Tag Archives: Democratic Party

Un Dia Ganaremos: Julian Castro Exits, Endorses Warren

My first and only choice for the Dem nom for POTUS has exited the race. Julian Castro ended his campaign last week after scoring a few points, yet, not being able to build on those points to gain traction against big money and big media.

The reason? Well, that’s up for debate. The DNC set up the primary to help big money candidates in the whitest of states (NH and Iowa). The media virtually ignored Castro, unless he got scrappy and “attacked” Joe Biden. Of course, they’ll point out (because they always point out our failures in defense of theirs) Castro’s Latino numbers weren’t strong, either. With the help of establishment Dems and the media, at some point, the whole self-fulfilling prophesy set in convincing brown folks that it was never to be, so, brown folks went with the others. But enough of that.

Ultimately, I’m pretty sure the giant sucking sound I heard was the establishment unclenching after Castro’s departure because, as his brother Joaquin said:

You said uncomfortable things that needed to be said, spoke up for the forgotten and vulnerable — the people we grew up with. You called on our country to be more just, more humane, more who we’re supposed to be, and gave hope to so many in a dark time.

And I commend Julian Castro for not being the brown candidate that was anything but. Someone had to speak strongly on issues that affect brown folks and the others were not going to sound as sincere as Julian. Or even well-studied on those issues, as always is the case. Julian made history in running and I’m proud of his run. No matter who gets the nom, Castro should be #2 on the ticket as a much needed energizing figure. (We could have used him in 2016.)

All of this said, four days passed and Castro has endorsed Elizabeth Warren, whom he says will “fight like hell” in 2020. I was not surprised. I highly doubt Joe Biden would offer Castro the VP nod, and I have a feeling that Bernie is not Castro’s cup of Chocolate Ibarra. So, Warren is his path to VP (or something in a Dem administration or visibility for a future Texas run), and a lot of Dems are excited about it. Me? Not so much as I think he should have waited.

I’m leaning Bernie based on his platform and the inclusive movement he has created. And since it’s always been about “electability,” I think Bernie is the only one with a shot at creating a big enough movement inclusive of the poor, the vulnerable, and the targeted (those who never get excited by what Dems usually offer) that will oust the Cheeto Jesus. I don’t feel that from Warren at this time; perhaps, Castro will change that. Yet, any Bern I may feel has its limits because of various political realities (DNC, big money, Wall Street, the establishment, neoliberals, a weak media, warmongers, you name it) that will force us to end up with Biden.

How involved will I be during the primary and convention season? At this point, there is a lot about the Dem Primary I’m not enjoying, whether it be the race for Prez, the race for Senate, or the local races. So, I’m not feeling it. But that’s for other blog posts.

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Ballot Change: Lane Lewis Now Unopposed for Party Chair

donkey-fightIf you visit the Harris Dems’ primary candidate listing, one will see that incumbent County Chair Lane Lewis is now unopposed. Recent At-Large 5 candidate Philippe Nassif’s nascent candidacy for County Chair has been declared ineligible for the Democratic Primary.

According to state law, a candidate for county chair must collect the signatures on a petition of 10% of the party’s incumbent precinct chairs. According to the Party, that number would then be 48. According to folks inside the Party, Nassif did not meet the required number.

Although the decision of eligibility on all candidate applications was left to Chairman Lewis, Lewis went further and sought the opinion of an election law counsel and of the Democratic Party Primary Committee, who also agreed with the result.

Nassif has informed his supporters in an e-mail about the situation:

Even as I accept the decision, I was very disappointed to receive this news. The signature process is a precise one and requires 48 legible signatures from current precinct chairs. It also requires that none of these chairs sign more than one petition for a single race, yet some had forgotten they had signed Lane Lewis’ petition during the summer.

Here in Harris County, our democracy has been dealt a setback. The process to challenge a sitting party chair is convoluted and flawed, and the number of signatures I received displayed a level of anxiety with our party leadership that needs to be addressed immediately. My challenge of Lane Lewis’s chairmanship was never personal, but it was meant to send a strong message that change is needed in order for our party to start growing again and winning big.

That message has been sent.

Convoluted and flawed? Sure, but it’s also allowed by state law. How to change that? Talk about convoluted and flawed!

Anyway, Nassif isn’t done serving the party and Democrats and will be of service. As I told a friend of mine who I had been advising on a possible run, you don’t have to be a candidate or an elected official to be of service. There’s always fundraising for candidates and causes, or, I don’t know, doing every we can to increase voter turnout.

 

 

Harris Dems Will Get Some Contested Races

donkey-fightAs I mentioned in yesterday’s post, contested races are what democracy is all about, and the final filings show quite a few contested races in which local Dems can choose. And in Harris County, it doesn’t matter what part of the county you live in, your Democratic vote matters in the Primary!

What may be a hotly contested race is that of County Chair in which the incumbent, Lane Lewis, is being challenged by recent candidate for City Council AL-5, Philippe Nassif. Any search will show that I’ve said nice things about both of these candidates. As I’ve told some folks, Party Chair is one of the most thankless jobs in the county which requires the ability to herd various groups and keep them happy, piss off certain people as a means of keeping said groups happy, and then, there’s also the requirement of raising money and winning elections. I still can’t tell which is more important, though. I’m noticing who’s involved in either camp and that’s all I’m saying, for now.

Adrian Garcia seems to have surprised some folks and filed to run for Congressional District 29 against long-time incumbent Gene Green. I’m not surprised, since Garcia is fresh off a campaign, probably still has an infrastructure he can implement, and it’s a great way to avoid a free-for-all that would occur if/when Green would retire with other familiar Latin@ faces who are probably ready for their next move. Garcia says he was moved to run by Donald Trump’s vitriol and the need to wake up the Hispanic electorate. With a 70% Latino population, and Latinos being forced to wait for a court to decide if there will ever be a second Latino district in Houston, Garcia seems to be in at the right time. We’ll keep an eye on this race.

Texas House District 126 has a contested race as Cris Hernandez and Joy Dawson-Thomas face off for the nomination to take on a right-winger to replace another right-winger. I haven’t read up on the demographics of the district, but it is pretty diverse. Perhaps an opportunity? We shall see.

My own State Rep. Gene Wu has a challenger in HD137. Hopefully, it’s a negligible challenger, but I’m pretty sure Wu and his folks aren’t taking this district for granted no matter the kind of challenge.

Texas House District 144 has a three-way race to hopefully kick out the GOP incumbent in a mostly Latino, yet low-propensity voter district. Mary Ann Perez is a familiar face, and Cody Ray Wheeler, a Pasadena Council Member, has been campaigning for a while. Another name is Bernie Aldape, III whom a few friends of mine seem to support and have put on my radar. This one is a race to watch.

The 11th District Court has a three-way race, too, with Kristen Hawkins, Rabeea Collier, and Jim Lewis. I’ve known Rabeea for a while from my days in Kingwood. In fact, back in ’08, she was a fierce advocate for then-candidate Obama, while I argued for more Clinton delegates to the State Convention during our district convention. We remain friends, though.

The 61st District Court provides another 3-way race, featuring Julie Countiss, Dion Ramos, and Fredericka Phillips. Of course, Ramos served the 55th District Court previously, and Phillips has served as Vice-Chair of the Texas Democratic Party. Countiss is a teacher-turned-attorney and is currently an Assistant County Attorney.

The 165th Court will be a hot race featuring former 165th Judge Josefina Rendon and Municipal Court Judge Ursula Hall. I know both quite well and I’m looking forward to watching this race.

The race for Harris County District Attorney offers up a previous candidate Kim Ogg, a perennial annoyance in Lloyd Oliver, and the first African-American elected statewide to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Morris Overstreet. Should be fun to watch.

The race for Sheriff has current Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Gonzalez and a few other unknowns–at least in my eyes. I think one can tell whom I support.

In the race for Tax Assessor Collector, we’ll have a hotly contested race featuring Ann Harris Bennett, who has run previously and came very close to victory, as well as Texas Senate staffer Brandon Dudley. It’s a race to watch, for sure.

There are other contested races, but these immediately caught my eyes.

Look over the list of races, learn about the candidates (google them!), and make an educated choice. And keep an eye out for Kuff’s interviews.

Update:  Kuff has more on statewide and regional judicial races.

Update #2:  Since it was brought up to me, one of our favorite elected bigots, HCC’s Dave Wilson (the white guy that ran as a black guy for an HCC district), filed to challenge State Rep. Jessica Farrar in HD148. As I’ve told a few Dems, I’m hoping such a progressive Democratic Primary would re-elect its incumbent state rep. without much of a problem. It’s not the HCC district to which he got elected, and Farrar has served her district well-enough that Democrats should know better.