Texas has had at least three congressional districts since 1869. The current seat dates from a mid-decade redistricting conducted before the 1966 elections after Texas's original 1960s map was thrown out by Wesberry v. Sanders. In past configurations, it has been of the most Republican districts in both Texas and the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The GOP has held the seat since a 1968 special election. The district's current congressman is Van Taylor.
As of the 2010 census, District 3 represents 765,486 people who are predominantly middle-to-upper-class (median family income is US$80,912). The district is 73.1 percent White (non-Hispanic), 15.06 percent Hispanic or Latino (of any race), 13 percent Asian, and 8.9 percent Black or African American.
From 1967 to 2013, the district included a large slice of northern Dallas County, including Garland, Rowlett and much of northern Dallas itself. However, Collin County's rapid growth since the 1970s resulted in the district's share of Dallas County being gradually reduced.
After redistricting in 2012, the Dallas County share of the district was removed altogether. However, it still includes the Dallas precincts located in Collin County.
The incumbent representative, Sam Johnson, decided not to run for reelection in 2018. Johnson had represented Texas's 3rd since 1991, his stated reason for retiring was that "the Lord has made clear that the season of my life in Congress is coming to an end".