October 06, 2004
The endorsement season begins

The Chronicle finally realizes there's less than four week to Election Day, and so they better get cracking on endorsements. (The Dallas Morning News has already made seventeen endorsements.) They get started by endorsing City Prop 1 while opposing City Prop 2. I could have seen them go either way on Prop 1, and I fully expected their opposition to Prop 2, so no surprises there.

Though they do occasionally surprise me, I feel like I can usually predict how the Chron will dole out its endorsements. With that, I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and prognosticate it. Here's who I think the Chron will endorse:

For President: George W. Bush. The President would have to bite the head off of a live bat and urinate on the Alamo during the next debate for the Chron to have a chance of overcoming their inherent Bushophilia. I just don't see any other possibility here.

For Congress: Mike McCaul over Lorenzo Sadun, Al Green over Arlette Molina, and Richard Morrison over Tom DeLay. All incumbents otherwise, including Nick Lampson over Ted Poe.

Normally, the Chron is loath to go against powerful incumbents (more on this soon). The main exceptions to this are where they consider the incumbent to be tainted by scandal and corruption, and where they feel the incumbent puts his or her own interests above those of their constituents. DeLay, whom they last endorsed in 1998, fits on both counts. The Chron took a pass on CD22 in 2000 and gave the nod to Tim Riley in 2002. I'll be shocked if they reverse themselves here.

State House: I've been trying to convince myself that they'll give the nod to Hubert Vo over Talmadge Heflin, but as noted above, I just don't see the Chron advocating the defeat of a senior committee chair. Given that, and given that there's no Democratic opposition for Moldy Joe Nixon or Debbie "Pit of Hell" Riddle, I'm calling this a straight sweep for the incumbents. There's a chance they could go with Vo, and outside chance they could pick Jim Daugherty over one-termer Martha "No Thong" Wong (whom they did not endorse in 2002), and a tiny chance they could do something oddball in some other race I'm not considering, but I say the smart money is on those with "Re-Elect" on their campaign signs.

Countywide races: It's not a slamdunk, but I feel pretty confident that the Chron will support Reggie McKamie for District Attorney over Chuck Rosenthal. They've justifiably pounded Rosenthal in the editorials for his handling of the Crime Lab debacle, so this pick stands out even if I have a little niggling doubt in the back of my mind. For sure, they'll go with the incumbents elsewhere - Paul Bettencourt for Tax Assessor, and Tommy Thomas for Sheriff.

As for the countywide judicial races, I think they'll essentially follow the HBA poll, which means all incumbents plus Kathy Stone and Devon Anderson. I could see them maybe picking Bruce Mosier over Bill Burke, and they might have another curveball in there just for the heck of it, but again, the odds say they'll stick with who they know.

I offer no opinion on the JP, constable, or non-countywide judicial races. There's one contested State Supreme Court race, and (surprise!) I expect them to go with incumbent Scott Brister over Democratic challenger David Van Os.

That's how I see it. Feel free to make your own predictions known in the comments. I'll try to keep a running score of how well I guessed.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 06, 2004 to Election 2004 | TrackBack

The two endorsements that are most worth watching, as you note: District Attorney and State Rep 149.

If they opt for Heflin in 149, it just confirms my belief that they have a hard-on for incumbents. If not, I'll make up a little surprised look at the occassional ability of the Chron to get with the times.

I have the same sense of the DA race as you, but based on that alone, if McKamie gets the nod, its simply because he's not Chuck Rosenthal. Hopefully they'll give a bunch of good ink in elaborating on any endorsement in that race.

Posted by: Greg Wythe on October 6, 2004 12:32 PM

Thanks for the link for Cousin Debbie Riddle!

You know, given the family connection (not), I'm surprised that I don't rank in the Google top 10 for the phrase "Debbie Riddle". Pity. Maybe it's time to work up a small googlebomb campaign?

Posted by: Prentiss Riddle on October 6, 2004 2:15 PM

For President: George W. Bush. The President would have to bite the head off of a live bat and urinate on the Alamo during the next debate for the Chron to have a chance of overcoming their inherent Bushophilia.

Write 'em a letter. Begin it, "I cannot help noticing urinate love of Bush..."

(Grins, ducks, runs...)

Posted by: Steve Bates on October 6, 2004 2:34 PM


At least I place a "Bad Joke Warning" before I make the joke. :-)

Posted by: William Hughes on October 6, 2004 3:09 PM

The Comicle has had editorials agnst Heflin repeatedly from Rick Casey. I think its more realistic for them to endorse Vo than McKamie since the liklihood for Vo to win is greater than it is for McKamie but then again rate at which they endorse winners is not that great.

Posted by: burt levine on October 7, 2004 4:07 AM