February 14, 2002
The readers write back

I got a reply to this post from Joe Morales, brother of Democratic candidate for US Senate Victor Morales. With his permission, I'm reprinting his note to me:

It is not unusual that a lot of people don't know of Victor Morales' strength in this year's primary. What most people don't know is that for the last 5 years Victor has been touring the state of Texas ( and other states to a lesser extent) as a Motivational speaker, speaking at the major Texas colleges, high schools, and elementaries. All of those kids (which would add up to the thousands) would go home and naturally in some if not most cases tell their parents about their school experiences.

Victor was doing this full time but of course it was not newsworthy so many people did not know except those of us involved, such as family, friends and students, that his name and face was out in the public eye almost non-stop since 1996. That was one of the main reasons given our discussions, that Victor decided to run. Many hundreds of adults still remembered him, liked his sincerity and knowledge of issues (which were never reported in the media) and encouraged him to run again. After all, he was a high school civics and government teacher for years and years so he had more knowledge than given credit for.

So his strength to those close to him was no surprise even to the Democratic higher ups who were calling him trying to get him to not run for office. One Democratic leader went so far as to offer a high government office (which I won't divulge to prevent embarressment for that person) if he would support their candidate, work in his campaign and not run for office. Even Mayor Kirk called to ask for his support. I could go on and on about what happened behind the scenes but let's just wait and see where this Senate race ends up. I'll bet more folks will be surprised by the outcome. After all, the polls show Victor only 5 points behind The AG in a head to head matchup in Nov.

This article in Roll Call mentions the mere 5-point gap between Victor Morales and presumptive Republican nominee (he's unopposed in the primary) John Cornyn. Of course, the same poll shows Ron Kirk trailing by six points and Ken Bentsen by eight, so it may be more about Cornyn than Morales. Still, given what a GOP stronghold Texas has become and given that the Attorney General and former judge Cornyn is a well-known name, that's encouraging for the Dems.

Whether you viewed Victor Morales' 1996 quest as quixotic or energizing, the fact that he scored 45% of the vote against a powerful incumbent who outspent him 14-1 is impressive. If he wins the nomination, he's once again likely to do better than anyone thinks. I sure won't make the mistake of forgetting about him again.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 14, 2002 to Election 2002 | TrackBack