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Barbara Radnofsky

Who is Barbara Radnofsky, you ask? Possibly the next Democratic candidate for the Senate, that’s who.

Radnofsky has never run for office and says that her only political involvement up until recently has been holding fundraisers for friends running in county and statewide judicial elections. Though she lacks political experience, Radnofsky comes to the scene with a potentially powerful network that she hopes to expand significantly this week. For 25 years, she has worked as a litigator at Vinson & Elkins, a law firm of national prestige whose Washington, D.C., lobbying shop is one of the most respected in the business.

Radnofsky acknowledged the conservative leanings of Vinson & Elkins, but added, “The firm has its share of Democrats too. The firm has been very supportive with some of the projects I’ve been involved with,” citing the numerous pro bono and charitable endeavors she has pursued.

To hear Radnofsky explain it, the Texas Senate seat is hers for the taking. Many have speculated that Hutchison has her eyes set on the governorship and no candidates have officially emerged from either party to seek the seat. Radnofsky says that outgoing Rep. Chris Bell (D-Texas) (who lost his seat in a newly redistricted constituency) has told her that he is considering a gubernatorial, not a senatorial, run and she adds that no other sitting Democratic lawmaker has showed publicly expressed interest in running for the seat.

One way in which Radnofsky is working her way into the state and national party’s graces is by raising money for candidates. Since deciding to form her exploratory committee, Radnofsky says that she has raised about $30,000 for Sen. John Kerry and $25,000 for Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas), who faces a tough reelection battle due to redistricting.

Radnofsky says she has raised about $90,000 for her exploratory activity and spent half of it. Potential candidates in the exploratory phase are not required to report their fundraising figures.

There’s a lot more about how she’s approaching this and what her positions are; it’s a good profile. For what it’s worth, I briefly met her at a Richard Morrison event during the state Democratic convention. I asked her why she’s not trying for a lower office first. She pointed out there really aren’t a whole lot of legislative offices that would be winnable by a Democrat and aren’t already held by a Democrat in Houston, which is true enough, and she said she felt that this was the place where she could make a difference. She also recognized that it’ll take a boatload of money, especially for someone who’ll have to introduce herself to voters, so as far as that goes I’m glad to see her get started this early.

Via Greg.

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  1. TP says:

    I know her personally. She is an awesome, awesome, awesome lady. My respect for her knows no bounds.

  2. Beldar says:

    I know her as well, although not well. She’s bright, hardworking, and ambitious, and would make a formidable candidate. I’d likely vote against her, but respectfully.

  3. Beldar says:

    Oh — and she’s absolutely right in noting that V&E comfortably includes both political conservatives and liberals. The firm’s name used to be Vinson, Elkins, Searls, Connally & Smith — the “Connally” being former Texas Governor, and much later GOP Presidential candidate, John Connally. I still remember the press conference when Connally announced on behalf of the firm that it was shortening its name. He made a comment to the effect that the firm was recognizing its founding partners, rather than its most currently famous ones — which most knowledgeable observers interpreted as a dig at the then-recently-renamed Fulbright & Jaworski (f/k/a Fulbright, Crooker & Jaworski).

  4. RJH says:

    For her track record of accomplishment she will outshine all contenders. Watch this race to see how it SHOULD be done.

  5. Barbara Ann will have a sledgehammer effect on this race. She’s a mom, wife, teacher, and highly-credentialed problem solver who prefers answers to rhetoric, who prefers mediation to name-calling, and who embodies the progressive yet moderate voice of Texas politics.

  6. More than two months after that last post, Barbara Ann’s campaign continues to gather steam. She’s pulling in an incredible coalition of people who are absolutely fed up with the extremism and who are desperate to see a bona fide problem solver in the Senate–someone who can represent Texas for Texans, independent of partisanship.

  7. Hillary Now says:

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