serve in this congressional race because so much is at stake here,” she said.

TX-35 was just created in the last decade, coming into existence during the previous redistricting cycle from the 2010 census. It’s a wide spread district running from San Antonio to Austin.

The 35th district isheld by Democrat Lloyd Doggett who has been its representative since the district’s creation. Doggett announced he would instead run another congressional district — the 37th — a new district created in the 2020 redistricting cycle. The 37th is almost entirely contained to Travis County under the map plan created by Texas Republicans. The maps are facing multiple legal challenges by civil rights groups.

Viagran lives just outside the boundaries of TX-35. Her home was previously part of the district but it was drawn out of the most recent maps when the plans were signed by the governor in the fall.

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Texas Legislature
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Congressional District 35, in blue, takes in parts of San Antonio, Austin, and many cities along the I-35 corridor.

Under the U.S. Constitution, congressional representatives must only live in the state in which the district is drawn

The Federal Election Commission has listed four candidates with financial information signifying either an intent to run or a declared candidacy.

Greg Casar, a councilman for Austin’s 4th city council district, announced he would run in November and formally filed his candidacy under the Democratic party this week.

Another Democrat, James “Sass” Sasinowski is listed in FEC filings but his campaign website states he has “temporarily suspended” his campaign.

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, who currently sits in the 51st District for the Texas House initiated his bid for TX-35 as a Democrat last month.

The lone Republican for the district so far is Marylin Jackson; no campaign contact information was filed, nor a website or social for the TX-35 bid could be found.

Viagran said she will make her decision by Dec. 10. The deadline to file candidacy is Monday, Dec. 13.

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