The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Lege Over? Onto '06!!!

Days after the Lege adjourns, peeps are using Kay Bays inevitable Guv. announcement to jump off and look at other races in 2006.

Greg Wythe
has a pretty extensive rundown of the statewide offices up for grabs. Bell is essentially in for the Guvs race, big question is whether or not Sharp gets in. Bell has done alot of work over the past several months and stood up to Tom DeLay, but I have always liked Sharp. If he doesn't run for Guv, I think we need him somewhere on the ballot.

On the Republican side, Bonilla is running for US Senate with the possibility of Dewhurst entering that race. On other statewide races, Greg has AG Greg Abbott running for Lite Guv with Carole Keeton Strayhorn Rylander/whatever comes next maybe jumping into this race, Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams running for AG with Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O'Neill as another possibility, Ag Commissioner Susan Combs is running for Comptroller, Wayne Chisum and Todd Staples (aka Sen. Statewide) are looking at Ag Commish, while Jerry Patterson looks to be fine at Land Commish.

For the good guys, Greg has one of the many former Dem. Congressmen we now have joining Barbara Radnofsky and Juan Garcia (or is he switching races?) in running for US Senate. I agree with Greg that former Congressmen Bentsen and Turner are probably the two I'd pick there, but let me throw one other name out that is pure speculation/hope... Martin Frost. If not, I think I'd give my personal edge to Jim Turner, someone who has rural Texas cred, over Ken Bentsen. But we still need Bentsen somewhere on the ballot.

Further on down the ballot, if we don't see Sharp run for Guv in '06, he should definitely think about Lite Guv again. Third time's the charm right? Greg is pushing Kirk Watson for AG again, although he forgets to mention that David Van Os has basically already declared. As far as what I've heard, at some point in time in the past couple of months I could've sworn that someone told me, or I read somewhere, that Martin Frost may be thinking about the AG slot too. That'd be a doozy if all three of those guys ran.

Greg speculates that Paul Hobby would make a good Comptroller candidate again. I really have no idea who we could run. A state sen. or ambitious state rep. maybe? As far as Ag Commish goes, that job is tailor made for Charlie Stenholm, we need to get him in this race.

Finally, over at Just Another Blog, Matt talks about speculation that John Courage could run against Lamar Smith again. Courage did an admirable job against Smith in '02, but it's tough for me to buy that he could really win this district. He was outspent 7 to 1 by Smith in '04 and there's no doubt in my mind that Smith could essentially double his fundraising money if he needed. As far as name rec. goes, Courage does have a modicum of it, but I would say it's mostly with Democrats, and Democrats in Bexar County to be more specific. Courage is going to have to win over a good number of Republican voters (off-hand I'd say 1/5 to 1/4 of all Repubs) in this heavily Republican district.

The question is whether or not he will be able to gain the sort of credibility needed to allow the Republican base to at least consider him. Remember, they're gonna want someone who at the very least is a moderate, independent voice who will "support the President when they can, oppose when they must" (courtesy, Ben Nelson D-NE), not someone who will be a reliable vote against Bush and the Republican agenda.