From January into August, the astute followers of this blog will remember my ubiquitous “Lege updates” which focused on all the little tidbits undeserving of their own articles, and then summed them up into one longer article on the general discussions of the day. Well, the Legislature has long since adjourned, but I now find the need to apply the same template. Accordingly, get ready for a plethora of “Gov update”s over the course of the next 13 months.
Today, two major events occurred. First, the first official third-party candidate announced intentions for next year. It was not Debra Medina, nor was it Kinky Friedman. Rather, it was a bona fide member of the Texas Libertarian Party: Kathie Glass. The Texas Tribune reports on this development further, noting that Glass is promising to run a competitive election by visiting all 254 Texas counties. Further, Glass will have a somewhat original campaign strategy: nullification. For those not familiar with the term, nullification is the antiquated dilatory measure from the 18th Century originally envisioned by Thomas Jefferson. It allows states to simply be their own arbiters of constitutionality, rejecting laws in the process.
Glass previously ran for Governor in 2010, where she garnered a little more than 2% of the vote. I cannot imagine any reason she would get any more this time around, assuming she doesn’t do anything different. The Tribune article noted some other Libtertarian names running for office in 2014. Brandon de Heyos and Ed Kless will both seek the Lieutenant Governorship. Glass’ husband, Tom Glass, will run for Attorney General. Rocky Palmquist will win for Agriculture Commissioner and Mark Miller will run for Railroad Commission. In what might be a first for the Texas Libertarians, one additional candidate is actually an incumbent officeholder. Running for Land Commissioner is Ed Tidwell. He currently serves on the City Council of the City of Lago Vista (a suburb of Austin). The position, while nominally non-partisan, is significant as the third party seems to be gaining a small amount of traction.
In other news, an organization named Texas Lyceum released a comprehensive poll on a whole line of issues, but with perhaps the most high-profile results for the gubernatorial election. In a result the Texas Tribune expanded upon, the biggest winner –by far– is that chunk of undecided voters. Abbott, with 29%, and Davis, with 21%, are both dwarfed by the huge 50% of those surveyed who have yet to make up their minds.
Among the more notable features of the poll, which may be viewed in its entirety here, are a question noting a mere 1% of Texans who believe Abortion is the State’s most important issue. Question 6 is also interesting, showing a 54% approval rating in the State for President Obama. The poll also measured grand support for lots of big government projects, like building new highways, mass transit and high-speed commuter rails between the major cities.
While the margin of error was comparably small (+/-3%), the huge amount of undecided votes more or less invalidates the poll.