Of all the Craddick Democrats, I figured Austin's Dawnna Dukes would be the first to draw a primary challenger this year. Travis County has one of the strongest organizations in the state, they have few Republican targets to aim at, and I've heard plenty of discontent with Dukes for some time now. But up till now, there's been nothing. Up till now.
In Austin, Rep. Dawnna Dukes, a Democrat, got a key post on appropriations after voting for Craddick.
"That whole line of Dawnna voting for Craddick has no traction," said Dukes' political consultant Colin Strother. "It hasn't come up. This is Austin, probably the most politically aware city in the state, and they have no idea who he is."
More important, Strother said, is that Dukes has a good Democratic voting record and is running as if she has an opponent.
Her political signs will be up next week as she begins block walking.
"We're hitting it full speed," he said. "If someone wants to run, they will have a steep hill to climb."
This summer a faction of Austin Democrats tried -- and failed -- to find Dukes an early opponent. But Brian Thompson, a lawyer who works at McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore and who serves on the Austin Human Rights Commission, said Friday he is being encouraged by Democratic activists to challenge Dukes.
"We're tired of being represented by a Republican-funded politician who has pledged absolute loyalty to Republican Speaker Tom Craddick and puts her own political ambition and self-interest ahead of the best interests of the good people of East Austin," Thompson said.