The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Who Wants To Be A Governor?

Well apparently alot of people.

On the R side there's Perry and Strayhorn. On the D side there's Bell, Alvarado and maybe Bob Gammage. And then there's Kinky.

The Express-News had an article yesterday about Strayhorn's sputtering campaign as she tries to find enough of those elusive disaffected Independents and moderate Republicans to vote in the Republican primary. Because as nearly every political scientist in the article so astutely notes- there just ain't any room to Perry's right-hand side. I don't know what she's going to do in the next few weeks to drum up support, but time's starting to slip away.

And Rick Perry's going to squeeze every drop out of his incumbency to "show" Texans how he's already doing the work that needs to be done. Like putting together a Tax Reform Commission that's donated nearly $1.4 million to his political campaigns over the last five years and doesn't have a single middle class Texan, school teacher, school administrator, etc on its list. If the election were held today, I think Strayhorn would be hardpressed to grab 40% of the primary vote. But it's the Republican party and Strayhorn's in it to win it so you know at some point and time it's bound to get nasty and turn off supporters from whoever happens to be on the losing end of it. And Strayhorn supporters would exponentially easier to pick up the Perry supporters.

On our side, there's stealth candidate Felix Alvarado whose sister seems to be the lone Dem candidate for Lt. Governor. Great. Thankfully that's not the case in the Governor's race. Chris Bell has weathered numerous rumored candidates and internet naysayers. And in a state which has seen Republican nominees win the Governor's mansion by 37 and 18 points the last two elections, he's making decent enough headway with very little help from the media.

But now, 91 days away from the start of early voting, there's one more Dem looking to throw his hat into the race- Bob Gammage. I first saw the e-mail over a week ago on a SA Dem listserv and really didn't think anything of it. I mean, does anyone remember Dan Morales' short, failed 2002 campaign? And if people had problems with John Sharp's two consecutive losses, what were they going to think about a former state Supreme Court justice who last won an election when Ann Richards did?

The little I know about him shows Gammage to be a committed public servant, and yes, his resume is impressive, but how much longer does everyone have to wait for an answer? Fish or cut bait man. Ain't no regular Joes gonna be paying attention to politics starting Wednesday evening and going through Jan. 2. For one, do you know how many bowl games and NFL (playoff) games happen in that time frame? I'll take the Poinsettia Bowl over a meet and greet any day... unless the food spread is immaculate, then you'll even see me at a Lyndon LaRouche event.

If Gammage does run, great. At the very least it hurts Kinky's ballot petition process. Who knows, maybe the media will even notice we're having a primary and decide to cover a bit of it. But as for me, I'll take the guy who's been traveling the state building a network and good will for the last year plus.

Of course, nothing short of ego says you just absolutely have to be the person at the top of the ballot (although truthfully, that privilege belongs to Radnofsky-Hutchison) to have an effect on next year's election Judge Gammage. There's a whole boatload of statewide positions with nary a serious candidate around them. Starting with the most powerful position in Texas- Lieutenant Governor.