September 06, 2004
Chron on Sessions v. Frost

Looks like we'll be getting a weekly dose of Congressional race reports from the Chron now - last week was Lampson v. Poe, and this week is Frost v. Sessions. Not a whole lot of new ground here if you've been following things all along, but I thought this bit was interesting:

The contest features two party loyalists, both members of the influential House Rules Committee, whose rhetoric reflects their clear ideological differences.

"He's (Frost is) more liberal than people who are from states where they're proud to be liberal. You have to work at that," Sessions said in a recent interview.

And Frost said of Sessions: "While I'm trying to do something for Dallas, he's an ideologue. He's off on the right wing."

Most political experts, including Jillson, say the district's voting history, at roughly 57 percent Republican, will make it difficult for Frost to win.

"He needs some sort of perfect chemical reaction, like cold fusion, to get where he needs to go," said Chris Homan, Sessions' campaign manager.

Frost, who points out that he is the only Jewish member of Congress from Texas, has gathered money and volunteers from North Dallas' sizable Jewish community and has mobilized union support from the area's defense and aerospace plants. He is working particularly hard to register Hispanics, who make up 36 percent of the district's population but only 13 percent of its voters.

"(Former Dallas Mayor) Ron Kirk was not able to get that done when he ran for Senate, and they spent a ton of money and time trying to maximize that vote," said state Rep. Kenny Marchant, a Republican from suburban Carrollton who was influential in Austin in shaping North Texas' congressional districts.

Marchant, who has all but won the safely Republican 24th District congressional seat, said Sessions' district is likely to become more competitive in the future if Hispanics become a political force. Sessions, who is seeking a fifth term, said he is not conceding the Hispanic vote and has hired a young political consultant from Houston, Neftali Partida, to work the area.

"If we're going to be the party of the majority, we have to talk to the majority of the people," Sessions said. "We're going to reach out. If they don't want to reach back, that's their business."

If they don't reach back, it's long-term death for the Texas GOP. Sessions seems to recognize that, though he can't quite bring himself to state it plainly.

Frost will indeed have to do better than Ron Kirk did in 2002 at registering and bringing out Hispanic voters, and he'll have to do it without a Hispanic candidate at the top of the ticket. I like to think that Kirk laid some ground for him two years ago, but we won't know that until November.

Martin Frost will be featured again on Texas Tuesdays in the coming weeks. I interviewed Martin Frost a few months ago, as did Byron. You can donate to Martin Frost here, you can visit the Texas Tuesdays ActBlue page and give to any of the Texas Democratic candidates, and you can give to the DCCC to help them help Frost and others take back the House.

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

I think Senor Martino Frosterino needs to campaign henceforth in a 12 foot diameter sombrero and a pair of outrageous bandido mustachios, to illustrate his ethnic street cred. If he doesn't do that, he has no hope of defeating Sessions.

Maybe he should also don a tanker's military helmet, and get some network footage of himself perched in the forward turret of an M1 Abrams tank. That will show how he is strong on defense.

Posted by: abelard on September 6, 2004 8:16 PM