Several names have bandied about by Texas Democrats, including turncoat Henry Cuellar (who I'd love to see crushed in a primary, his House seat going to a real Democrat). But there's a name I haven't seen publicly, but whispered on the ground.
I won't reveal confidences at this time (no need to paint a bulls eye on his/her back this early out), but if this candidate runs, we'd have a genuine people-powered candidate in the Lone Star State. In fact, of all potential candidates I've seen so far this cycle, this person excites me most of all.
Everyone agrees that White would be a formidable statewide candidate. I just don't think it'll be in 2008. As was the case with speculation over him running for Governor in 2006, he'd have to file for the primary before he was sworn in for his next term in office as Mayor. I believe Mayor White has a to-do list in mind for his tenure as Mayor, and I don't believe he intends to leave before he has a chance to finish it. If he's running statewide some day, I say it's in 2010 for Governor.
Jim Turner, Ron Kirk, John Sharp
All three are commonly cited as possibilities, mostly to fill out the list since there's no evidence any of them really has an eye on this prize. All would be fine fundraisers, but none strikes me as a Kos "people-powered" candidate.
Kos paid no attention to her in 2006 (hers was an extreme longshot race, so that's not surprising), and I don't see him getting excited about her this time, either. If it were up to me, I'd want to see BAR run for a judgeship, either on the Supreme Court or the CCA.
Obviously not who Kos has in mind, though I believe he'd make a strong candidate, and that those of us (myself included) who dislike what he's done as Congressman would have to make peace with that.
Rumors about Lampson looking at Cornyn's seat began before last November. I've no reason to believe they're true. The prospect of Lampson trying to move up might be exciting to Kos, but he's practical enough to know that this would mean kissing CD22 goodbye. The same is true for Chet Edwards, about whom I've heard no speculation and who would also have some bad votes to dampen any of Kos' enthusiasm further.
He's someone Kos would like, he's got a statewide run under his belt, he can fundraise well, and he wouldn't have to abandon his State Senate seat for this race, since he would not otherwise be on the ballot in 2008. Put him down as a possibility.
Pete Gallego, Rick Noriega
Two more candidates Kos would like. Neither starts out with much money in the bank, so if it's one of them, expect to see some action as soon as the House adjourns sine die. Noriega may have his dance card full this year if Melissa Noriega wins the May special election and has to run another competitive campaign in November.
Now we're talking Kos-styled "people power". Except that Morrison apparently has his eye on the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court, and he stumped for Noriega in the comments.
Thinking about Morrison, and what Kos means when he says "people powered", got me wondering about another person, one who would meet that definition and about whom there has been no public speculation. With that in mind, consider:
Courage ran a spirited campaign that had the legs cut out from underneath it when the Supremes forced CD21 to be redrawn. He still gave it the old college try, and he's still got a network in place. This is pure guessing on my part, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this is who Kos has in mind.
Obviously, I may be overlooking some other possibilities. Feel free to add on in the comments.
UPDATE: There were two people mentioned in the comments to Kos' post that I think are worth adding to the discussion:
Doggett would get progressives fired up, his Congressional seat would be easy to defend if it opened up, and he's got plenty of money to start out. Of course, the reason he has plenty of money is that he didn't need to spend it on his own cobalt-blue district last year, and he declined to share any of his boodle with other, less well off but more competitive, candidates. I guarantee that Kos will remember that (or will be forcefully reminded of it), so that throws a wet blanket over Doggett.
Hobby came within a whisker of beating Carole Keeton Rylander (not yet Strayhorn) for Comptroller in 1998; he was the nearest Dem to a victory that year. He's got a recognizable name and no obvious baggage I can think of. He's also been out of the spotlight since 1998, and has no grassroots following that I can think of, either.
UPDATE: Stace throws State Rep. Richard Raymond into the mix. Raymond also has a statewide run under his belt, and one could certainly interpret what he's done so far this session (as Stace points out) as a stereotypical "move to the middle" maneuver. As with most of the other candidates, I'm not sure about the "people powered" part, and he had a bit of a stumble in 2006 when after his abortive primary challenge to Henry Cuellar he almost lost his House seat, which had drawn other contenders in his presumed absence who then refused to go away when he came back.Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 01, 2007 to Election 2008