All hail Governor Rick Perry. A brilliant campaign that took account of the changing political climate last spring and got out ahead of the wave and rode it to victory. The campaign effectively defined Texas' longtime political sweetheart Kay Bailey Hutchison early and it was never effectively countered. When taking on an incumbent it is important to make the case why they should not be renewed and what would replace them, and that was not done. Kay Hutchison's concession speech and call for unity demonstrated why she is such a class act. As for Debra Medina, her feisty campaign got lots of attention and did well at the ballot box given limited funds. Her future is in the GOP and she likewise needs to get behind Governor Perry for the key showdown with Bill White, who is a formidable opponent.
As for the November race, the primary turnout was up with 8.47% voting in the GOP primary and a lesser number of 5.22% in the Democratic primary. Of course, that leaves over 86% of the registered voters unaccounted for. Cocky Republicans need to be more sober. The fact is we have a challenge this year, and while at this time national trends are favorable, they can change between now and November. So we need a strong campaign that focuses on our conservative vision for dealing with Texas' challenges and opportunities and defines the opposition factually and not over the top.
In some of our urban counties, the challenge is greater as the parties are closer together in numbers. So in Harris, Dallas, Bexar and others, the work ahead is long and will be at times difficult. So let's roll up our sleeves and move forward together.
Texas And Harris County Observations
The local Democrats are quickly abandoning some strong November candidates as their primary voters tossed Sue Schechter (County Clerk) and a number of high quality judicial candidates to run instead, unknown and barely qualified ones. Thanks for the help, Democrats.
Over the top negative campaigning doesn't work and it claimed Judge Leslie Brock Yates, whom TCR supported, who is a better Judge and person than her campaign and she lost narrowly to the well-funded Judge Sharon McCally, whose campaign effectively used the negative campaign against her as a positive.
The defeat of Victor Carrillo for Railroad Commissioner and Leo Vasquez for Tax Assessor-Collector was unfortunate, but explainable by either an underperforming campaign (Carrillo), and/or decisions in office that alienated conservatives (Vasquez's deal with the Democrats on their bogus suit regarding voter registration). They will both be missed.
The success of conservative governing needs to be proved by how we handle the economic downturns effect on local and state revenue and still keep government performing at a level conservatives find acceptable.
Rick Green's success in making the Texas Supreme Court runoff demonstrates the statewide power of social conservatives in a heavily divided race. Will his voters return in April?
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones on PBS Houston Channel 8, will return after the Pledge Break on April 2, 2010 with former President Bush key advisor, Karl Rove. As a new fun feature, please visit us at HoustonPBS.org, where you can see after-show commentary about the show and its guests by Gary and David each week, where the show is also available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his thirteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last eight years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.