Greg notes two entries by George Strong in which he indicates that Ken Bentsen will throw his hat in the ring for the Senate race in 2006, and in which the DSCC comes to town on behalf of already-all-but-declared candidate Barbara Radnofsky. Greg adds his two cents regarding the 2006 landscape.
I'm going to jump on in to the Who I Want To See Run In 2006 capades, but my target isn't the statewide races. I'm going to talk about who I want to see run for various Congressional seats. In doing this exercise, I'm going to make the optimistic assumption that all of the endangered incumbents win this year. Those who do wind up losing can run again if they want, or have their own crack at this or that statewide office - Charlie Stenholm, for example, would make a helluva candidate for Ag Commish if he finds himself looking for work next year. I'm also not mentioning CD06 and CD22 - as far as I'm concerned, Morris Meyer and Richard Morrison should run in 2006 whether they win this year or not.
The reason why I want to see people like the following run for Congress in these currently not strongly contested districts is twofold: One, with redistricting spreading the GOP voters out, some of them would be reasonably competitive with a good candidate and some money. And two, getting more Democrats to the polls around the state will only help the statewide candidates (and vice versa). What's not to like?
With that in mind, here's my lineup:
CD04: Barry Telford, who's retiring from the State House this year after nine terms, would be a fine choice to go after the fossil Ralph Hall (if Hall finally retires and leaves the seat open, so much the better). My first thought was Paul Sadler, the former State House member who lost a close special election race earlier this year to replace the retiring State Sen. Bill Ratliff, but his hometown is in CD01. Maybe we could persuade him to move from the city of Henderson to the county of Henderson and challenge Jeb Hensarling in CD05, but without a record in that area he'd not have any realistic prospects. Anyway, the moderate Telford would be a good counterbalance to Hall, whose increasingly quaint views cost him the Dallas Morning News' endorsement in this year's Republican primary. With all due respect to Jim Nickerson and his efforts this year.
CD07: Chris Bell. Or, failing that, Ken Bentsen. The redistricted CD07 is a very different beast than it once was, covering large swaths of Bell and Bentsen's old CD25 plus a sizeable chunk of Montrose (my previous house, near Montrose and Dallas, is in the new CD07). John Martinez, running on a shoestring, is getting a lot more signage in this part of the district than I'd have thought given his anonymity, and this is surely due to the area's deep Democratic roots. It'd be tough, but someone with money and name recognition could make John Culberson sweat.
CD10: Sherry Boyles. This idea is not original to me - it was suggested by Hope's husband Mike while Tiffany and Olivia and I were briefly in Austin last weekend. With all due respect to Lorenzo Sadun, who's run a fabulous race as the write-in, anyone who runs in CD10 in 2006 will curse the State Democratic Party and all the associated county parties as I have for essentially ceding this district to the Republicans this year. Sure, it's as GOP-tilted as other districts, and sure, it's hella expensive for media buys, but you know what? The GOP didn't get to where it is now by being afraid to run their candidates in what they knew were losing causes 30 years ago. Boyles has statewide campaign experience, a good resume, ties to Austin where she'd need to run strong to have a chance, and would make any Democrat in the district proud to vote for her.
CD14: John Sharp. After two straight close losses in statewide races (with the more recent one being less close), it's time for Sharp to do his part and let someone else carry the statewide flag. The best thing he could do for that person is to challenge Ron Paul and give all the Democrats in CD14 a reason to vote again. If there's anyone in this group that can raise money, it's John Sharp, and if there's anyone who can articulate a case for fiscal responsibility in government spending without going completely off a Paulesque cliff, it's Sharp.
CD21: Ed Garza. Garza is currently the mayor of San Antonio, though he'll be term-limited out in 2005 (I believe). I could see him running for a statewide office in 2006, but I'm not sure for which office he'd be best suited. If he wants to try something closer to home, taking on DeLay lapdog Lamar Smith would be doing us all a favor and would position him for bigger things in the future.
CD23: Richard Raymond. Raymond's a scrappy fighter with statewide campaign experience under his belt (he lost to David Dewhurst for Land Commish in 1998). His State House district is in Webb County. It probably makes more sense for a San Antonian to challenge Henry Bonilla, but I figure if the good people of Laredo were excited to finally get their own Congressman by supporting Henry Cuellar, they'll be ecstatic to do it again for Raymond.
That's a start. I wish there were more that I could make suggestions for, but some districts just don't have much of a Democratic bench that I can look to. Maybe I'm missing someone - feel free to name any names I've overlooked. What do you think?Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 30, 2004 to Election 2006 | TrackBack