While thousands filed into the crowded arena at Texas Southern University for Thursday’s Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate in Houston, a group of Brazoria County Democrats gathered in a smaller setting at the Hilton Garden Inn in Pearland during the Pearland Democrats Club regular meeting time.

Despite the ongoing Republican stronghold on Brazoria County, Democrats in the north of the county believe changing demographics favor a change of color from red to purple or even blue, similar to recent political turns in Fort Bend County.

“It’s so simple,” Pearland Democrats Club Secretary Joan Schauer said of how Brazoria County’s neighbor to the west has turned bluer. “Look at the demographics, and that’s what’s happening in Houston, for sure, and it’s going to happen all over Texas just by natural… just by nature.”

Though the television didn’t have a large screen, the small group had undivided attention and big reactions. Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden all received claps on their opening statements, while Andrew Yang received laughs.

Ramiro Mondragon, an alderman on the Hillcrest Village City Council, said he believes the Democrats can jump back from the 2016 defeat.

He believes the Democrats did not have the best candidate to win in 2016, but can defeat Trump in 2020 with the right person.

“I think that if we would have had a Bernie Sanders or a different Democratic candidate running in the position as the Democratic nominee, we may have had a different outcome,” Mondragon said.

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