Texpatriate endorses in State House primaries

There are quite a few open or otherwise contested seats in the lower house of the State Legislature, particularly among Republican seats at the outskirts of town. This board has discussed fielding endorsements in these races, be it HD23, HD129 or HD132, but ultimately decided against it, given their removal from the City of Houston. Sagacious followers of this publication will know our incessant insistence on being a follower of Houston affairs, first and foremost.  Therefore, instead, we have made our picks in three races, the Democratic primary in HD131, the Democratic primary in HD145 and the Republican primary in HD134. We endorse the incumbent in all three.

HD 131 
The 11th commandment does not have much reverence in this district. Located at the southwestern outskirts of the beltway, the seat was long held by Ron Wilson, featured a considerably intense Democratic primary in 2004 when the 27-year incumbent lost his seat to a woman named Alma Allen. Among the complaints Allen employed in this primary was that Rep. Wilson was too cozy with the Republican majority.

Accordingly, eight years later, when an attorney named Azuwuike “Ike” Okorafor challenged Rep. Allen in the primary with similar complaints, we took him seriously as we hope the constituents of the district did as well. Despite his criticisms of Rep. Allen’s lack of leadership on educational issues, however, we have seen few other specific critiques of the incumbent. Further, unlike Mr Okorafor, we believe that Rep. Allen has a good track record in politics and for the constituents of her district. Accordingly, we endorse Alma Allen in the Democratic primary for HD131.

HD 134
Four of the five members of this board live in Rep. Davis’ district, and while we have often had a tough and trying relationship, we have been impressed nonetheless by her dedication to constituents and the rapidly changing public opinion of them, as opposed to the rapidly changing public opinion of an increasingly out-of-touch Republican primary electorate.

First, Rep. Davis nearly stood alone among her Republican colleagues to fight against painful cuts to women’s planning and prevention centers, such as Planned Parenthood. She took this position even further this past summer, when she literally stood alone among Republicans by voting against HB2, the omnibus anti-abortion bill that Wendy Davis filibustered. Arguably, this is why the pro-choice Davis received an intense primary challenger from Bonnie Parker, a Tea Party favorite who is significantly more socially conservative.

But it is not just the abortion issue that has framed this debate. Last year, Rep. Davis took strides to become the most gay friendly Republican officeholder in the State of Texas, by coming just short of endorsing full marriage equality (something many of our Democratic officeholders –cough cough, Congressman Gene Green– have still yet to do). The National Rifle Association has also endorsed her challenger, no doubt for being more amenable to extreme issues such as allowing concealed handguns on college campuses.

Simply put, this is a competition of ideologies. On one side, we have Rep. Sarah Davis, the most moderate and pragmatic Republican member of the Texas Legislature. On the other, we have more of the same Tea Party backed extremism and zealots that have brought this State to its knees. In the socially liberal, fiscally moderate district, Rep. Davis is the only type of Republican the general electorate should feel comfortable electing. Given that the Democrats provided only token opposition this cycle, this Republican primary will be tantamount to the general election. We hope it does not provide for a negative conclusion.

Accordingly, we endorse Sarah Davis in the Republican primary for HD134.

HD 145 
State Representative Carol Alvarado, a longtime stalwart of her community, will be seeking a fourth term in the State House of Representatives. Her opponent is Susan Delgado, a realtor whose only claim to political fame is once having a clandestine affair with the late State Senator Mario Gallegos. Delgado has been slamming Rep. Alvarado for being allegedly too friendly with conservative of groups, such as Tort Reformers or Payday Lenders.

Indeed, we have had these hesitations about Rep. Alvarado in the past, this went into the reason we endorsed Sylvia Garcia over her for the State Senate last year. However, this was only done because there were two otherwise stellar choices in that election. We believe today, as we have in the past, that Rep. Alvarado admirably and capably represents her constituents in Austin and voters would be rash to not give her another chance.

Delgado speaks greatly of her similarities with other community politicians such as the aforementioned Senator Garcia and City Councilmember Robert Gallegos. However, Garcia and Gallegos are definitely not supporting Delgado’s candidacy. Such campaign tactics are greatly misleading. Instead, nearly every community and interest group has supported the incumbent, and for good reason. Accordingly, we endorse Carol Alvarado in the Democratic primary for HD 145.

The Texpatriate Editorial Board is comprised of Noah M. Horwitz & Olivia Arena of Austin, Sophia Arena of Houston, George Bailey of Boson and Andrew Scott Romo of New Orleans. Editorials represent a majority opinion of the board.

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