Got an email today from Shane Sklar, who has announced his candidacy for CD14 in 2006. He's a former staffer for Rep. Chet Edwards, the Executive Director of the Independent Cattlemen's Association of Texas, and a full ten years younger than I am, which just makes me want to chug a bottle of Geritol and turn on a "Matlock" marathon. You can read his bio here, and he sent me the following statement as a brief intro for himself:
I learned from my former boss, Congressman Chet Edwards how a Democrat can win in a Republican leaning district and I plan to use the knowledge that I gained in my tenure with Congressman Edwards in my campaign.
Washington needs to change and I want to be part of making it happen. I am running for Congress to solve problems, not to serve the special interests. I'll fight for the working families in District 14 on issues that are important to them.
Our nation is outsourcing more and more jobs everyday and this simply is not right. Our sovereignty is at stake and I will be the leader that works to reverse that trend, not encourage it!
This ought to be an interesting race to watch. On the one hand, Ron Paul is the rare maverick who lives up to the title, and he's got grassroots appeal. He's in a fairly strong GOP district, and he actually outperformed George Bush in several counties. Paul's eccentricity is a plus, and he's the one Republican in Congress who can't easily be tied to the DeLay machine.
On the other hand, Paul is new to most of the district and didn't have to campaign in 2004. The biggest county in the district by far is Galveston, and it was the least pro-Bush of them all. (Galveston also contains a piece of CD22, and that piece was 50-50 in the Presidential race; I have not checked the precinct data yet, so "least pro-Bush" may mean 60-40 in context.) I'm told there will be a strong challenger for State Rep. Geanie Morrison in Victoria, at the other end of CD14, which ought to help Sklar out a bit.
And then there's the money situation. Ron Paul doesn't have that much, though he's far from broke. He doesn't take PAC money (at least, none shows up in the Open Secrets report), and the maverickness that makes him popular with the grassroots doesn't exactly endear him to the state or national GOP. I can't imagine the NRCC would be thrilled at the prospect of having to help him out. If Sklar can raise some cash, he can make a real race out of this.
And if he loses, so what? Democrats aren't supposed to win that district anyway, but maybe (as with Paul Hackett) if we run some good candidates like Sklar in places like CD14 we can get our message to people that need to hear it and start reversing the tide. We have to do better, and this is the way to start. So check out Shane Sklar, and if you're in the area drop him a note and maybe volunteer to help out. Every little bit helps.Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 28, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack