Monday, December 19, 2005

Victor Morales Is In

The Jeffersonian breaks the story, but the long and short of it is Morales is in.

The Jamie Castillo has this at the Express-News:

The Crandall schoolteacher, who first made headlines by crisscrossing the state in a white pickup in a 1996 bid to unseat then-Sen. Phil Gramm, said he will officially file his candidacy Thursday in Austin.

His entrance into the race comes two weeks before the Jan. 2 candidate-filing deadline and months, even years, behind the typical schedule for a major congressional campaign.

" What is the problem of giving the people of District 28 another choice?” the Pleasanton native asked during a swing through San Antonio. “Let the people make their choice and if it's not meant to be, I can live with it.”

The two primary combatants in the race – Rep. Henry Cuellar and Ciro Rodriguez – have been politicking for the position since Cuellar won the seat in a disputed 2004 election.

And both should have significant fundraising advantages over Morales, who plans to commute from his North Texas home during the primary campaign. There is no residency requirement for congressional candidates.

I have said it before and I will say it again, this hurts Rodriguez’s fundraising but should mobilize the troops after March. Morales should have some pretty good name recognition, but Cuellar is the incumbent and Rodriguez has been campaigning since he lost.

My prediction is that Morales increases turnout and gets in a dog fight to be the second guy in a three man race. Rodriguez will squeak past Morales who is running on the “these guys stink” strategy.

There is no way Rodriguez will not raise as much money now, but Morales will invigorate the progressive and anyone but Cuellar and help push Rodriguez to a narrow victory.

The most important thing is that Morales will be talking to people that aren’t the targeted voting machines that Rodriguez and Cuellar will be hitting with direct mail, phonebanks, and blockwalking.

He is the picture of helping the party by expanding the base and while I am confident in my predictions, when you create new voters you never know exactly what will happen.

I am very excited to watch CD 28 over the next few months.


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