Since 1995, when George W. Bush took office as Governor, Texas has been considered a “red” state. Staunchly and reliably Republican. Likewise my home county of Collin. I’ve joked about there being four registered Democrats in Collin County and my knowing the other three. Yard signs springing up in my neighborhood have been almost exclusively for GOP candidates. I say “almost” because there have been brief glimpses of signs for Democratic candidates now and then. Those signs have rarely survived more than a few days in place before being vandalized or stolen. The one I put out several years ago didn’t last twenty-four hours.

So it came as quite a surprise when my husband came in a couple of weeks ago and told me there was a “Beto for Senate” sign in the yard next door. A campaign sign for Beto O’Rourke, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate running against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. Right. Next. Door. Nor, he went on to tell me, was it the only one. There are several such sign in the immediate neighborhood. One, a few streets over, at a house that has also sprouted a Rainbow flag and signs for Lorie Burch (Democratic candidate for U.S. Representative for District 3), Lupe Valdez (Democratic candidate running against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott), Mike Collier (Democratic candidate running against incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick), and Justin Nelson (Democratic candidate running against incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton). There are signs for Beto and one or more of the other Democratic candidate in at least three other neighborhood yards.

There’s a “Beto for Senate” sign popping up in my own yard later today.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s a sign that my neck of Texas isn’t as reliably red as it’s been for the last twenty-eight years. Maybe, just maybe, it means people are starting to pay attention.