We are not fans of Congressman John Culberson (R-Houston). In addition to being mean-spirited and ignorant of many of the most sensitive issues facing our country (and his district), he is just a lousy congressman. From being nowhere to be found throughout his district to introducing just a handful of bills throughout his long tenure in office, he is definitely one of the most unaccountable officeholders in the Houston areas. Irrespective of one’s political views, we believe one would be hard pressed to not acknowledge that countless men and women would do the job better than Rep. Culberson.
Unfortunately, Rep. Culberson did not draw an opponent in the Republican primary and the district is so heavily gerrymandered that Democratic victory in the general election is close to impossible. That being said, we believe there is only one candidate with the needed experience and skillset to run a competent campaign against the incumbent. This board strongly believes that candidate is James Cargas.
A lawyer with the City Attorney’s office, Mr Cargas has strong expertise within the government, and provides a working knowledge of exactly what a Congressperson would do. We believe, if elected, he would require no “on-the-job” training, so to speak. In comparison, Mr Cargas’ opponent, Lissa Squiers, has concerned us with some rookie mistakes she has made on the campaign trail.
Throughout her campaign, Ms Squiers often regales prospective voters with tidbits such as her not being an attorney or government professional, but rather a layperson. Indeed, her history as a political activist is admirable and noteworthy, but we believe it lacks many of the prerequisites needed for a campaign to the United States Congress. Compared with Mr Cargas’ long history in the Clinton White House and as an energy attorney, one would still be still hardpressed to figure out exactly what Ms Squiers does for a living from what her website tells. Her unforced errors, such as trouble with her recent FEC filings, do not concern us so much on its face. Rather, the issue foreshadows what could be an ominous campaign against a well-funded and well-versed incumbent.
Additionally, we have been impressed by the breadth of Mr Cargas’ support throughout the community. Be it every single endorsing political interest group or a laundry list of public officials, the Cargas campaign would not be fighting its battle alone. Just this morning, prominent legislators such as Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Rep. Alma Allen, Rep. Jessica Farrar and former Councilmember Melissa Noriega declared Mr Cargas to be the best choice for this office.
We would be remiss, however, if we did not take time to note and condemn the petty and unprofessional campaign tactics this primary has become characterized by. At democratic clubs, both Mr Cargas and Ms Squiers gripe at one another in a public setting, incessantly challenging the conventions of the other and making audacious accusations.
Mr Cargas often appears vindictive against Ms Squiers, even about otherwise minuscule matters. The fuss-up he caused over Ms Squierrs’ FEC discrepancies was overkill. However, we find this to be a venial offense in comparison to the bizarre allegations Ms Squierrs has made against the Cargas campaign time and time again.
In this uphill battle against Rep. Culberson, a primary that very well might be nothing more than a pyrrhic victory, Democrats need a serious candidate with a serious background who will focus on those serious issues facing the district. We believe that, between the two candidates, Mr Cargas is the most adept at being that serious candidate. Accordingly, this board endorses James Cargas in the Democratic primary for the US House, District 7.
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.