This is two days old (I was in meetings all day yesterday), but nonetheless very important news. The House has rejected the Senate’s bill to impose term limits on statewide officeholders. While most news sources had a line or two about this in their wire service, nobody wrote a major article on it–with the significant exception of the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
The bill had been proposed and pushed through the Senate by Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), where it passed on a 27-4 vote. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) had similarly been campaigning for the bill, SJR 13, in the House. Not only did the bill fail to garner the 2/3 majority required for passage of a Constitutional Amendment, it couldn’t even muster up majority support. The roll call was 61 in favor, 80 in opposition.
While I want to just blame the tea party and the far-right for this, about half the Democratic caucus also voted in opposition to this legislation. Alma Allen, Carol Alvarado and Jessica Farrar, just to name a few Houstonians. The bill would have imposed term limits for EACH executive office (Gov, L. Gov, AG, etc), of two four-year terms. The limits would not be effective to current officeholders, meaning Perry would still be able to serve, hypothetically, through 2023. It’s official, Perry is now “King James VII.”
The Texas Tribune is reporting that George P. Bush, who had been unofficially leaning towards a bid for Land Commissioner in 2014, has officially announced his intention to run for that office.
Christopher Ewing, erg…I mean, George P. Bush, is seen as first of the fourth generation of the Bush family in politics, and the third generation in Texas politics. The incumbent Land Commissioner, Jerry Patterson, who is running for Lieutenant Governor (after those sharks smelled blood in the water), had kind words for Bush, and seemed like he would be wholeheartedly supporting him. For what it’s worth, I’m really happy that Bush did not seek something like the Governor’s office or AG. The Republicans already have an advantage in prominent Hispanic officeholders, but most of them (including Cruz) are of Cuban ancestry. Bush is of Mexican ancestry, like most Hispanics in Texas. But he will probably be the gubernatorial candidate in 2018, so the Democrats must stand ready.
Hopefully, Mike Villarreal can run for Governor on the Democratic side next year, meaning that the Democrats hold the advantage 2-0 in nominating Hispanic candidates for Governor. And then there’s Castro, but now I’m getting off-topic.
UPDATE: Bush was a website –> here. The Chronicle picked up the story, and reports that he has about $1.3M in campaign cash and is being helped by Karl Rove.
Not much of a surprise to the astute, but Julian Castro recently revealed on his Facebook page that he would, indeed, seek a third term as Mayor of San Antonio later this year.
The San Antonio Express-News quickly picked up the story. Castro is planning a full-scale campaign kickoff on February 2nd, and has yet to see any viable opponents emerge for his re-election bid. Other sources have seemed to insinuate that this is somehow monumental news, so I have a few things to say.
First, nobody really expected anything other than Castro running again. Even if he was going to run in 2014, he would have still wanted to run for another term as Mayor so he wouldn’t be unemployed if he lost. Castro has made many comments along the lines of “I’ll be doing this [mayor of s.a.] until 2017,” so I really don’t understand how this is significant news, as The Huffington Post may insinuate.
Second, Castro is absolutely in the right by not wanting to waste his “statewide virginity” on such a hopeless year as 2014. He would be very smart to delay his unveiling on the gubernatorial campaign stage to 2018, not only so he wouldn’t be running against Governor Perry and his slimy tactics, but so the demographics are much more favorable to him. Castro isn’t even 40 yet, so he has plenty of time.
Not that this blog has any fans in San Antonio, but this may provide an impetus to start writing about their municipals (which are approaching very very quickly).
We, here at Texpatriate, haven’t decided to play the game of futurology in a while. Since the quintessential cynic in me was wrong about Mitt Romney being elected President, I might have to redo my old timeline.
November/December 2013-Annise Parker is re-elected after defeating, among others, Ben Hall. May or not be the need for a runoff election.
March 2014-Greg Abbott defeats Rick Perry in the primary for Governor. David Dewhurst is squeezed into a runoff with one of his many challengers (he may or may not win the runoff). George P. Bush cruises to victory in his run for Land Commissioner. The Democrats, if they are unsuccessful in drafting a superstar (like Tommy Lee Jones or Cecile Richards), essentially concede defeat by not running competitive candidates against Abbott and Cornyn and the like.
May 2014-Dewhurst may or may not survive his runoff election.
November 2014-Republicans take control of the US Senate, Democrats pick up a few seats in the US House. Democrats picks up a few states in both houses of the State Legislature; GOP maintains control thereof and of all statewide offices.
November 2015-Houston elects first Latino mayor.
November 2016-Hillary Clinton elected President; Democrats retake US Senate, pick up a few seats in the US House (still not control). Democrats pick up a few states in State Legislature, all Statewides stay with the GOP.
November 2017-Latino mayor re-elected.
November 2018-First cracks in the GOP barrier. I still am hoping for the Castro/Davis ticket.
One of the things I have noticed since being up here in Mass is that the liberals here are optimistic and sunny and happy. Personally, I have little respect for the Massachusetts Democratic establishment (I mean, Scott Brown, come on), but I get that they are mostly optimistic whereas Democrats haven’t won statewide office in Texas since I was an infant. I have a really that Texas has turned me into quite the cynic. For example, I think Sadler and Petty and Hampton are all fantastic candidates, but at a certain point I accept that they will not win, nor come anywhere close to winning. However, my optimism has always been towards the future, towards this abstract idea that there will be a people’s backlash at the end of the decade, spurred on by demographic changes. A coalition of Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, Austinites, and Inner-loop professions will rise up to kick the good ol’ boys out of the capitol. So here is my timeline:
November 2012 — Romney defeats Obama in electoral college, Obama wins popular vote. Republicans pick up net gain of two seats in the Senate, Democrats gain about a dozen seats in the House. Statewide Republicans all win. Wendy Davis is re-elected barely, no change in State Senate. Democrats pick up a few seats in the State House.
November 2013 — Parker re-elected.
November 2014 — Republican elected Governor (and all statewide offices). Perry might even get it again, but I would say a primary challenger will knock him off. Democrats make gains in Congress.
November 2015 — First Hispanic mayor of Houston elected.
November 2016 — Romney defeated by Democrat, Democrats retake the House. Slight gains for Democrats in the State Legislature but Republicans hold onto statewide offices.
November 2017 — Hispanic mayor re-elected.
November 2018 — Castro/Davis elected Governor and Lieutenant Governor, respectively. Castro ushers in new era of hispanic lead Democratic rule in Texas.