Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Races to Watch

There are a lot of races that look good in Texas right now. The House Democratic Campaign Committee and the Texas Democratic Party should have smiles on their faces. To borrow a sentiment from West Wing, if Democrats win the top of the ballot it will be on the coat tails of our house races.

Why do I feel so confident? Simply put, there are a lot of races we can win. On the state level it is doubtful the Democrats will take back the House this year, but we will cut the margins.

Here are the races I am watching across the state (in no particular order).

Let’s start locally. Joe Farias is a race to hold. After Carlos Uresti soundly defeated incumbent Senator Frank Madla, District 118 is a seat that the D’s need to win in November. Farias has been involved in the community and is a veteran. His opponent is a man right of the district and is fishing for Leininger support by coming out as a pro-voucher candidate.

This combination of George Antuna being awful for the district and Joe Farias as the next generation Uresti, 118 is getting all the attention in San Antonio.

This focus brings money, volunteers, and county campaign structure intent to claim victory in November. Farias also benefits by having his district overlap with the feisty Courage campaign. It doesn’t hurt that a Republican has never won in this district.

Next, lets go south. Juan Garcia had Wes Clark show up at his announcement. The Supreme Allied Commander showing up for a State Rep candidate seems good.

Garcia has a look and swagger that few first time candidates have. He is a JFK grad, a veteran, and connections to boot. District 32 is a moderate district and in 2002, Seamen won by a modest 2,400 votes (53% to 47%).

Garcia’s charisma and connections to national figures like John Kerry, Gen Clark and former roommate Barack O’Bama could mean a lot as November gets closer. Do you think any of these guys are good for a high dollar fundraiser or 10?

Lets go urban again.

Paula Hightower-Pierson. District 93 has been described as a future Democratic district. It seems the future is now.

According to the campaign:
In both 2002 and 2004 the democratic candidate for state house received this percentage. Strategically, it is the 2002 race that we must look at for determining success in 2006. The democrat who garnered 45% in 2002 spent less than $500. That will not be the case this year. Paula will have raised close to $130,000 dollars by the end of June. She is dedicated to making the calls and visits it takes to reach some extremely high fundraising goals.
Pierson served eight years on the Arlington City Council and has won 4 out of her 5 races. On Friday night at the blogger’s bash she vowed she didn’t like the way the loss felt and won’t ever do it again. The conviction was enough for me and the stats on the district make me want to agree.

In a recent Fort Worth Star Telegram article, “Power Players”, O.K. Carter says, “Then there's Paula Hightower-Pierson, who has been involved with a multitude of fundraising events in Arlington over the years. Virtually all of her endeavors historically have some element of political connection -- her particular niche. Her contact system is computerized, but she relies heavily on a phenomenal ability to recollect names and personal details.”

All this combined should make for a fun race to watch.

Let’s end with two more women. How much fun would it be to have a completely blue county? Valinda Bolton wants to do her part to make that dream a reality. Not a single house position is held by a Republican, but one is open and that is HD 47.

Bolton has the unique pleasure of a strong coordinated campaign, solid field campaign, being the only seat not controlled by a Democrat in a Democratic town, help up and down the ballot (another part of John Courage’s campaign), and on top of this laundry list of good news… this district defeated prop 2.

Seems like nothing but good news for a district that has an Radical Republican running too.

The pressure for Bolton is that she is on every must list out there.

Finally, there is Ellen Cohen who has the same list of characteristics but in Houston. Cohen has the money (in the last January report Cohen has already raised over $150,000), the support of groups like the Houston Equal Rights Alliance, and a build up of resentment towards Martha Wong.

With great candidates like these it is hard not to feel confident this November.


At 11:10 PM, Anonymous rightoftexas said...

Texas 22 will stay in gop hands...

and 17 will flip to the gop.

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can Joe Farias be the next generation Uresti? He's a bit old for that. Not to mention, he's not nerely as popular, and he doesn't have the same potential.

At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is not going to be the next Uresti, because he is aiming to be the first Joe Farias. Wow, I don't remember age being a factor in running for an office. The thing about Mr. Farias is he has been volunteering in this community and district for 35 plus years. He is not popular with all of the political representatives, because he has been inside the community with the actual voters of district 118 with benifit barbeques, booster club meetings, coaching youth sports. Not holding some Representative's make-up bag, and telling her that it is time to powder her nose. Oh I forgot, and this is not some stepping stone to further his political carreer. Before Mr. Uresti ran for U.S Congress the first time, I had never heard of him either.

At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, age is most certainly a factor in being "the next generation" anything.

Second, Mr. Farias is not popular with elected officials because they understand just how much he would hurt the district if he were elected.

Third, I can only assume you are talkinga about Kay Bailey Hutchison when you make your sweepingly sexist remarks about a "make-up bag" and "powder[ing] her nose." She is a United States Senator representing our great state, not just "some Representative."


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