Another statewide improvement effort

Let a thousand flowers bloom, I say.

A team of Democratic strategists unveiled a new group Thursday that aims to turn Texas blue by building up the party’s campaign infrastructure over multiple elections — offering a more practical outlet, in the eyes of the group’s architect, for liberal donors who have spent recent cycles showering cash on losing candidates.

The new outfit, a political action committee dubbed the Agave Democratic Infrastructure Fund, will focus on training campaign staff, recruiting down-ballot candidates and gauging public opinion to help Texas Democrats sharpen their message. The goal is to build a “long-term ecosystem of support, resources, and talent” that “won’t dissolve into thin air after Election Day,” said PAC founder Luke Warford.

“We’ve seen clearly that demographics are not destiny in Texas; that we need to do more to make Texas Democrats sustainably competitive and move past the boom-and-bust cycle of excitement and momentum that centers around specific candidates,” Warford, the Texas Democratic Party’s former chief strategy officer, said in a statement.


In an interview, Warford, who ran as a Democrat for the statewide Railroad Commission in 2022, said he is “incredibly thrilled about our partnership with the Texas Democratic Party and the direction that the party is moving.” The rollout was timed with the convention, he said, to emphasize that Agave plans to be “one of the biggest funders to TDP this cycle.”

Still, Warford pointed to two major gaps that are “holding Democrats back.” He said candidates throughout Texas are facing a persistent shortage of “qualified and well-trained” political staff — and struggling to keep the ones they find from leaving the state.

Most Democrats also lack the money to pay for polling and public opinion research, Warford said, leading to situations where candidates shape their campaign message around anecdotal conversations with voters or what they’re hearing from national Democrats. Warford said he faced this frustration himself when he ran for the Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas in the state, and could not afford to conduct polling or research early in his campaign.

“We’re going to be doing extensive opinion research to understand what Texas voters care about and what issues are most important to them, and then working with elected officials across the state … to push out coordinated messaging,” Warford said of his PAC.

Texas Democrats openly acknowledged their candidates’ weak response to the GOP’s united messaging around immigration and the economy in 2022, pinpointing it as a key reason the party lost so decisively in statewide contests.

The story notes that Agave overlaps the functions of the TDP in several respects, but founder Warford is quoted saying they are not singling out the party, just seeking to fill some gaps that aren’t being addressed. Which, fine, I approve of that effort, but I kind of agree with Campos that maybe we ought to be thinking about a change in state party leadership as well. All due respect, but most sports teams would have fired the coach long before now. Be that as it may, I thought Warford was a good candidate with a lot of energy in 2022, and I admire his effort here. Lord knows, we can use all the help we can get.

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One Response to Another statewide improvement effort

  1. J says:

    The Agave fund is on ActBlue, if you want to give (I did). Nice to have an alternative.

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