For political people in Texas, this is a very big week, perhaps the most important week of the 2014 election season.
But for Texas Democrats, this is a week that many haven’t seen for the better part of a decade. The strongest Democratic ticket in 20 years have in back-to-back contests with their Republican opponents.
Tonight at 7pm, the Lieutenant Gubernatorial debate will see Democrat Leticia Van de Putte and Republican Dan Patrick face off. With the apparent contrasts between these two, this is likely to get interesting. You can watch the debate streamed live via the Texas Tribune, or check out other viewing opportunities for your area. You can also follow along via social media with the hashtags #LtGovDebate and #VivaLeticia.
Tomorrow night at 8pm is the Second Gubernatorial Debate between Democrat Wendy Davis and her Republican opponent Greg Abbott. Several PBS stations, including KUHT Channel 8 in Houston, KLRU Channel 2 in Austin, KERA Channel 13 in Dallas/ Fort Worth and KCOS Channel 13 in El Paso will be airing this debate live, as well as other streaming outlets available here. For social media, you can follow along with the hashtags #TexasDebates and #TeamWendy.
Let’s hope that after these events, the full formats of the debate will be available too. If so they’ll definitely be posted here at texasleftist.com. But for now, be sure to catch these very important nights for Texas politics!!
In the constant back and forth of a heated election season, there’s a lot of focus placed on fundraising totals. Particularly in large races, it seems nearly impossible for a campaign to have true credibility without posting huge numbers.
Thankfully for Texas Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, that hurdle has been cleared. The Democrat has shown that she is not only competitive with Republican opponent Greg Abbott, but has actually been able to out-raise him in the latest reporting periods. Of course there are some that dispute the Davis campaign on their numbers, saying Davis was able to claim “in-kind donations” as a part of her funds formula. As Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News reports, it’s mighty peculiar of the Abbott camp to attack Davis for her $250,000 in-kind donations when his campaign claimed even more than that. Whether one agrees on the exact number or not, no one can deny that Davis has a competitive standing in the money race.
But Last weekend in front of a capacity Houston crowd, The Ft. Worth Senator reminded everyone that money isn’t the only indicator of a successful campaign.
“As of last Wednesday, we placed our 2 millionth phone call, with over 300,000 of those calls in Harris County alone” Davis proclaimed to the exultant crowd. “Thanks to your hard work, we’ve posted historic numbers in this campaign.”
The candidate was in attendance for the grand opening of her 3rd Houston-area campaign office. It’s becoming clear that enthusiasm among Texas Democrats is higher than it’s been in a very long time. No one is doubting Davis’ standing as an underdog in this race. But if this impressive Get-Out-The-Vote effort continues, her campaign will end up triumphant at the finish line.
Last week, on the very same stage that she received her high school diploma, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis took a huge leap of faith, and entered the race for Texas Governor. She did this already knowing the basic facts of the race, and of the right-leaning Texas electorate. She did this knowing that a Democrat hasn’t won a statewide office in Texas for 20 years. She did this knowing that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, with $25 million cash-on-hand and the ability to raise upwards of $80 million, could out-spend her into the next millennium. Wendy Davis knows that in the Governor’s race, the odds are against her.
But Wendy Davis has beaten the odds her entire life. She was a poor, single mother at the age of 19, with no college education. Even then, Davis saw that her life could be more than her immediate surroundings. She put herself through community college, earned a scholarship to Texas Christian University, graduated with High honors, and went on graduate from Harvard Law School. All the while, raising a family. After becoming a successful lawyer, Davis felt the call to public service, and was elected to the Fort Worth City Council. When she finally decided to run for State Senator of District 10, Davis once again faced a tough road. As a Democrat in a solidly Republican district, she beat the male, Republican incumbent Kim Brimer in a nail-biter race. Also worth noting, her former City Council seat is currently held by the wildly popular LGBT politician Joel Burns.
So that’s how Davis became a State Senator in 2008. Most GOP operatives blamed her victory on the “Obama wave” (eventhough John McCain clearly won her district) and saw Davis as a novelty that would be easily beaten in 2012. They of course thought wrong. Senator Davis won reelection in 2012 from a tough campaign battle. Here’s an excerpt from the Texas Tribune’s 2012 election night article…
State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, narrowly clung to her seat on Tuesday night, fending off Republican state Rep. Mark Shelton in the most-watched legislative race of the Texas election…
Her win kept Republicans from coming within one vote of the two-thirds majority needed to render Democrats virtually powerless in the upper chamber. And it gave hope to Texas Democratic Party officials, who see Davis as a rising star and a potential a statewide candidate.
The Tarrant County district was hardly a certain bet for either candidate. It has traditionally leaned Republican: Gov. Rick Perry won the district in the 2010 gubernatorial race; U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., won the presidential vote there in 2008.
“I think it’s really a reflection of people wanting a bipartisan voice,” she said. “People rose above partisanship in the way they voted tonight. They voted for integrity, for a fighter.”…
What is critically important for Texas Democrats, and national Democrats to understand… thanks to the make-up of HD 10, Wendy Davis is well-practiced for a statewide race. The district is virtually a microcosm of Texas as a whole, and she has figured out what Democrats need to do in order to win there. That’s why you’re not going to see her spewing hardcore “left-wing” ideology. Instead Davis carefully speaks about Texas values, and limited, but effective government. She has carefully crafted a message that allows her to appeal across party lines and political philosophies. This is exactly why I wrote back in February that Davis is the top Democrat prospect for a statewide victory. She’s a pro at this stuff.
Just imagine all of the hope that started last week… hope for a true pathway to LGBT equality in Texas, with no more living in the shadows, or being second-class citizens. Hope for millions of Texas families to have healthcare through the Federal Medicaid expansion, and not have to live in fear of financial ruin if they get sick. Hope for Texas women to be able to make their own family planning decisions without the interference of big government. Hope that our children’s education will be a viewed as a top priority for Texas, instead of a budget line-item awaiting the chopping block. In Haltom City, all of these seedlings of hope were planted.
But Wendy can only become Governor if Texans take a stand and commit to the cause. She definitely cannot do it alone. So today affords you, loyal readers an opportunity. Texas Leftist is honored to participate in a blog fundraiser for Wendy’s campaign. Together, by spreading the word, and giving of our time, money and service, we can get Wendy elected. If you’d like to donate to the Wendy Davis campaign, you can do so right here via Act Blue. The more people like Wendy Davis we bring to office in Texas, the less chance we’ll have of ever going through another government shutdown, or threatening the livelihood of millions thanks to immature political brinksmanship. It starts right here, right now. Along with your gift, please share this blog post with your friends, and use the hashtag #GiveToWendy on Facebook and Twitter. If you’d like to learn more about Wendy, check out the video below.
It’s time for a real change in Texas. Wendy Davis FOR THE WIN!!