This board would like to preface its comments by noting that we like State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Tarrant County) in her, albeit uphill, bid to become the next Governor of Texas. She has shown us time and time again that anything is possible in this great country of ours, even for a single mother at 19, living in a trailer park. She pulled herself up by her bootstraps, went to college, went to Law School at Harvard and made an honest living before starting down the road to public service. In both the Fort Worth City Council and the Texas Senate, she has continued to exemplify some of the best qualities one may look for in a politician. She holds steady to her principles, sometimes for hours on end, though still retains a pragmatic touch when it comes to lawmaking and deals. Many of us would be not only willing, but eager, to vote for her in a general election if it were held today.
Sen. Davis has an opponent in the Democratic primary, though. Besides a lonely profile of the challenger in the Houston Chronicle, however, one would not know it. In countless news articles, Sen. Davis has been referred to as the presumptive Democratic nominee, sometimes without any admission of the factual liberties taken in the title. With only one opponent, however, Sen. Davis got off much easier than the previous Democratic nominee for Governor, Bill White. The former Mayor of Houston faced six challengers in 2010’s Democratic primary, including one well-financed and ostensibly credible opponent.
Ray Madrigal is Sen. Davis’ only opponent in this primary. A perennial candidate and activist from the Corpus Christi area, Mr Madrigal gained some semblance of legitimacy in the past year when he was appointed a Municipal Judge in the City of Seadrift. Despite not being an attorney, local law allows for smaller towns to include laymen in certain parts of the judicial process. His campaign touches on broad themes of hope and focuses predominantly on Hispanic outreach. A good start for political platforms, no doubt, but his lack of experience is troubling. However, what irked this board to no end was his lack of any website or online presence. Without a functional way to be reached, Mr Madrigal simply cannot run a campaign worthy of legitimacy in this day and age.
Similarly, we have found recent moves by Sen. Davis’ campaign to be troubling, particularly how they have been handing the upcoming primary election. This board has learned that the Davis for Governor campaign is deliberately boycotting any and all questionnaires or other media requests for the primary election. Since the Davis campaign is obviously not taking her primary election seriously, this board has decided not to take it seriously as well and refrain from making an endorsement in the contest.
While this board did send a Texpatriate questionnaire to Sen. Davis’ campaign, we did so expecting that its completion was a rather quixotic request. Indeed, we do not hold it against a candidate when she or he does not complete our questionnaires, as we have endorsed plenty who pointedly chose not to do so. However, complete rejection of the process is a very different offense, one that tells us we should not waste our time on this contest.
Yesterday, the Houston GLBT Caucus voted overwhelmingly against endorsing Sen. Davis in her primary (and refraining from endorsing in general) for similar reasons. Much like the Caucus, this board does not endorse in uncontested races. Thus, if a heavily favored candidate –one we otherwise like on the merits– acts as though the race is uncontested, we shall too.
Postscript: Noah M. Horwitz
Speaking on behalf of just myself, I would like unequivocally state that, despite my issues with the way Sen. Davis’ campaign has conducted her primary election strategy, I will gladly be voting for her in March.
The Texpatriate Editorial Board is comprised of Noah M. Horwitz & Olivia Arena of Austin, George Bailey of Boston and Andrew Scott Romo of New Orleans.