Early voting begins Monday 24 October in Harris County and much of Texas. So it's time to whip out some completely unsurprising endorsements for my dozen or so readers.
The main point that I want to highlight in this post is my support for non-Green candidates in Harris County. There may be some Greens who vote a straight Green ticket and walk out, but I don't know any. Many of us push buttons for Democrats in local, district, and even statewide races.
From my experience and conversations with Green comrades, we don't just cast knee-jerk votes for Democrats in the absence of a Green candidate, following some residual instinct from those distant days when we identified as Democrats. I have voted for Republicans and Libertarians I have known and liked, especially when either a) there is no Democrat in the race, or b) the Democratic candidate is particularly odious.
Harris County Democrats We Like
Sorry/not sorry for the use of the royal "we." Let royal "us" get these recommendations for Harris County offices out of the way, because they come with few complications. These candidates are all running as Democrats, and I support them with enthusiasm:
Harris County Greens We Love
Back in March, we had several more candidates locally, but for various reasons those candidates had to withdraw from their respective races. For example, Natalie Upchurch dropped her candidacy for Tax Assessor-Collector several months ago, so this list on txgreens.org is not entirely up to date.
Apart from Martina Salinas for Texas Railroad Commission, three candidates for State Supreme Court, and two for Court of Criminal Appeals, here are the Green candidates still running in Harris County:
Of these six bulleted candidates, the only one whose name will appear on my ballot is Kleven. Sadly, most of our candidates in Texas don't have campaign websites. We active Greens are busy people, and we don't have much in the way of campaign funds to make quality sites; McElligott just worked a little WordPress magic for his. In the 2018 election cycle, I will be pushing an initiative in the county and state Green Parties to make certain that our candidates do more than throw together a Facebook page.
There is no Democrat running in McElligott's district, by the way. Despite incumbent Dan Huberty's bizarre behavior, including making drunken threats that were captured on video, Huberty will likely be re-elected in the heavily Republican Kingwood area, but McElligott has a chance to make a splash there.
For Congressional and State House districts, I must admit that I haven't done the necessary research to see whether all the Democrats running are worth a vote, but I would start with the assumption that they are. Twelve of our 24 House seats are safer than safe, with eight Democrats and four Republicans running unopposed, plus one facing only a write-in opponent (see next section).
If I lived in House District 134, it would be a tough call: I might just cast a vote for Republican Sarah Davis, whom I have met, and with whom I was not impressed when she first ran in 2012, but who has grown into the office as a moderate Republican. (UPDATE 24 OCTOBER: Actually, no, I wouldn't. See the Comments on this post.) As with our County Judge Ed Emmett, it warms my heart to know that such creatures still exist, Republicans who actually believe in governing in the service of the people rather than grandstanding. But Democrat Ben Rose has run a strong race and has plenty of fans with yard signs in the affluent neighborhoods around Rice University and Greater Meyerland.
I also like what I've seen Dakota Carter, candidate for State Board of Education, District 6.
We also have races for constable, justice of the peace, various district judgeships, and county school trustees. Yes, I'll be voting for Democrats in those; the constable and JP candidates in my precinct have no opposition.
Recent mayoral candidate and perennial advertiser on the back page of the Houston Press Eric Dick is running as a Republican for County School Trustee, Position 2, Precinct 4. He may win that on name recognition alone.
My House District
In Texas House District 146, we have an interesting situation, and I haven't yet made a firm decision on this race. Here's how it has played out:
Attorney Thierry or local entrepreneur Owens? The one chosen by a slim majority of Democratic insiders (including one LaRouchite), or the guy with the stones to challenge the nominee and the process that selected her? Neither of their websites says diddly about policy—or as McElligott would say, "You don't even have a platform!"
Fortunately, we can learn something about their positions on education, health care, and the right to vote from the indispensable League of Women Voters Guide: Mainly, we can learn that Thierry's and Owens's responses to the questions posed therein are remarkably similar. Oy.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
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