Spector, one of the last Democrats to hold statewide office in Texas, is the second potential Democratic contestant for the special race in a district that is stacked with Republican voters. Melissa Kazen, the wife of a county court-at-law judge, is also weighing a possible bid in the special election for HD 121.
Democratic strategists do not want more than one candidate in the special state House campaign. The Democrats’ hopes will hinge on getting a candidate into a runoff and then trying to beat the top Republican vote-getter in a one-on-one match. That won’t be easy – considering that almost 70 percent of the voters in HD 121 backed the GOP’s statewide ticket in 2002. The district contains the old-money enclaves of Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills and Olmos Park – all Republican bastions – along with suburbs that have more GOP voters than Democrats in the northeast part of Bexar County.
But Democrats see Spector as a potential dream candidate for that particular district. She was a highly-respected Texas Supreme Court member for six years until falling victim to the Republican statewide avalanche in 1998. She was a state district judge for a dozen years before winning a seat on the state’s highest court and a Bexar County court-at-law judge for five years before that. Spector, whose children attended Alamo Heights schools, fared better than all other Democratic statewide candidates except John Sharp and Paul Hobby when she lost to Republican Supreme Court Justice Harriet O’Neill in the general election six years ago.
Spector got 46.47% overall in 1998 (remember, Governor George Bush won reelection that year with 68%) and more importantly carried Bexar County with 56.89% of the vote. She had to have done pretty well in this part of town to collect that kind of number, so the question is whether or not she’d maintain that level of support and if she can get enough people to the polls for that day-before-the-Super-Bowl election. Picking up a seat like this would be a steal and a major feather in the cap for those involved. Stay tuned, I expect there will be more soon.