Early voting begins today for the last election in 2007, the runoff elections in Fort Worth, which include the special election runoff for HD97. Democrat Dan Barrett picked up the endorsement of the Star Telegram as voting opens.
Democrat Dan Barrett has a ready answer for people who contend that the controversies involving Speaker Tom Craddick's heavy hand in the Texas House don't matter to the voters in District 97.
"Maybe only the most inside of political wonks know his name," said Barrett, who is facing Republican Mark Shelton in the Dec. 18 runoff, "but they are upset by a style of leadership that allows Craddick and the people he works with to exercise absolute control by fair means or foul."
Craddick's "politics of fear and intimidation" came to a startling climax in the last session, Barrett said, when the speaker declared himself the ultimate authority in the House, but this has been an issue ever since the Midland representative took the speaker's chair.
"That is so contrary to the very principle of democracy," Barrett said. Even if people aren't well-informed about the particulars of government, they still care what happens in Austin. "They want to make sure that things are going OK so they don't have to watch every single move. That's why they elect representatives."