Senator Bernie Sanders is an independent who ran for President in 2016 as a Democrat. Tom, is also an independent, and he ran for Congress in 2016 against Lamar Smith as a Democrat. Of the 16 Congressional races Smith has run, no Democrat was on the ballot in five of them. In races with a Democrat on the ballot, Smith, who was first elected in 1986, received no less than 60% of the vote.
In 2016, with Tom on the ballot and running as an independent progressive democrat he received more votes than any candidate that has ever run against Smith. He did that with very little money, spending a $1.84 per vote. That electoral feat, which was orchestrated by Tom and his campaign team, resulted in Smith's percentage dropping to 57%. A congressional district is considered competitive when the winning candidate garners no more than 55 % of the vote.