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October 16th, 2004:

Endorsement watch: State House

And we get our first surprises in the Chron endorsements for State House. Two challengers are supported, but not one I thought might get the nod.

District 127, Charlotte Coffelt — The Democratic candidate, Coffelt is a retired teacher and principal and former Spring ISD school board member. She promises to work for increased school funding through a broad-based, fair tax, and to grant tax relief to property owners. She also favors improving access to affordable health care. Coffelt has the credentials and the compassion that will be needed in the coming Legislature.


District 134, Jim Dougherty — The Democratic candidate, Dougherty is a lawyer and former federal prosecutor. He seeks election to the Legislature in order to work to restore funding to the Children’s Health Insurance Program and reverse cutbacks in mental health care. He favors the establishment of a sentence of life in prison without parole, and recommends alternative programs for minor drug offenders. Dougherty wants to coordinate highway and environmental programs with flood control. The incumbent, Rep. Martha Wong, supported the cuts in children’s health insurance and continues to defend them.

I thought that Jim Dougerty might have a shot at the endorsement, but I did not expect the Chron to go for Charlotte Coffelt over her long-term incumbent opponent. If they were going to stump for change, then I must say I’m disappointed they didn’t go all out and advocate a vote for Hubert Vo. I thought he was an underdog to get their endorsement in the first place, but I didn’t see it playing out this way. Never can tell, I guess.

Blogcitics debate

Pretty interesting debate on BlogCritics between Kos Dozen member Jeff Seeman and blogger John Hawkins. I’ve seen online debates before in other contexts, and I think it works well as a forum. You don’t get any kind of cues from body language or tone of voice, of course, which has its pros and cons. If debating online would increase the likelihood of opposing candidates engaging each other – and interested observers – then I’d say it’s a win all around. Don’t ask me to predict when the first such debate will occur, however.