The TexBlog PAC fundraiser last night was a big success, drawing in a crowd of over 50 people and raising more than $7000 to help take back the Texas House. You can see photos from the event, taken by Patty Pinkley, here. A couple of highlights from the event: One was the speech by State Rep. Garnet Coleman, in which he thanked the TexBlog PAC for its efforts and pledged his own support to them. Paraphrasing from memory, Rep. Coleman spoke about how the Democratic caucus showed up in 2003 as the minority party for the first time ever, and there was a lot of pressure on them to go along and get along. He noted that since committee assignments are made by the Speaker and the members themselves via seniority privileges, unlike the US House where there's a Majority Leader and Minority Leader and each side makes its own assignments, there isn't any leverage for imposing party discipline. Getting support from visible sources like us bloggers, who were very much in line with an agenda of opposing the Perry/Craddick regime, made it easier for them to do so because it demonstrated that this is what Democratic voters wanted. He also noted that by supporting challengers, the TexBlog PAC made it easier for other groups like the HDCC to protect the gains the Democrats have made in narrowing the gap in the House from 88-62 to 79-71, especially since many of those gains - think State Reps. Juan Garcia and Dan Barrett for two prime examples - came in fairly strong Republican areas.
The other big highlight of the event was the announcement of our third endorsed candidate, Sherrie Matula, right here in Harris County's HD129. We'll have a more formal announcement of this on Monday, but since everyone there knows about it I figured I'd go ahead and share it now. Sherrie ran a great race in 2006 on a shoestring budget, and she's been running hard for this November ever since. She's got a large and active volunteer base, the Apple Corps, and her campaign has been gaining a lot of traction. HD129 is in a very strategic location, being completely within CD22, SD11, and SBOE district 7, as well as Harris County, so having a great candidate running a strong race there serves many good purposes. It was my pleasure to introduce Sherrie as the third TexBlog PAC candidate, and she received a very warm reception from the attendees.
With the success of this event, the PAC is in a position to announce more endorsees shortly. We've got an event coming up in San Antonio next month, and we'll be doing some stuff at Netroots Nation, so look for more announcements soon. We can't do what we do without the support of many people, and on behalf of the Board I want to give our profuse thanks to all of the sponsors of last night's event, all of the attendees, and everyone who has given us support of any kind throughout our campaign. With your help, we're going to elect a Democratic majority to the State House, and send Tom Craddick to the sidelines where he belongs. Thank you all very much.Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 27, 2008 to Election 2008