OK, I admit it. Even I can't think of a scenario under which the race for Harris County District Clerk makes it onto the public's radar. It's a low-profile, clerical office. There are no scandals surrounding it that I know of. Neither appointed incumbent Theresa Chang nor Democratic challenger Loren Jackson are likely to raise a significant amount of money. Basically, I see this as an extension of the judicial races, where there will be some variation from the base partisan preferences, but not that much. For the most part, the Presidential race will be the determining factor in this one.
Which is not to say that Chang and Jackson are helpless to affect the outcome. As with judicial races, their main opponent is voter apathy. Whatever they can do to make themselves known to their partisan colleagues, and to work with the countywide efforts to get likeminded folks to push their respective straight-ticket buttons should be their main task. Both should tap into whatever personal networks they have to reach people who may be persuaded to vote for a friend or friend of a friend. Chang ought to derive some benefit from her Asian heritage, as she will likely collect the endorsement of nonpartisan groups like the local 80-20 Initiative. Jackson had had his eye on the Justice of the Peace seat now held by Hilary Green, so he's been a candidate in some form for longer than Chang and is already reasonably well known and well liked by Democratic activists, which ought to be helpful to him. The Democratic countywide coordinated campaign will be a boost for him as well.
Beyond that, I've got nothing. I'll be interested to see what kind of fundraising totals they post, to see if either might have an advantage in getting their name out there. I expect each of them to have the resources to at least do some targeted mail; if one can do more than that, he or she will be in a stronger position.
PREVIOUSLY:Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 22, 2008 to Election 2008