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I really don’t want to have to pay attention to the race for TDP Chair

But I suppose I have to make note of this.

The race for Texas Democratic Party chair is being roiled by allegations that a challenger, Kim Olson, pushed the party’s top staffer during a bus tour in 2018.

Olson denies the allegations, which her opponent, incumbent Gilberto Hinojosa, has publicly amplified and used to argue she is unfit to lead the party. Thousands of delegates to the state party convention in July will elect the next chair, who is responsible for raising money for the party and leading its messaging.

The controversy came to a head late last month at a meeting of the State Democratic Executive Committee, the governing body of the state party, at which Olson supporters unsuccessfully urged the party to remove from its website a resolution that condemned Olson over the alleged incident. The resolution, which was submitted at a county convention, also called on her to drop out of the race.

Olson responded by calling the allegations false and asking a separate Democratic group, Texas Democratic Women, to condemn the author of the resolution.

The allegations date back to the fall of 2018, when Olson, who was at the time running for agriculture commissioner, joined a bus tour with other statewide Democratic candidates. During an event in Killeen focused on veterans, Olson got upset because she was not seated more prominently as a veteran herself, according to four Democratic campaign and party staffers who said they witnessed the incident. Olson is a former Air Force colonel, but the organizers had been trying to seat all candidates in ballot order to maintain consistency throughout the tour.

After the Killeen event, Olson angrily confronted party staff on the bus, according to the four people. The executive director at the time, Crystal Perkins, intervened and sought to address the dispute, but Olson remained angry and pushed Perkins, causing her to fall backward, the witnesses said.

The four people declined to comment on the record because they are still involved in politics and concerned about retaliation by Olson. Perkins declined to comment for this story, but after Hinojosa had publicly raised the allegation in December, she confirmed to The Texas Tribune at the time that Olson had pushed her.

There’s more, but I don’t want to get into it. If this happened as described – the facts are in dispute, and I have no personal knowledge of any of it – I would call it bad and would expect Olson to apologize, but I wouldn’t call it disqualifying. I’d certainly understand anyone who refused to support Olson as a result of this. Beyond that, all I want is for us to not be fighting among ourselves once the convention is over. I hope that’s not too much to ask.

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  1. Greg Shaw says:

    “The Battle For TDP Chair” is like
    Bald men fighting over a comb.

  2. Joel says:

    I would love to see a battle for TDP Chair between candidates who have competing (and viable) visions for winning in Texas.

    This ain’t that, sadly.