Once again, I cannot really say that I was surprised by either of the results in these elections. Unsurprisingly, David Alameel defeated Kesha Rogers to earn the Democratic nomination for the US Senate. In a little more of an upset, Jim Hogan beat Kinky Friedman to be nominated Agriculture Commissioner. Alameel got upwards of 70% of the vote, while Hogan was merely in the low 50s.
I hate to even talk about these contests at too much length, given how futile it all is. Talking about squabbles in downballot Statewide Democratic primaries is a little bit like talking up your High School student government’s internal politics to a public audience. That is, nobody gives a damn. If David Alameel breaks 40%, I will be honestly surprised, and if Jim Hogan gets over 33% it would honestly be a miracle. While Wendy Davis (Governor), Leticia Van de Putte (Lt Governor) or even Sam Houston (Attorney General) and Mike Collier (Comptroller) all have some meager semblance of a chance in November, I simply do not see the same being said for these two candidates. With all that being said, let us look at the county-by-county results. I have attached the two obligatory charts on the matter.
As you can see, there was not all that much rhyme or reason to Rogers’ victories. Namely, she won in the western panhandle counties, where there are only a handful of people actually casting ballots in the Democratic contests. As such, most of these so-called victories are statistically insignificant.
There are a few major exceptions to this rule. Gregg County and Newton County, each located deep in the heart of East Texas, voted for Rogers despite having Democratic primary electorates of more than just a couple people. The African-American percentages of these counties are close to 25%. Furthermore, Jefferson County, the home of Beaumont and the highest African-American percentage of any county in Texas (35%), voted for Rogers. Simply put, Rogers did do well among Black voters, providing some serious concerns about just how informed Democratic voters might be.
If your first question is “Did Friedman do worse?” then your answer is yes. As you can see compared to the map of the March primary results, Friedman lost the invaluable support that he had earned in Austin, El Paso and San Antonio.
For those unfamiliar, Jim Hogan is a nobody candidate who actively refuses to campaign. He beat the colorful, though serious, Kinky Friedman, who despite his blemishes was a candidate campaigning in good faith. In my book, there are only two legitimate reasons that a man or woman could ever possibly support Jim Hogan. The first is that they are incompetent and thus unfamiliar with both candidates. The second is that they bear an unparalleled, pathological hatred toward Kinky Friedman. Both are equally unacceptable.
I suppose that it is water under the bridge now, so I am not going to continue delineating the countless reasons that one should have voted for Friedman (I both endorsed him and defended him at length in The Daily Texan). That being said, this should serve as a teachable moment that Democrats can be every bit as small-minded and stupid as their compatriots across the aisle.
As I opined last March in the Texan, “Purity tests stink in general but they are especially rancid when applied arbitrarily and capriciously among candidates.” Among the other Democratic candidates, at least three (Alameel, Collier and Davis) are former Republicans. I also guarantee that, if given the proper resources, scandalizing dirt about the other candidates could be drugged up from 30 years ago. Let’s get something straight, Friedman said some terrible things a decade before I was born. He has since apologized, and his actions have truly spoken louder than his words. Can we not move on?
They say that an elephant never forgets, but in this case I suppose that it is the ass with the infallible memory. Petty, pedantic differences should not cheapen primaries. Democrats need to learn that beggars cannot be winners, and right now we are the political party equivalent of an individual who sleeps underneath the overpasses. I don’t think that Friedman could have honestly won, but Hogan literally has a 0% chance.
I hope the “Friends of Jim Hogan” are happy. They get to keep their pride. Congratulations to Commissioner-elect Sid Miller!