Kinky Friedman to run for Agriculture Commissioner

The Texas Tribune reports that Kinky Friedman, the satirist and comedian who (in)famously ran for Governor as an independent in 2006, will be running for Agriculture Commissioner this year as a Democrat.

Friedman also ran for Agriculture Commissioner in 2010 as a Democrat, but ultimately lost the primary to Hank Gilbert. Gilbert, of course, was a party loyalist who ran a very honorable campaign. Unfortunately, this honorable campaign received 35% of the vote, a full 7% below Bill White (the top Democratic vote-getter that year). I have always maintained that Friedman could have had a more decent showing, but the party base would surely never stand for it.

The Tribune’s article notes that Friedman, who admits he knows little about Agriculture, wants to focus on what he thinks is a big issue: Marijuana legalization. He wants Texas, much like Colorado or Washington, to legalize, regulate and tax the production and sale of cannabis. In previous comments this year about a possible gubernatorial run, Friedman talked up both marijuana legalization and gambling expansion (the normalization of casinos). It appears that Friedman decided against a gubernatorial run when Wendy Davis threw her pink sneakers into the ring.

Friedman has a long history with politically puzzling statements, the biggest of which was his endorsement of Rick Perry‘s presidential campaign in 2011-2012. But then he made some crack about having his ashes spread on Rick Perry’s hair, so perhaps it evens out. Many of the Democratic intelligentsia have permanently held a grudge against Friedman ever since he, in their words, “cost Chris Bell the Governor’s mansion.” For those younger folks who read Texpatriate, and had better things to do with their time than watch the Governor’s race like me when they were in the 7th grade, this is essentially what happened: Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, a moderate Republican, ran for Governor as an independent in 2006, thus splitting the conservative vote. The Democratic vote, however, was split by Friedman running as an independent. The result was re-election by Rick Perry, with a mere 39% of the vote.

Friedman is a jokester who, like it or not, has national name-recognition. He will bring much needed publicity to this race. And let us not forget the grim reality, even if the Democrats nominated Jesus himself, 45% will not be surpassed by a Democrat in 2014. Accordingly, Democrats must choose will be the best candidate, not the best officeholder. Beggars cannot be choosers, and right now, the Democratic Party of Texas has been asking for spare change for far too long.

Brains & Eggs has more.

 

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2 thoughts on “Kinky Friedman to run for Agriculture Commissioner

  1. Pingback: Kinky for Ag Commish, Sam Houston (maybe) for AG – Off the Kuff

  2. Pingback: Texpatriate | Existent and non-existent Democrats

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