Annie's List kicks off the 2010 elections

Even for me, it's a little early to be thinking about most of the 2010 races, especially for the State House. But I'm glad it's not too early for some folks, such as Annie's List. Here's an email they've sent out about their first endorsed candidate for the 2010 cycle:

We are proud to announce our endorsement of Loretta Haldenwang for State House District 105 in Irving. Loretta currently serves as the External Affairs Director of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is respected by community, business and political leaders alike.

Loretta spends each day working in her community to promote small business successes, better schools and scholarship opportunities, access to affordable healthcare, common sense transportation solutions and more. She is also no stranger to the proceedings of the Texas House of Representatives after working for two legislative sessions for Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) as a District Director and Legislative Analyst.

House District 105 sits in the Northwest corner of Dallas County and includes almost all of the City of Irving. It is currently represented by an eight-year incumbent Republican named Linda Harper Brown. However, after nearly losing to an underfunded perennial candidate in 2008, reliable Republican sources have leaked that Linda has been told by the Republican leadership that it is time to retire. The self-described anointed replacement is Irving Republican Councilwoman Beth Van Duyne, a well-known far-right extremist with a colorful record on the council.

Like many urban-suburban districts that we have won in the last 4 years, House District 105 has a rapidly evolving demographic composure. Now a majority-minority seat, Democrats have performed better on the ballot every election cycle. However, in a low-turnout mid-term election, we will need a well-funded, professionally run campaign with a candidate who can relate to all Irving residents.

We have no doubt Loretta is that candidate. And as the daughter of a neurologist and a microbiologist, she is no stranger to setting ambitious personal goals and working hard to make them a reality. She is an impressive and articulate woman who possesses the skill set, savvy and stamina to be our endorsed candidate in House District 105.

She sounds like a great candidate, for whom there is already an Act Blue page, if you feel moved to take action. She's also apparently not the only candidate for that seat. All I can say is that I hope we get a candidate everyone can support for HD105 this time around. No repeats of 2008, please.

06/01/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Van de Putte gearing up

With sine die just around the corner (and God willing, no special session), we may start to get some answers to the questions about which legislators might be running for higher offices. One of them is State Sen. Letitia Van de Putte, who has been talking about a run for Governor. That subject comes up in this interview she did with BOR's Phillip Martin. As you might expect, she's rather coy about it, and says she needs to discuss it with her family, but I notice that she mentions her potential primary opponent Tom Schieffer a couple of times, all critically, and that sounds to me like something a candidate would say. We'll know in the next week or two, so check it out.

05/30/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Hail to the king!

So apparently the head of the GOP is in town tonight to help raise money for US Rep. Mike McCaul, who apparently isn't taking any chances for next year. No, not this guy - nobody cares about him. I mean this guy, also known as He Who Must Be Apologized To. Is there a brighter star in the Republican Party these days? Why, we may soon find that his image has appeared on a grilled cheese sandwich or something. It could happen, you know. Anyway, I can't wait to hear what he had to say at this event. Should provide fodder for months to come. BOR has more.

05/28/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Clay Jenkins

Clay Jenkins is a candidate for County Judge in Dallas. He's running in the Democratic primary against the incumbent, Jim Foster, who knocked off the Republican incumbent in the 2006 countywide sweep, in a race nobody expected him to win. (This is why we say Run Everywhere.) I don't normally get involved in that kind of race outside of the Houston area, but Jenkins was a big supporter of Rick Noriega last year, and any friend of the Noriegas i a friend of mine. Rick and Melissa are hosting an event for Clay Jenkins at their place this Sunday - details are beneath the fold - so if you'd like to know more about Jenkins and what's going on in Dallas, come on out to the Noriegas' house on Sunday and find out.

Continue reading »

05/27/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Berman says he's in for Governor

Finally, the Republican primary for Governor becomes interesting.

With plans to join the GOP primary with Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, said today he wil announce as a candidate for governor the week of July 4.

"I want to run for governor because there's one major problem in this state that no one seems to be addressing, and in of fact they are completely avoiding it, and that was quite evident in this legislative session as well, and that's the question of illegal aliens in Texas."

There's video at the link, if you possess a strong constitution. All you need to know is that Leo Berman is stone cold nuts. Which makes him ideal for today's Republican Party.

Berman was likely bolstered in his desire to run for Governor by an opinion from AG Greg Abbott back in March that said a sitting State Rep did not have to resign his seat once he announced his intent to run for Governor. Obviously, he'll have to file for one or the other on January 2, so this may wind up being a bluff. But Leo's just crazy enough to do it, so don't count him out. With him and Ron Paul disciple Debra Medina in the race, I really hope that the next batch of polls takes into account the fact that there are more than two candidates in the race. I can make a case for them skimming votes from either Perry or KBH, but however you see it, they could have an effect, maybe even force a runoff. And wouldn't that be fun? Stace has more.

05/26/09 | permalink | comments [1]

More on Radnofsky for AG

Barbara Radnofsky talks to Gardner Selby about her intent to run for Attorney General in 2010.

Radnofsky said Thursday she's going to run next year for attorney general, starting with an Austin fund-raiser Tuesday featuring nine Democratic state representatives (all 74 Dems were contacted, Radnofsky said, but most may be session-swamped).

Reminded that the past three Democratic aspirants for attorney general drew no more than 44 percent of the November vote, Radnofsky replied: "You're mired in the past."

Radnofsky stressed research gathered last year suggesting that Texas voters are identify themselves as Democrats than Republicans. Tracking polls analyzed by the Gallup organization found that 43 percent of Texans see themselves as Democrats compared to 41 percent of Republicans.

"The face of the state has changed," she said.

Obviously, I believe the face of the state is changing, but as I said before where we've mostly seen this is in the downballot races between unknown, unfunded Democrats and unknown, unfunded Republicans. A race between a Dem with some name ID and campaign resources and a non-incumbent Republican with same, which is what we may get if current AG Greg Abbott aims at a higher office, could build on that dynamic and maybe persuade a few more of those people who say they're calling themselves Democrats to vote for one in a statewide race.

That assumes, of course, that Radnofsky or whoever the nominee is can raise the dough needed for that. She seems to be taking a step in that direction.

New-hires on her side: Fund-raising consultant Jim Cunningham of Kentucky, pollster Andre Pineda of Los Angeles and direct-mail consultant Kevin Geary, who heads the Philadelphia office of the Baughman Group. Radnofsky said she's hunting for a TV advertising consultant.

Interesting that she's going out of state, but when you realize there are essentially no Dem consultants here with experience winning statewide in the past decade or more, it's not so surprising. I'll be very interested to see how they do.

Separately, I've heard chatter that other Democrats could yet test the waters for AG including state Reps. Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio, Pete Gallego of Alpine and state Sens. Royce West of Dallas and Kirk Watson of Austin, the party's AG nominee in 2002. Republicans in the mix could include Ted Cruz, the state's former solicitor-general (who's already raising money and exploring a try), state Rep. Dan Branch of Dallas and Justice Dale Wainwright of the Texas Supreme Court.

Radnofsky said she'd be happy not having a major primary opponent. Referring to the perennial Universal City candidate with a dancer's name whom she beat in a 2006 runoff, she said: "If the only opponent ended up being Gene Kelly, that'd be OK."

Lots of new names on the might-run list; here's some confirmation of Sen. West's potential interest. As I said before, I'll be perfectly happy to see contested primaries statewide, and if one of them involves a well-known figure like Ronnie Earle, so much the better. Among other things, spirited primaries will raise everyone's profile, and will keep Dems out of the Republican primary, where some folks are considering a vote for KBH just to make sure we're in the final days of Rick Perry's reign. I understand BAR's preference, but I say come one, come all. As long as we fill out the ticket with quality candidates, it's all good.

05/19/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Cornyn clueless about KBH

Like everybody else, Sen. John Cornyn has no idea what his senior colleague in the Senate is going to do. And also like the rest of us, or at least us bloggers, he's willing to speculate wildly about it in public.

Cornyn, who also chairs the Senate Republicans' campaign committee, has pleaded with her not to resign early. After all, if there's a special election to replace Hutchison, Democrats would have a golden opportunity to pick up the seat, with a strong field including Houston Mayor Bill White and ex-Comptroller John Sharp. Cornyn would rather be safe than have to spend millions playing defense.

With only 40 Republicans in the Senate and the soap opera in Minnesota almost surely a lost cause, Cornyn doesn't want to risk any more GOP-held spots any sooner than necessary.

"We certainly can't afford to lose that [Hutchison] seat," he said.

But the National Republican Senatorial Committee boss says he's wary of White, who is "running a very serious race" and has raised gobs of campaign cash.

"He's definitely on my radar," Cornyn said.

With all the jockeying already going on in the Senate race to replace Hutchison, when does he think she will resign her seat?

"My guess," he told Texas reporters at his Senate office today, is that Hutchison will resign "this fall sometime."

That would allow Perry to appoint an interim senator and allow a special election to take place in May 2010 instead of this November (which would happen if she resigned this spring or summer).

But Cornyn readily admits that he has no inside info.

"There's only one person who knows," the San Antonio Republican said, "and it's not me."

Familiar sentiment, no? I'll say again, I think she stays because she doesn't want Rick Perry to appoint a replacement, but who knows? Join the club, John.

05/14/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Challenging Chet

Via Eye on Williamson, I see the national GOP is once again looking to try to beat Rep. Chet Edwards in CD17.

There's little question Republicans are looking to target Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas), who could face yet another tough re-election in his solidly conservative Waco-based seat. The question is who his opponent will be.

Both experienced and inexperienced Republicans are preparing their Federal Election Commission forms in Texas' 17th district, encouraged by a strong showing by poorly funded 2008 nominee Rob Curnock.

Curnock held Edwards to 53 percent of the vote, despite receiving almost no support from the national party. Curnock, a small-business owner from Waco, plans to run again and hopes this time he'll receive more support from national and local party leaders.

I think the key here is to compare Edwards' 2004 performance with his 2008 performance, since I believe the non-Presidential year will be more favorable to him as it was in 2006. Here's a Google spreadsheet that compares Edwards' performance in each of CD17's counties to John Kerry in 2004 and to Barack Obama in 2008. What I did in each was compare Edwards' performance to that of the Democratic presidential candidate, and then compared the ratio from 2004 to that of 2008.

I think the story of these two elections is in the three biggest counties: Brazos, Johnson, and McClennan. In 2004, Edwards barely eked out a plurality in Brazos, got clobbered in Johnson, and won big in McClennan. In 2008, Edwards won a solid majority in Brazos, improved noticeably in Johnson, and won a smaller majority in McClennan.

His improvement in Brazos, I believe, can be largely attributed to an overall improvement in Democratic performance there. John McCain got almost exactly as many votes as George Bush did, while Barack Obama added over 4000 votes to John Kerry's tally; meanwhile, Curnock did almost as well as Arlene Wohlgemuth while Edwards increased his total by 5000 votes. While there were probably a few Wohlgemuth voters who switched to Edwards in 2008, for the most part there were just a lot more people voting Democratic.

By contrast, Edwards' improvement in Johnson is all him. McCain gained 1800 votes over Bush, and Obama added 600 to Kerry's total, leaving their percentage almost identical to 2004, while Curnock lost 1500 votes and Edwards added 4200. Clearly, Curnock was a weaker candidate than Wohlgemuth, who was also from Johnson County and surely benefited from being a hometown girl, but Edwards did more than just take advantage of that difference.

Finally, McClennan presents an interesting case. Edwards won it by 23,000 votes in 2004, and was in net negative territory everywhere else. In 2008, he would have won even if all of McClennan's votes were thrown out, but he only carried McClennan by 16,000 votes, and that was with Obama getting 37% to Kerry's 33%. Here, Curnock's residency in Waco likely helped him. Similarly, a local issue having to do with water rights that Edwards tied around Wohlgemuth's neck back in 2004 was not on the table this time around. Unlike Johnson County, not being Arlene Wohlgemuth, especially not being Arlene Wohlgemuth in 2004, worked to the GOP's advantage.

Based on all this, I'd venture that Edwards will likely do fine in 2010, barring any national headwinds against the Dems. If the NRCC dream candidate of State Sen. Steve Ogden jumps in, that would make for a hell of a race, but Ogden is up for re-election himself in 2010, so he'd have to give up his Senate seat and his powerful spot as chair of the Finance Committee to do that. I don't know that a chance to maybe be in the House minority is worth that, but we'll see.

05/11/09 | permalink | comments [1]

KBH will do whatever KBH will do

You can take what Bill White said about what Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison might have said about resigning her Senate seat to run for Governor, or what her spokesperson is saying now, however you want. I still believe she will not resign in time for a 2010 election. I say that because I think she wants to appoint her replacement herself and not let Rick Perry do it, and because I firmly believe in the principle that nobody knows what the hell KBH is going to do. I could, of course, be wrong, but that's how I see it. Actions speak louder than words, so I'll believe her when I see the resignation letter.

05/09/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Roger that

So about two weeks ago I got an email from a gentleman named David Smith, who is the proprietor of a website called Texans for Staubach, as well as the treasurer of a PAC by the same name, whose purpose is:

-To oppose the re-election of Governor Rick Perry
-To oppose the election of U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to the office of Governor
-To promote the candidacy of Roger Staubach for the Office of the Governor of the State of Texas

I had a brief email correspondence with Smith about this, and told him that while I'm on board with the first two planks in that platform, I'll be supporting a Democratic candidate next November. I have a lot of respect for Roger Staubach, even as a Giants fan, but unless he's about to do a Arlen Specter, I don't foresee voting for him in the event he heeds this call. Nonetheless, I said I'd give this a mention, and so here we are. I don't expect anything to come of this - besides Rick and Kay, the GOP primary has at least two other potential candidates; I don't see how there's the room, or the finances, for a Staubach bid - but there you have it.

UPDATE: Turns out The Rog is a KBH supporter.

05/08/09 | permalink | comments [3]

Joe for Galveston

05/07/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Perry's poll

05/07/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Statewide race for Earle?

04/27/09 | permalink | comments [1]

The Senate fundraising scorecard so far

04/23/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Everyone has an opinion on Kay and Rick

04/23/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Keep your eye on the ball, Tom

04/21/09 | permalink | comments [2]

BAR for AG

04/18/09 | permalink | comments [4]

White rakes it in for his Senate bid

04/15/09 | permalink | comments [3]

Kinky makes it official

04/14/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Presidential results by Congressional district

04/13/09 | permalink | comments [0]

DCCC targeting CD10

04/04/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Dallas Dems look to 2010

04/02/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Let the results speak for themselves

03/23/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Meet Tom Schieffer

03/23/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Kinky says he's getting ready to run

03/09/09 | permalink | comments [4]

Schieffer jumps in

03/02/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Help celebrate 27 for 27

02/27/09 | permalink | comments [0]

One more PPP poll

02/27/09 | permalink | comments [2]

PPP on the Texas Senate race

02/26/09 | permalink | comments [2]

More SJL rumors

02/24/09 | permalink | comments [1]

KBH leads Perry in early poll

02/24/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Hey, you - wanna run for judge?

02/23/09 | permalink | comments [2]

The case for Van de Putte

02/21/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Van de Putte profile

02/20/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Poll Texas

02/16/09 | permalink | comments [0]

More on Schieffer

02/12/09 | permalink | comments [4]

The reason we need a credible Democratic candidate for Governor, in a nutshell

02/08/09 | permalink | comments [1]

More big bucks for Bill White

02/07/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Rep. Thibaut

02/07/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Pete Sessions and the Taliban

02/06/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Is KBH overstating her support?

02/05/09 | permalink | comments [3]

Two challengers for Dunbar

02/03/09 | permalink | comments [4]

White gets to a big fundraising start

02/02/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Don't fear a fight with KBH

01/28/09 | permalink | comments [5]

Kay and Rick, Rick and Kay

01/25/09 | permalink | comments [3]

Cisneros for Governor?

01/20/09 | permalink | comments [8]

Kay and Rick on the money

01/16/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Waiting for KBH, the saga continues

01/15/09 | permalink | comments [1]

The Speakership and redistricting

01/07/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Sharp makes it official

01/01/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Another Mayor for Senate?

12/26/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Possibly my last post about the 2010 Governor's race this year

12/22/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Your name here for Governor in 2010

12/18/08 | permalink | comments [0]

More on Bill White's Senate announcement

12/17/08 | permalink | comments [3]

White officially announces

12/16/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Some sloppy Senate reporting

12/16/08 | permalink | comments [1]

White for Senate

12/12/08 | permalink | comments [4]

More Senate scrambling

12/11/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Sharp is in for Senate, whenever that is

12/08/08 | permalink | comments [2]

A look ahead to 2010 in Harris County

12/08/08 | permalink | comments [3]

The Kay and Rick show gets ready to take it on the road

12/06/08 | permalink | comments [0]

KBH forms exploratory committee

12/04/08 | permalink | comments [0]

How steep is that hill?

12/01/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Waiting for Bill

11/21/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Lone Star Times calls on Dunbar to apologize

11/15/08 | permalink | comments [4]

It'll be 2010 before you know it

11/11/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Let the speculation for 2010 begin!

11/07/08 | permalink | comments [0]

And for our next trick with the SBOE

11/07/08 | permalink | comments [1]

KBH: Why not both?

11/06/08 | permalink | comments [2]

Waiting for KBH: A step in the Senate

09/25/08 | permalink | comments [0]

All John Sharp, all the time

09/10/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Could we just write one big story and be done with it?

09/01/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The definite possibility of a firm maybe

08/23/08 | permalink | comments [0]

No she won't! Yes he will!

08/16/08 | permalink | comments [0]

More on Ames Jones and KBH

08/06/08 | permalink | comments [1]

The queue behind KBH

08/04/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Waiting for KBH, the continuing story

07/29/08 | permalink | comments [5]

A look ahead to the Council of the future

07/27/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The Nation on the state of the state

07/08/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Another Lyceum poll

06/28/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Once again, why is Kinky Friedman still in my newspaper?

06/24/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Perry says again that he's running again

05/14/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Waiting for KBH: The next generation

04/22/08 | permalink | comments [0]

More on the Perry 2010 plan

04/18/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The thirty-nine percent solution

04/17/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Why is Kinky Friedman still in my newspaper?

09/05/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Don't do us any favors

08/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]