At the beginning of 2016, some of us Green Regulars in Texas put our heads together and determined that Railroad Commission candidate Martina Salinas would be the Party's best hope of obtaining 5% of the vote in the general election this year. That 5% would secure the Green Party's ballot access for 2018. She received 3.26% in a four-way contest, 285,558 votes, which in Green circles in this very red state is pretty phenomenal.
Salinas does actually work full-time, as a construction inspector (not supervisor, as previously reported), and thus she did not have much time or money to assemble a full campaign infrastructure. She used a Facebook page for web presence rather than constructing a website (or paying somebody to make one) with her own domain. She did travel some, including a few trips to Houston and reconnecting with her fan base in the Rio Grande Valley. She did have some yard signs made.
Imagine how Salinas might have done if she'd been able to devote more time and resources to the campaign. Her Libertarian opponent Mark Miller, a retired oil & gas guy, finished with 5.27% and unlocked ballot access for the LP.
Either nobody told me, or somebody did tell me and I forgot. We had a third out-of-town candidate drop in at the Loes' residence Saturday, Green Senatorial nominee Emily "Spicybrown" Sánchez. It was wonderful to see Emily, along with Railroad Commission candidate Martina Salinas and Agriculture Commissioner candidate Kenneth Kendrick.
A physical therapist's assistant by day, slam poet by night, Emily opted to include her nom de slam "Spicybrown" in her ballot moniker. Texas allows the use of nicknames and even pseudonyms on the ballot, and thus Republican Sam Fayad now runs under the same Sam Texas. Back in December 2013, when I first heard about her intent, I wondered at first whether the nickname would turn out to be a liability. As it turns out, it has brought her all kinds of credibility with audiences in heavily Latino South Texas, not just among fans of competitive poetry or hearty mustard. Even with her limited campaigning, the phenomenon of Laredo has extended deeper into the Rio Grande Valley and up to Emily's current city of Del Rio (Val Verde County).
Other statewide candidates in attendance, but not on the bill to speak, were Deb Shafto (Comptroller of Public Accounts) and Jim Chisolm (Supreme Court, Place 8), both from Houston. None of the local folks were on the bill to speak: The 30-40 local voters who filled the Loes' living room have heard Deb and me speak plenty. I'd like to have heard Jim make a speech, but there's something I find very dignified about not actively campaigning for a judicial spot.
Hardy and Lee Loe made us all very comfortable as usual. Laura Palmer was a serenely welcoming mistress of ceremonies. I'm sorry to report that nobody, including professional videographer Laura, captured the proceedings on video, but Laura was busy with her other duties.
David Wager just called and reported that contributions to the three visiting candidates totaled just over $2,200. That will cover a couple of day-trips for each of them. Thank you, our generous Green and Progressive friends!
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.