What again does the Agriculture Commissioner do? Last Saturday, we explained somewhat thoroughly that the duties of the office include not only regulation of agriculture and ranching, but broad powers over things as diverse as school lunches to gas pumps. It is a position we are adverse to recommending for a political novice. Unfortunately, three such novices signed up to run in the Democratic primary: Hugh Fitzsimons, Kinky Friedman and Jim Hogan. While Fitzsimons does have experience in the field as both a farmer and a rancher, this office is not a technocratic job–It’s politics. Accordingly, this board believes all the candidates are equally inexperienced and unprepared for the political difficulties that may arise from the post.
While we could not come to a majority decision, we do unanimously recommend a vote against Jim Hogan. While Hogan did sit down for an extended interview with his hometown paper, the Cleburne Times-Review, we could not find any more information about this dark horse candidate. No Facebook, no website, no campaigning. As is our general policy, we are typically weary of such candidates.
All the candidates may be equally inexperienced, but not all have been equally poor at campaigning. Hugh Fitzsimons has been the only candidate to truly travel this State and speak on serious topics. Whether this has been crops, livestock, nutrition or water, he has always been ready to lead on the most important and controversial issues.
Fitzsimon’s main opponent, Kinky Friedman, has not done any of these things. Instead, he has focused on marijuana legalization, an issue the Agriculture Commissioner’s office has absolutely nothing to do with. He is not a serious candidate, nor is he even a serious Democrat (he did, in fact, endorse Rick Perry‘s presidential run). The absurdity that anyone would actually consider him for high office is beyond me, especially when such a qualified opponent as Fitzsimons is on the ballot too.
Let us collectively take our heads out of the sand and acknowledge the reality we live in. The Democrats are not headed to victory in any way, shape or form in 2014. Personally, I think it is possible they could win less than 40% of the vote. Now, I –for one– think that there are some great Republican candidates for this office, J. Allen Carnes or Eric Opiela in particular. However, neither of these men will win. The nominee will be Sid Miller, an individual whose campaign revolves around abortion, guns and Ted Nugent. I think, at that point, talking about something that grows in the ground is not so much of a cardinal sin for a Democratic candidate.
And that candidate, obviously, is Kinky Friedman. Democrats need to ditch their asinine purity tests and nominate the candidate with the best shot of defeating Sid Miller in a general election. Again, that candidate is Friedman. He has both the name recognition and the media experience to run both an entertaining and high-profile campaign. Fitzsimons will be ignored by every major paper in the land. This is how you play politics, I wonder if the Democrats know this.
–Andrew Scott Romo
The Texpatriate Editorial Board is comprised of Noah M. Horwitz & Olivia Arena of Austin, Sophia Arena of Houston, George Bailey of Boston and Andrew Scott Romo of New Orleans. Editorials represent a majority opinion of the board.