The biggest news today in the gubernatorial campaign has been the filing of both major candidates, Attorney General Greg Abbott and State Senator Wendy Davis. The Texas Tribune reports on the development, happening on the very first day of filing for the 2014 primary. Abbott, in his filing ceremony, took the predictable step of castigating what he called “California-style liberalism” and painted Davis as a super-liberal. Davis, on the other hand, did not call out Abbott by name but did criticize the alleged ‘business-as-usual’ of Texas Republicans.
Abbott reiterated his strong opposition to abortion and support of HB2, the omnibus anti-abortion bill that Davis famously filibustered in June. Davis did not mention abortion once; but more on this later. Among other gubernatorial filers was Lisa Fritsch, a Republican. Also filing was the first Democratic opponent to Wendy Davis in the Democratic primary: Ray Madrigal.
Madrigal is recurring theme to Corpus Christi politics. An
attorney (I’m not sure if he is an attorney but he is a Judge?) and a rebel-rouser, Madrigal first came to prominence by leading a grassroots movement against tearing down the Memorial Coliseum in Corpus Christi. He later unsuccessfully ran for Mayor in both 2011 and 2012. Just a few months ago, he was named as a Municipal Judge in the City of Seadrift.
If you want to know more about Madrigal, I also found half an hour of an interview with him. Thus far, he has limited has campaign to the area in and around Corpus Christi. As for those thinking he is a Republican sleeper-cell, I find that somewhat unlikely. He is a Democrat, and his campaigns appears to be much more about himself and less about Wendy Davis. In the interview, he does not mention Davis (or the idea of any other candidate) once. He does mention gambling and casinos, however. He also advocated desalinization as the big solution to our water problems, which is actually a pretty good idea.
In other news for the Wendy Davis campaign, she has been tiptoeing around some sensitive issues to her campaign. First, reports the Valley Morning Star, Davis made the odd comment that she was “pro-life.” Trying to win back the term from simply a descriptor of opponents of abortion, Davis said “I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future. I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else.”
While the comment is certainly a positive for her campaign, in an attempt to turn ostensibly anti-abortion voters towards her candidacy. That being said, it would be wrong of Davis to back away from the abortion issue. It was not broad policies of blue dog Democrats that drew thousands upon thousands of women to the State Capitol this summer and caused national media outlets to remark on the “resurgence” of Texas Democrats; it was abortion. Davis will not win if she “plays it safe” like Bill White did. She probably won’t will no matter what she does, but certainly will have a better chance by clearly distinguishing herself as a Democrat with divergent policy positions.
Second, The Dallas Morning News reports that, when President Obama came to the metroplex in the last few days, Wendy Davis went well out of her way to snub the President and be as physically far away from him in the State as possible. Again, this is an insanely foolish thing to do. Last year, President Obama received more votes than Rick Perry did in 2010. The only way Davis would possibly win is if she encouraged the lazy, good-for-nothing Democratic base to get off their rears and come out to vote more than just once ever quadrennial. But that is pretty unlikely.
Brains & Eggs has more.