January 06, 2004
In those other races

Greg has you covered for the local and state races on the slate for 2004 (here and here). I have just a few things to add to his as always thorough analysis.

First, there's Harris County, which demographics and political scientists assure us is slowly but surely becoming more Democrat-friendly, no small thing when all countywide offices are held by Republicans. There seems to be a pretty reasonable slate of Democratic candidates for these jobs, but speaking for myself, there are only two that I really care about: District Attorney and Tax Assessor. I care about the DA's office because incumbent Chuck Rosenthal is an incompetent boob who won by a 55-45 margin four years ago, thus making him the most beatable Republican with any name recognition. Knocking him off would not only make the Harris County Democratic Party a viable contender again, it would be a boost for the party statewide. I know nothing about Reginald E. McKamie, but I do know this is a great opportunity. I can only hope Mr. McKamie has the funding, the organization, and the qualifications to give Rosenthal a run for his money.

As for the Tax Assessor, there's no real chance that John T. Webb or anyone else will beat Paul Bettencourt, who is by any reasonable measure pretty good at his job. He's also the loudest, most visible, and most doctrinal Republican outside of the County Commissioner's Court, and the one opposed Republican incumbent I'd most like to see lose. It ain't gonna happen, but if the HCDP can make him spend some money and sweat a little, I'll be happy.

The big news in the state House races is that Rep. Ron "As Bad As I Wanna Be" Wilson has drawn a primary challenger in State Board of Education rep Alma Allen. I think I speak for everyone who opposed redistricting when I say that I wish her well. I just have one question: If this godforsaken new map or a close facsimile of it does go through, will someone have to challenge Sen. John "Boogie This" Whitmire in the 2006 primaries, or will he do the honorable thing and resign before then?

Greg didn't mention this, so I will: Would it have killed us to run someone against Rep. Joe "Mold Man" Nixon? Criminy.

It's an unusual step to take, but I agree with HCDP chair Gerry Birnbirg's call to Bernardo Amadi to withdraw from the primary against Rep. Scott Hochberg, given Amadi's stated reason for entering the race. And I also like his suggestion to Amadi, which is to run against US Rep. John Culberson instead.

Here are two opposing views on the putative candidacy of Domingo Garcia to replace the retiring Steve Wolens in the state House, from the guys at Burnt Orange.

Finally, congrats to Rob Booth for noting that City Council member Marc Goldberg will run for a Justice of the Peace seat in West Houston before the Chron reported on it. Goldberg won reelection to his third and final term in Council easily this past November. If he wins his primary race, it'll be interesting to see if he steps down from the Council or is simply distracted.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 06, 2004 to Election 2004 | TrackBack

maybe john whitmire will do the truly honorable thing, following ralph hall's lead, and switch to the party of righteousness. we always have room for a reasonable guy who is willing to do his job and who has some respect for the rule of law.

Posted by: abelard on January 6, 2004 4:55 PM