Campaign overview: CD10

I’ve kind of lost track of the campaign overview stories the Chron has run, mostly because they’ve appeared somewhat erratically, but here’s one on CD10, which features a hot Democratic primary between Dan Grant and Larry Joe Doherty.

Thanks to the hyperpartisan congressional redistricting map of 2003, the 19 GOP members in the Texas House delegation all represent districts drawn to create safe Republican seats.

That seems to be the case in 2008, with one possible exception — the radically redrawn 10th Congressional District now held by Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin. Despite the new district’s Republican voting tendencies, Democrats are hoping for a national tide that, combined with a huge Democratic turnout in Austin, could help them to unseat McCaul.

I’ve covered this before. Boosting the vote share in Travis County, and making it more Democratic is a big step towards winning CD10, though it’s not likely to be sufficient. Making gains in Harris and the counties in between, even modest ones, will be needed as well. 2008 is probably as good a time as any to make this happen.

The Democratic primary clash is less an ideological battle than a generational and geographical one. The two Democrats seeking the party’s nomination are as different as the two communities anchoring the opposite ends of the oddly shaped district.

Larry Joe Doherty, 61, a flamboyant former daytime TV judge from Houston, has raised lots of campaign cash. The star of Fox’s Texas Justice, he made a first career out of suing other lawyers for malpractice before exchanging the courtroom for the TV studio.

His opponent, Dan Grant, 34, is a wonkish international affairs consultant from Austin whose work for a nonprofit has taken him into war zones in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Doherty has more money, but Grant says it will take more than money to beat the independently wealthy incumbent. McCaul, now seeking his third term, is the son-in-law of Lowry Mays, the chairman of Clear Channel Communications.

You can listen to my inteview with Dan Grant here, and my interview with Larry Joe Doherty here. I think Grant is overall the better candidate, but either one of these gentlemen will make a fine standard-bearer in the district.

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One Response to Campaign overview: CD10

  1. Cory says:


    Isn’t pretty much ALL redistricting in Texas done to the advantage of the party currently in power?

    I realize you didn’t write this Kuff but that’s a little extreme in my view.

    There were many who felt that the Republicans were wrong to attempt mid-decade redistricting (a move, ironically that might aid in doing them in in 2008) but there was nothing more partisan about the actual mechanisms of this particular redistricting plan than some of the headless snakes that creative Democrats drew in the past.

    I would argue that redistricting by elected officials is, by its very nature, partisan.

    That’s probably not too bad a thing provided voting rights aren’t discriminated against, and in this case it was just one part of two adjoining districts that were found wanting.

    Hardly “hyper-bad” 😀

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