SocraticGadfly: Some #TXPrimary Democratic post-election notes

March 10, 2018

Some #TXPrimary Democratic post-election notes

Being in a small hinterland, though Democrats do have a candidate for my state rep's spot, I'm going to look at two statewide races.

First, it's arguably, quite arguably a moral victory for Sema Hernandez to have taken more than 20 percent of the vote in the Senate primary, with entering the race later than Beto O'Rourke, who massively outspent her, had Betocrats create a fake Twitter account then hack her website and post the link to that fake account.

On that issue, at a minimum, though we can't apologize for other people, Beto himself could condemn what happened — and Sema could ask him to do it.

Meanwhile, that Democratic enthusiasm in early voting still faced reality March 7. Despite nothingburger-level opposition, at least going by their vote percentages, Havana Ted Cruz got almost half again as many votes himself as O'Rourke, Hernandez and Kimbrough combined did. And, again, the numbers of his multiple primary opponents added up to nothingburger, so, on his side of the street, Cruz is sitting pretty.

Beto still has miles to go before he sleeps. And while he's walking, or sleepwalking, here's a funny take on the pending general election.

OK ....

I said a few weeks ago I would talk about the "u-word," as in "undervoting," after primary day was done.

Well, we're here.

One factor? There's a grand strategery issue. That changed nationally when Doug Jones beat Roy Moore. Doug has gone so ConservaDem since his election, despite having three-plus years left to serve, that he could be a Republican senator in half the states in the nation. But, he does have the D after his name. Add in that Dean Heller in Nevada could well lose his seat, and the idea that Beto could give Senate Dems 51 can't be idly dismissed.

BUT, Beto can't take people like me, let alone Brains, for granted. While it's good to tour red-county areas of Texas, and I applaud him for doing so, and the energy he has in doing so, he can't be the newest incarnation of Wendy Davis. If he keeps shouting the word "bipartisan" too much, I reserve the right to either undervote or to look for independent write-in candidates in the general.

O'Rourke is not as in-the-tank ConservaDem as Doug Jones. But, given how Jones moved even further rightward after getting into the Senate, again, Beto has to assuage people like me more — as in more than he did in the primary. People like me know how to decode phrases of his like "health care availability / access."

The grand strategery issue will also interact with Senate races in other states besides Heller's.


Second, and sadly, it was NOT even a moral victory night for Tom Wakely. He had been one of the first people to announce his candidacy in the governor's race. In addition, he should have had residual name recognition in San Antonio and parts of the Hill Country from his Congressional run two years ago.

And yet, he finished two full percentage points behind perennial candidate Grady Yarbrough and one each behind total political process newcomer Jeffrey Payne, aka Mr. Leather, and electoral newcomer Adrian Ocegueda. And, he took less than half the vote of third-place finisher Cedric Davis Jr., mayor of Balch Springs and 2012 candidate for state House District 110.

I think he had the most comprehensive as well as most progressive program. But, given that Sema Hernandez got nearly 25 percent of the vote in the Senate primary, contra Wakely's claim, I don't think it was totally people rejecting his message. I mean, Lite Guv candidate Michael Cooper, with whom he informally paired, took more than 45 percent of the vote in that race.

For whatever reason — in part the crowded field, I'm sure, but in part other things — Wakely as bearer of that message simply didn't take off. Maybe it's partially Wakely in person. Maybe Texas Dems aren't ready to discuss full legalization of pot, and only, and then only possibly, medical marijuana only. Maybe Texas Dems still have too entrenched of beliefs in the Texas equivalent of American exceptionalism. Brains may have further thoughts.

Loopy Lupe Valdez and "I personally" Andrew White, or Incompetent and Insufferable, as I call them, advanced to a runoff election in May.

I cannot remember the rules on third-party petition signing, but I assume they apply, which means I likely won't vote in this runoff. If I were to do so, I'd take Valdez, while hoping she:
1. Addresses the incompetent issue by getting a professional campaign team going;
2. Gets prepared to address the incompetent issue in her past better than she has, as White will raise it more, and if she gets the nomination, Gov. Strangeabbott will raise it every day.

As Brains has noted, to paraphrase, Wendy Davis had a "story," too. And got her butt kicked. Big deal if Valdez has an even more compelling "story" but gets her butt kicked just as badly.

As for the u-word? I really don't see Valdez becoming competent, and I really don't see Andrew White truly personally disagreeing with the tenets of ConservaDemity. So, I'm already pretty sure this will be an undervote in the general.

I'll vote for Janis Richards if Greens get ballot access, even if she is — per Brains vs. David Bruce Collins — on the wrong side of the Harris County GP. If not, I'll check out my write-in options.

That said, it's Janis. Per a DBC editorial note, I'm not calling her Jan, and if she's trying to pull a Grady Yarbrough by riffing on the name of a person who was elected 28 years ago, she shouldn't be running.


Briefly, in the Lite Guv's race, incumbent Danny Goeb's primary opponent has endorsed Dem nominee Mike Collier. Collier is a ConservaDem, but still ... this is interesting. Scott Milder even said  of Goeb that "I know (him) to be a liar."

If, per Brains, it looks like Joe Straus decides to spend down his pile of past campaign moolah on this race, I might actually start touting it.

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