Here’s that Chuck Crews endorsement I thought we were going to get on Wednesday instead of that giant turd the Chron gifted us with.
State Rep. Briscoe Cain’s three terms in the Texas House could charitably be described as harmful buffoonery, full of extreme and divisive social media rhetoric that mirrors his approach to policymaking. But, as Texas Monthly rated him the state’s worst legislator in 2017 and in 2021, he’s inept even at that.
What’s clear to us is that the people in his district — which straddles the Houston Ship Channel and includes Pasadena, Deer Park, most of Baytown and La Porte — aren’t well-served by his leadership. Voters in the Republican stronghold keep returning him to office, but people in this area need a representative focused on chemical plant safety, education and air quality. Cain’s priorities? Election fraud, Twitter trolling and abortion lawsuits.
While Cain sets a low bar, we hope for more out of a challenger than the bare minimum. Fortunately, Democratic challenger Chuck Crews struck us as direct, capable and thoughtful, with a professional background that would help his constituents. A longtime petrochemical engineer, Crews said he’d put his extensive knowledge of the industry to use right away in the Legislature to make plants mechanically safer and environmentally cleaner for surrounding communities. He said he’d do all he could to improve the energy grid, legalize cannabis and bolster rural health care.
“You can’t throw a rock in this district without hitting a chemical plant somewhere. I’m a chemical engineer with 15 years experience in the field,” Crews told us. “I would be the better representative for this district because I know the work, I’ve crawled through distillation columns to inspect them … we need a representative who actually represents us.”
Crews, 48, said he was a field organizer in O’Rourke’s 2018 campaign for U.S. Senate, his first foray into partisan politics, though he’s also worked numerous times as an elections judge. Prior to 2020, no Democrat had even run for the District 128 seat in more than a decade.
We urge voters there to choose Crews because he is the candidate focused on policy and people, and not on partisan noise.
My interview with Chuck Crews is here. They go on at some length against harmful buffoon Cain, but I’m too bitter to enjoy it right now. You go ahead if that feels good to you, they make a solid case. I will stop here before I say something I might later regret.
They also endorsed in three SBOE races.
The culture wars have turned schools into political battlegrounds, as few things spark voters’ passions more than the future of their kids and, by extension, the future of our state. In Texas, the State Board of Education has the final say on curriculum standards, veto power over new charter schools and shared responsibility for managing the permanent fund that backs the debt schools take on.
In their meetings with the editorial board, the candidates who made the strongest case were the ones who kept the best interests of students and teachers in mind, rather than parroting party platform talking points.
They endorsed Republican incumbent Will Hickman in SBOE6 in a close call over Democrat Michelle Palmer, whose interview is here. I don’t have anything bad to say about Hickman, but Palmer is a star and I will be happily voting for her. In District 7 they endorsed Democrat Dan Hochman against a Republican wingnut, and in District 8 they endorsed Republican incumbent Audrey Young against a Libertarian perennial candidate, a fellow who has run as a Democrat and as a Republican in past elections.