There has been much talk about the Republican Party’s need to lurch back towards the center in order to remain competitive into the future. Pundits and other prognosticators have all been quick to prescribe an invaluable need for moderation of immigration issues and other social disputes. The Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, even recently noted that the party needed to stop catering to alleged anti-intellectualism. Indeed, most would agree something is broken within the party, something that desperately needs to be fixed.
Cursory observations of the Republican primary for Governor would likely lead you to believe that Attorney General Greg Abbott is the only candidate. Indeed, while he is the frontrunner and is quite likely to win outright in the preliminary primary election, he has drawn three opponents. Two of these candidates, Larry Kilgore and Lisa Fritsch, might be even more conservative than Abbott, and represent more of the same for the Texas GOP. The last candidate, however, offers a unique point of view and a distinct brand of pragmatic Republicanism that Texans would be smart to support. Accordingly, this board endorses Miriam Martinez in the Republican primary for Governor of Texas.
Martinez is not your typical Texas Republican. She was born in Mexico, immigrating to the United States later in life. In fact, she only became a naturalized citizen in 2010. Settling into Edinburg, right in the middle of the Rio Grande Valley, Martinez became a television commentator and personality on the local Univision affiliate. She truly knows the value of hard work and is a living example of both the American dream and everything that is still possible in Texas.
However, unlike her three opponents, there is no mention of abortion on the issues tab of her website. Similarly, gay marriage does not receive a nod, nor does President Obama and any extreme hatred thereof. Instead, Martinez responsibly and calmly delineates her rationale for supporting comprehensive immigration reform. She also puts her full weight behind the legalization of cannabis. Perhaps most telling, Martinez makes a point of describing herself as a “moderate Republican.”
Indeed, Martinez does not strive to utter soundbites on Fox News. The only “FOX” she has appeared with on the campaign trail was Vicente Fox, the former President of Mexico. A thorough understanding of foreign policy, specifically pertaining to Texas’ neighbor to the south, should be a greatly desired trait from our public servants. It is certainly one that Martinez possesses.
Make no mistake, the moderate wing of the Republican Party still exists. It is running a candidate for Governor this year, one who will push for pragmatic policies and stay clear of extremist social issues. The Republican electorate would be wise to not repudiate this wing. This board certainly supports the wing and its candidate –Miriam Martinez– in the primary.
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.